General Studies


Language Arts Overview

The General Studies Curriculum at BINA prepares girls for continued higher learning wherever they may choose.  The goal is increased mastery of reading comprehension, critical analysis, and fluency in oral and written communication.  Girls will learn that good writing is expected across the curricula.  Whether writing a D’var Torah or a social studies report, girls will be encouraged to use their writing skills across the curricula.

Language Arts 9 – This class introduces the student to critical thinking and analytical skills as applied to literature, drama, poetry, and public speaking.   Grammar skills will be emphasized. In Writers Workshop the girls will work through the writing process, drafting, revising, publishing their work.  With individualized learning goals, each girl will have a personalized framework.

English 10 – This course develops and expands the skills from English 9.  Writing will be stressed through an exposition essay, compare and contrast essay, and a research paper.  Grammar lessons will be interspersed throughout the class.  Students will be reading short stories, novels, poems, and excerpts from classic plays.  Additionally,  students will learn about PSATs and practice standardized test taking skills.

English 11 – Students will read classics from American literature.  A major focus on formal writing will continue building on skills from English 10. A major emphasis is placed on public speaking skills. SAT prep skills will also be developed.

English 12 – The seniors will focus on British literature.  Composition skills will be refined so students will be comfortable writing essays for seminary or college applications.  The culminating senior project with be an oral presentation on a controversial topic that will demonstrate the mastery of research, writing, and public speaking skills.  SAT skills will continue to be developed.

Mathematics Overview

All math classes are scheduled at the same period so girls can be placed in the appropriate class.  Girls can opt to take an accelerated program, while those needing more reinforcement can proceed at a pace better suited to their needs.

Algebra – This course introduces girls to algebraic expressions.  Girls will learn to solve and graph multi-step linear equations and inequalities and relate their application to the real world. Students will learn how to use binomials and polynomials. There will be an in-depth exploration of tables, data and graphs, which will coordinate with science classes.

Geometry – Geometry introduces the girls to key properties of geometric shapes, both two- and three-dimensional. Topics include reasoning, proofs, and sound mathematical arguments.

Algebra 2 – The girls will study functions and their graphs.  Students are introduced to rational, radical, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and date analysis. Emphasis is placed on practical applications and modeling.  Graphing calculators and computers will be used to enhance learning.

Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry – The pre-calculus course covers linear, quadratic, and polynomial functions, inequalities, exponents, logarithms, and analytic geometry.  It also covers the study of trigonometric definitions, applications, graphing, and solving trigonometric equations and inequalities.

Science Overview

Science at BINA promotes scientific thinking and inquiry.  Block scheduling creates longer class periods to allow for hands-on experiments, which are regularly integrated into classes.

Physical Science 9 – Providing a solid foundation for further science study, this course covers the structure of atoms, properties of matter, the Periodic Table, chemical reactions, motion and forces and interactions of energy and matter.

Biology 10 – Beginning with the study of the cell and molecular biology, this course covers the laws of genetics, classification of animals and plants, properties of biomes, matter, energy and organization in living systems.

Chemistry 11 – After exploring substances, mixtures, and the classifications of matter, students will examine the property of atoms and elements, the periodic table, chemical bonds, reaction equations and chemical reactions.

Physics 12 – An optional course for girls who want to continue their study of science. Students who opt to take physics build on basic physical science principles by exploring in depth the nature and characteristics of energy and its dynamic interaction with matter.

History Overview

The goal of the social studies at BINA is to make our girls better citizens, who appreciate and participate in our democratic tradition. An understanding of global and national history helps our girls find connections between the past and present and helps them to understand current events.  Students will study history through an investigation of primary source documents and the study of historical artifacts.

World History 9 – This course focuses on the political, cultural and social aspects of the ancient cultures, specifically Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  It covers the period up to the Middle Ages.

World History 10 – Picking up at the end of World History 9, this course begins with the Renaissance and moves into Reformation Europe and European exploration including discovery and settlement of the new world.  Students will examine the French Revolution and conclude with an in-depth study of World War I and II.

United States History 11 – In this class students will examine the formation of the colonies and how they turned into the United States.  Particular attention is paid to the Revolutionary War, the fledgling young country, the Civil War, and the United States’ rise to world power.

Physical Education Overview

During the fall BINA has a basketball team, which practices three times a week, and plays an average of a  game a week.

When basketball season is over, Physical Education class is held once a week.  By exposing the girls to a wide array of options, which target cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility training, the program aims to help the girls appreciate the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, which translates into a healthy life style.  Our physical education program includes team sports and aerobics, as well as nutrition and fitness classes.

Additional Specialties

Weekly art lessons allow the girls to express themselves by creating works of art.  They will also examine works of art from different times and places as they learn to view the visual arts in relation to history and culture.

Periodic music classes focus on vocal and choral music with an emphasis on performances.  Choral productions scheduled throughout the year will often integrate themes from Judaic or General Studies.

Computers will be integrated into the language arts, social studies, math and science classes when appropriate.  Students will learn how to work with spreadsheets to analyze data, databases to manage information, and presentation software to organize thoughts for speeches.  Selected websites can be accessed for students to reinforce skills learned in the classroom or to enrich those students who want to explore a topic in more depth.  Since the computer room also doubles as the school office, girls are never alone in a room with a computer.  A special emphasis is given to computer safety.