"Our Students want to learn. It is one of the great things I find at Ascension: our students are always asking for more in different ways because the learning process is important to them." Elisa Johnson, Dean of Academics
Students begin the process towards excellence in language arts by immersing sixth graders in a two-class English program which helps to build a solid foundation in both reading and language arts. Students are introduced to a wide variety of literature to enhance reading comprehension and critical thinking skills through class discussion and close reading. Writing at the middle school level begins with the core elements of grammar and includes incorporating embedded quotes from literary sources.
Freshmen and Sophomores develop vocabulary, emphasize sentence structure, and focus on analyzing literature through student writing. There is a focus on student proficiency in narrative expository, argumentative, and persuasive modes, while literature includes all genres to encourage continued development in analysis. Students also focus on understanding basic rhetoric concepts in analyzing and evaluating text in order to write essays that are rhetorically effective, organized, grammatically correct, and audience specific.
Students strengthen their basic computation skills and begin to create a foundation based on numeric and algebraic operations and number theory. They are introduced to functions and various graphing techniques and continue to master the skills of interpreting graphs and data. These skills lay the groundwork for high school classes and allow students to move into more advanced and abstract concepts, realizing that the fundamental operations in mathematics extend far beyond mere number manipulation.
Students continue to apply their knowledge of functions and move into higher order equations. Every class focuses on solidifying an understanding of algebraic and function manipulation. With a solid foundation, students can advance into higher level classes and more rigorous material, providing them the opportunity to qualify for dual credit courses. Students can successfully apply the knowledge gained in their math classes in other courses such as chemistry and physics.
Students prepare for their high school science experience by teaching lab skills such as proper use of equipment, observing, measuring, graphing, data collection using technology, designing experiments, making models as well as microscope care and operation.
We teach our students the scientific knowledge they need to be successful in a college classroom and skills to apply that knowledge in life. We develop a scientific mindset while engaging students in multiple laboratory investigations every week. By incorporating independent and cooperative group learning experiences, we encourage the development of critical thinking, decision making and collaboration. While nurturing curiosity about the natural world, we include opportunities to engage in science and engineering practices using technology.
A strong foundation for future studies is established with a combined approach incorporating both geography and Texas History. Students build on this knowledge with an in-depth introduction to American history while broadening their understanding of the world and the methodology of historical studies through an exploration of ancient civilizations.
Students are uniquely equipped for success in college level courses including history, political science, economics, and other social sciences. Throughout their high school careers, history students continue to develop skills in research, critical analysis and writing, and gain a deeper understanding of the methodology of historical studies.
Latin IA-IB and Spanish IA-IB allows students to fully enrich their academic experience beginning in seventh grade. The focus of these beginning classes is to give students a foundation in the grammar, vocabulary and structure of the respective languages while challenging them to think critically about how language is used.
Students are offered advanced language courses to build on the grammar, vocabulary and cultural knowledge introduced in the middle school classes or Level I. Learning the grammar, structure, and vocabulary of any of the languages has many positives: according to the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), students receive, among other benefits, improved cognitive, spatial, and verbal abilities, as well as improved memory skills and problem solving skills.
In this challenging program, students learn how to research using academic databases and journals; ascertain the credibility and accuracy of source material; cite sources accurately and credibly; integrate and synthesize complicated information; and write for an academic audience. Students also learn to collaborate with a team to write an argument and present information in an engaging way. To finish the program, they complete an independent research project that deeply explores an individual area of passion or interest.
Young women and men who complete the Capstone Program surpass their peers in college and post-college readiness as they are skilled in engaging in open and thoughtful discussion, writing academically using complex and credible textual evidence, accepting and applying constructive feedback, and collaborating effectively with a team.
Students are introduced to Google Suite and Microsoft Office applications in order to lay the foundation for success in and out of the classroom. These skills provide students practical knowledge for the use of everyday technology and proficiency in applying technology to their coursework. Tech-minded students also have the opportunity to learn robotics and programming using the Lego Mindstorm program.
Advanced technology classes allow students explore new developments and uses. VEX Robotics, Programming, 3-D Design, business information technology, eSports, and AP Computer Science are some of the opportunities students have to build their skills in preparation for college and careers of the future.
Students learn appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication skills through interpersonal situations. By learning to research ideas and topics accurate information in order to organize, prepare, and present a variety of speeches. Students will develop an understanding of oral and written communication to express themselves and build self confidence.
Students develop intellectual curiosity, communication proficiencies, social science inquiry methods, and critical thinking skills to become balanced individuals who are prepared to be responsible, engaged members of the community.
All of our music classes include learning proper instrumental and singing techniques, basic music theory, and listening skills. Students learn to interpret their pieces and as they advance through our program, are able to perform with creativity and confidence. Our studio artists produce many beautiful projects, frequently hold art shows, and love to talk about what inspired them to create their art. Our theater productions are held to packed audiences every year. They explore different genres, and produce comedies and dramas to high acclaim. Our film students write their own scripts, and act, direct, and produce their short films. Fine arts students at Ascension have gone on to significant accomplishments in their artistic fields such as television production, college theater performances, professional orchestras, and installations in art galleries.
The ability to think creatively helps our students excel in all areas of academics and life. Our students are passionate about their artistic endeavors, and many of our students pursue the arts at collegiate and professional levels.
As one of the foundations of Ascension, faith instruction fosters a culture where students may deepen the understanding of their own faith while learning to respect and appreciate the faith of others. Students are given content instruction at appropriate age levels in a progression of their chosen course of study.
Helping students deepen their faith while finding common ground necessary to live in an increasingly diverse local, national, and world community.