Lift For Life Academy’s High School curriculum is designed to provide students with the solid academic foundation they need to be successful in their chosen pursuits after high school. Coursework prepares students for the content and rigors of college, technical training programs, the military, as well as the demands of today’s workplace. For updates on grades and homework, contact the high school dean of students, Torrey Davie at He will give you access to TeacherEase, a software site that maintains all homework and grade information.

Curriculum is based on both State and National (Common Core) standards. Instruction incorporates hands-on learning experiences as well as more traditional teacher-directed approaches. Where appropriate, teachers expand the teaching and learning that takes place in the classroom by taking students on field trips designed to reinforce essential concepts and critical skills. Students also have many opportunities to learn from instructors who actively work in fields such as business, fashion design and science-based careers. Whether the experiences are in or out of the classroom, teachers work hard to make the curriculum challenging, relevant, positive and meaningful to urban students.

The High School Curriculum provides students in grades 9-12 with a course of studies in each of the core subject areas that builds from basic to advanced (including courses for advanced college credit) skills and knowledge. The core areas  include English, mathematics, science and social studies. In addition, Lift For Life High School students have elective options to fulfill the requirements for graduation established by the State of Missouri and the Academy and to also explore subject areas of interest now and for future careers. All freshman and juniors take mandatory Seminars that reinforce critical skills in reading and writing, develop study skills, as well as give students the tools to set long term goals, and organize and plan for their lives after high school. Each sophomore is enrolled in a Reading Seminar that connects them to a wide variety of readings with a major emphasis on reading for information which is a skill necessary not only in college, but in the world of work.

Teachers are supported by three school college and career specialists who work with each student in class and individually to clarify post-secondary plans and fulfill the requirements needed to achieve those plans. College and career specialists coordinate career explorations and post-secondary preparation including: job shadowing and internships, enrollment in junior college courses for dual credit where appropriate, visits by college admissions officers to Lift For Life Academy, student visits to college campuses, coordination of college entrance tests (ACT, SAT), and assistance in the completion of application materials for college, technical training programs, work positions and the military.

Core teachers work closely with support staff including a social worker, the school guidance counselors, college and career specialists, special education teachers and administrators to meet the needs of individual students, groups of students and the entire class.

The table below shows the courses and credit hours that are required for graduation from Lift For Life Academy High School in comparison to the current graduation requirements from the State of Missouri. Lift For Life Academy recognizes the importance of students having a solid foundation in both communication arts and mathematics and requires one additional credit in each of these subject areas beyond what is required by the State of Missouri.

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*Indicates personal finance may count as meeting half a unit of credit for social studies, practical art or as an elective.

High School Curriculum Departments

(Click on the department for course descriptions)

Communication Arts/English

  • English I- This course is a study of the reading and writing process.  Students will actively read and critique a variety of literary genres.  Students will write for multiple purposes.  Students will learn the appropriate grammar and style when speaking and writing.
  • English II- This course includes a survey of multi-cultural literature as well as extensive development of composition and research skills.  Grammar will be taught in the context of writing with a view toward sharpening editing and revision skills.
  • American Literature– This course includes a survey of American Literature and composition.  This course is designed to challenge the student who has mastered basic composition and language skills.  Essays and research papers will be required.
  • Public Speaking/Speech– This course is designed to give students experience in public speaking and oral interpretation.  Students will develop poise and confidence before an audience.  Students will learn and practice skills in a variety of speaking techniques.
  • Senior Literature – This course gives college bound students the necessary skills to appreciate and critique a variety of literary works.  Students will be expected to analyze literature by using  oral and written techniques.
  • Senior Composition – This course gives college bound students the necessary skills to write papers that address a variety of topics.  Students will compose essays, write persuasive essays, write theme papers and develop research papers.
  • College English- This course gives college bound students the necessary skills to be prepared for the many requirements of language arts at the post-secondary level.  Students will do extensive reading and writing in a variety of literary forms.
  • Writing Seminar (Literature) – This course will emphasize the development of contemporary literature through writing.  It will develop critical judgment and understanding of relationships, especially as they reflect complex modern society.  Writing Seminar ( literature) will emphasize writing both as a means of self-expression and as formal communication.
  • Reading/Writing Seminar (Expository) – This is an extensive study of writing and literary analysis.  Topics include writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, timed essay writing and  test taking strategies and in-depth evaluations of literary styles and strategies.  Writing will include weekly essays and an extensive reading/writing portfolio.  Reading will be assigned from 4-5 novels per semester plus plays, poetry, short stories, essays and non-fiction.  

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  • Consumer Math- This course is designed to give students the necessary practical skills in math.  Students will apply their knowledge of math skills to a variety of everyday situations.  Basic economics and consumer math will be the major topics.
  • Algebra Lab– This course is designed to give students a practical understanding of Algebra in daily life by using computers.  Projects will be required.
  • Geometry Lab- This course is designed to give students a practical understanding of Geometry in daily life by using computers.  Projects will be required.
  • Algebra A & B – This class will review the basic operations of arithmetic on whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. These operations will be used in dealing with ratio, proportions, percent, simple geometry, and algebra. Students will be expected to understand basic operations with integers, rational numbers, irrational, and real numbers; the use of variables; properties of numbers and of equality; solving equations and inequalities; problem-solving; relations and functions; and polynomials.(For NCAA course eligibility)
  • Algebra I- This course is a study of the foundation rules of higher mathematics.  Algebra I is taught with a variety of methods and techniques to extend algebraic thinking and to engage student learning.  Problem solving situations will provide students an environment that promotes connection to other disciplines and the real world.  The appropriate use of technology is designed to sharpen the application and concept development skills of students.
  • Geometry– This course is a study of geometric figures, properties, thinking and reasoning.  Students will see the relationships and connections geometry makes with many mathematical and real world situations.
  • Algebra II– This course enriches the topics covered in Algebra 1.  Students will graph and analyze functions and systems.  Linear equations, equalities, inequalities and exponents will be emphasized.
  • Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry – This course is designed for students who plan to go to college.  Students learn a wide range of strategies in all areas of math.  Students will become proficient in the use of a scientific calculator.
  • Discrete Math – This course will prepare students to perform higher level of mathematical functions.  Statistical analysis and calculus operations will challenge the students.
  • College Algebra – This course gives college bound students the necessary skills to become successful at the next level of higher education.  Students who successfully complete the course will have a solid and practical foundation of Algebra.
  • College Calculus – This course will help college bound students with the sophisticated mathematical functions that are taught at the higher education level.  Students will continue to be proficient with their use of the scientific calculator. This course is offered for College Credit through SLU’s 1818 program.
  • Probability and Statistics –  This course will allow college bound students to learn the theory and practice of numbers.  Students will see the logical as well as the random importance of numbers in everyday life. This course is offered for College Credit through SLU’s 1818 program.
  • Financial Mathematics – This course covers personal money management. Students will apply critical-thinking skills to analyze personal financial decisions based on current and projected economic factors.

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Social Studies

  • Civics & American Government– This course is a study of national, state and local government.  Students also learn the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.  The three branches of government are explored in depth with emphasis on how the application and understanding of constitutional principles affect daily life in American society.
  • College World History– Two courses offered – HST 1110 and HST 1120 to provide students with knowledge of historical and cultural events that have contributed to global development.  Students will be encouraged to read and apply historical concepts to develop projects and presentations. These courses offered through SLU’s 1818 program.
  • U.S. History– This course is the study of the political, social, geographical and economic development of America.  Students will learn the past, current and future role of the United States in the global community.
  • College Philosophy- This course will explore human thought and reasoning over centuries of history.  Students will also have the opportunity to earn college credit through St. Louis University.
  • Geography- This course will introduce students to the people and places of the world.  Students will learn how  the physical geography influences culture,
  • African American Studies – This course t examines the history and culture of Africa and the African-American experience in an interdisciplinary format, including an analysis of the unique historical, cultural, and social developments from the Middle Passage to the present day.
  • Human Geography & Economics – This course combines the two complementary fields of geography and economics. It offers the analytical rigor of economics and applies this to real-life examples in human geography. This course will also introduce students to the people and places of the world and they will learn how the physical influences culture, commerce, and world events.

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  • Physics– This course is a study of the physical world of energy and matter; and how they are related. Students will learn that math is the “language” of physics. Students will develop their investigating and problem solving skills. They will also see the impact of science and physics in their daily lives.
  • Biology I– This course is the study of plant and animal life. Students will learn a variety of biological and scientific concepts. Students will have the opportunity to learn many of these in a laboratory setting.
  • Honors Biology – This course is the study of plant and animal life. Honors Biology students will have the opportunity to perform more in-depth investigations related to the concepts and topics presented in Biology I. Honors Biology will also include more rigorous and advanced lessons to help students prepare for the Biology End-of-Course exam.
  • Chemistry I– This course involves the study of laws, concepts and principles governing the composition and changes of matter. Students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills by participating in various laboratory activities.
  • Forensics – This course is designed to apply scientific principles to understand why certain events occurred. They will learn how science can help to investigate and solve mysteries of various circumstances and situations.
  • Environmental science –  this is the study of patterns and processes in the natural world and their modification by human activity. … This course will survey some of the many environmental science topics at an introductory level, ultimately considering the sustainability of human activities on the planet.
  • Earth and Space Science – This course focuses on the study of space, geologic structures and forces, the waters on our planet, and the atmospheric forces that shape our world. … Students will learn about scientific inquiry, geologic time, space exploration, the solar system, and the universe.

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Freshman and Junior Seminar

  • Freshman Seminar– This course is designed to help ninth graders with a variety of issues they will face in high school. Content emphasizes improving reading and writing, learning how to study and be organized, prioritizing tasks, and making responsible decisions. Students will also be involved in a number of writing and reading activities.
  • Junior Seminar– This class emphasizes reading and writing in preparation for the ACT and college.  Students will have the opportunity to write a resume as well as plan their post high school years.

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Physical Education & Health

  • Physical Education– This course is a study of lifetime wellness and participation in a variety of activities. Students are taught how to balance healthy lifestyles with appropriate physical activity and good decision making skills.
  • Health– This course is designed around situations that engage student discussion to analyze the internal and external influences concerning their health. This course helps students build the skills they need to protect, enhance and promote their own health and the health of others.
  • Body Building– This course is designed for the student who wants to obtain and/or maintain a higher level of fitness. Weight training, fitness and safety are the major topics emphasized.
  • Advanced Body Building– This course is designed for the student who wants to obtain and/or maintain a higher level of fitness. Weight training, fitness and safety are the major topics emphasized.
  • Fitness Training– This course continues the fitness skills learned in body building. Students learn that fitness and nutrition are part of a life-long process.
  • Team Sports– This course provides students with a variety of games related to team sports and tournament play. This enables students to demonstrate motor skills, knowledge of rules and game strategies for sport activities.
  • Driver’s Education– This course is designed to expose students to the proper and safe methods of driving. Student will learn the proper mental and mechanical skills that insure safe driving. Students will learn the laws that apply to highway and automobile safety. Field experiences are required.

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Family & Consumer Science

  • Fashion Design I– This course allows students to learn the design process from beginning to end. Students will learn initial design, research, fashion trends, clothing construction, fabric selection, production and marketing. Students will create and design a variety of projects.
  • Fashion Design II– This course continues the development of fashion and design techniques learned in Family & Consumer Science I. Students will have the opportunity to pursue independent projects.
  • Fashion Design III
  • Fashion Design IV
  • Cooking I– This course builds the fundamentals of basic nutrition and food preparation. Students learn cooking terms, how to use kitchen equipment, table setting and etiquette.
  • Advanced Cooking– This is a double credit course. This is an advanced course designed for the experienced cook. Students will learn a variety of food preparation techniques. Students will also learn how to plan and manage meals.
  • Culinary– This course introduces students to the basics of cooking and food preparation. Students will learn how to select and store food properly. They will learn how to plan and prepare a menu as well as how to use kitchen equipment and utensils. Field experience will be required.

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World Languages

  • Spanish I– This course is an introductory study of the Spanish language and culture. Students will learn to read, write, speak and understand basic Spanish. Students will also become acquainted with the life styles of Spanish speaking people.
  • Spanish II– This course is a continuation of Spanish I. Students will expand their vocabulary and build on the grammar and skills previously learned. Communication in Spanish is stressed with added emphasis on reading and writing skills.
  • Spanish III– This course will require students to apply all they have learned in Spanish I & II. Students will be expected to communicate fluently in Spanish. Students will continue to learn about Spanish culture.
  • Chinese I– This course is an introductory student of the Chinese language and culture. Students will learn to read, write, speak and understand basic Chinese. Students will also become acquainted with the lift styles of Chinese speaking people.
  • Chinese II– This course is a continuation of Chinese I. Students will expand their vocabulary and build on the grammar and skills previously learned. Communication in Chinese is stresses with added emphasis on reading and writing skills.
  • Chinese III – This course builds on language skills developed in Chinese I and II. The course will complete and review basic grammar and key sentence patterns of Chinese, provide practice in the appropriate use of idiomatic expressions, and further develop skill in reading and writing Hanzi (Chinese characters). It will also build vocabulary, expand reading comprehension, and encourage extensive conversation in Chinese. It will cover additional aspects about Chinese culture and history.

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Business Education

  • Introduction to Business– This course is designed to help students make wise economic decisions as consumers, workers and citizens. Students will explore various forms of business, trade, labor and career opportunities.
  • Business Management– This course teaches students the overall structure of business. Students learn human resource management, management styles, employee relations and marketing. Students will also learn the various legal and financial aspects of managing a business.
  • Computer Applications– This course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of computer applications and techniques. Emphasis will be on database, word processing, spreadsheet, desktop publishing and graphic illustrations.
  • Media– This course is designed to give students the opportunity to create their own projects and programs on the computer. Students will do web and graphic design. They will be able to produce, publish and present topics using multimedia skills.
  • Personal Finance– This is a required course for high school graduation. Students will learn how to be consumers, workers, taxpayers and citizens in a global economy.
  • Accounting – This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of accounting. Students will be exposed to a variety of “real world’ accounting applications, practical exercise, and case studies. Additionally, there will be a strong emphasis on computer applications and accounting software
  • Mutt-i-grees – This course developed in partnership with Nestle Petcare uses the natural affinity between kids and pets to teach social-emotional learning (SEL) skills like empathy, self-confidence, teamwork, and decision-making. It also shows students that shelter pets make the best family companions, and that all of us have the power to make a positive difference in our communities and in the lives of homeless animals.

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Visual Arts

  • Art I– This course provides a solid foundation in the principles and understanding of art. Students will work with the basic elements of art to create projects using a variety of techniques. Students will explore different types of media throughout the year.
  • Ceramics I– This course is designed to expose the student to multi-dimensional learning opportunities. Students will experience a variety of pinch, coil and slab constructions. Student projects will reflect and synthesize the issues of function, decoration and beauty.
  • Painting– This course is designed to improve painting skills by using watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. The elements of art and the principle of design will be emphasized. Students will have opportunities for independent explorations.
  • Studio Art– This course will require students to develop an art portfolio. Students will use two and three dimension designs as they create a variety of projects. Students will have opportunities for independent explorations.

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  • Vocal Music I– This course is for any student who plays an instrument and would like to be part of a performance group. Students will have opportunities to develop and improve their instrumental music skills and techniques. They will also learn and understand the practice and discipline required to perform.

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