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2016 Commencement

On June 9th, the class of 2016 marched across the sanctuary at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles as the 51st Commencement Class of Verbum Dei High School to the excitement of donors, corporate partners, staff, faculty, volunteers, etc.

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Life Lessons from a Coach

On March 22nd, Coach Jason Crowe, Verbum Dei’s Basketball Coach, and his wife Irene, were surrounded by five Verbum Dei student athletes, three other basketball coaches, and the Athletic Director and Football Coach, David Banuelos, in Brentwood, at Il Piccolo Verde Restaurant.

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Social Sciences

Chairperson: Jesse Jovel

The Social Science department utilizes the C3 Framework begins with two narrative explanations: the Inquiry Arc, which provides the organizing structure for the document; and the Overview of English Language Arts/Literacy Common Core Connections, which highlights the important relationship between the C3 Framework and the Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy. Next, the C3 Framework presents the following four Dimensions: 1 Developing questions and planning inquiries; 2Applying disciplinary concepts and tools; 3 Evaluating sources and using evidence; and 4 Communicating conclusions and taking informed action. The C3 Framework closes with five appendices.

Honors World History

World History is a vast and challenging field. In this course, we will survey the emergence of human civilizations and study the encounters and interactions of various cultures throughout history. Because of the sheer magnitude of World History, one class cannot possibly cover the entire history of every nation and people. Instead, we will thematically explore history, drawing on examples from all six continents, emphasizing depth rather than breadth. This class will focus on cultures and civilizations outside of the United States, and in particular on Latin America and Africa, since therein lay the cultural roots of our students.

As the foundational course for Social Studies at Verbum Dei, this course will emphasize skill building – geography, chronology, reading, research, writing, and oral presentations will all be used to help students engage thoughtfully in the world they have inherited from their predecessors.

Since this is an honors class, students will have greater expectations upon them. Students will be challenged with more sophisticated reading assignments, more frequent writing assignments, and in general, will be expected to understand the World History material with greater depth than their fellow sophomores. Successful completion of this course will prepare the students to succeed in AP US History, should they choose to take that course as a Junior.

In the Fall Semester, we will focus on the Ancient and Medieval World (from c. 3000 BC to 1491). In the Spring Semester, we will focus on the Modern World (from 1492 to the present).

World History

This course explores the rich fabric of world history from the beginnings of human society through to the modern era with the goal of exploring major themes across human development. The course has three main thrusts: learning essential historical content, fostering the ability to think historically including identifying themes, patterns, and trends of historical change, and finally, developing and refining essential reading, writing, speaking, and research abilities to convey this knowledge competently. Through the lenses of religion, economic systems, social and political structure, education, technological developments and culture we will explore and examine various historical eras and make comparisons.

Government

Government for the 21st Century is a semester social studies course that focuses on the foundations of government and responsible participatory citizenship. A deeper understanding of government will be achieved through analyzing the political process, political ideologies, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the three branches of government, well as the rights and responsibilities of individuals in our government system. Throughout this course, students will consistently be asked to analyze the various roles of individual citizens and groups in the political process as well as how America's founding ideals (Democracy, Opportunity, Liberty, Equality and Rights) as outlined by the framers have shaped and continue to shape American government. As with the other social studies courses this course will include learning essential content, fostering the ability to think analytically including identifying themes, patterns, and trends of change, and finally, developing and finally, developing and refining essential reading, writing, speaking, and research abilities to competently convey this knowledge.

Economics

The goal of Economics in the 21st Century is to enable students to become economically literate and effective decision-makers, as well as, responsible and productive citizens in an increasingly globalized economy. This course begins by building the foundations of economic understanding by introducing students to the fundamental micro-economic concepts necessary to analyze macroeconomic and global concepts. Throughout this course, students will consistently be asked to analyze the role of the consumer in micro, macro and global economic systems and analyze how changes in the economy affect individuals, households, businesses, the government, and the environment. The final component of Economics in the 21st Century requires students to practically apply their knowledge by investigating and articulating economic solutions through practical application of real world problems. As with the other social studies courses this course will include learning essential content, fostering the ability to think analytically, and finally, developing and refining essential reading, writing, speaking, and research abilities to competently convey this knowledge.

Honors U.S. History (11th grade, 2 Semesters)

The Honors U.S. History examines pre-Colombian times through today. The course has three main emphases: learning essential historical content, fostering the ability to think historically including identifying themes, patterns, and trends of historical change, and finally, developing and refining essential reading, writing, speaking, and research abilities to convey this knowledge competently. The Honors U.S. History course includes high-level debates as well as research papers. The course also places emphasis on the narrative of oppressed and marginalized groups by examining how institutions and societal norms contribute to the struggle of minority groups.

Ethnic Studies

Students will analyze the intersection between ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender and sexuality as it pertains to images of otherness, generational differences, civil rights, and economics. By studying the history, literature, art and contributions of multicultural America, students will cultivate the empathy and understanding necessary for social, political and educational engagement. The study of social justice movements and political and economic multicultural coalitions will serve as a basis for student participation in service learning at the middle school, high school and community levels.

Through primary sources and historical interpretations (in print, film and music), students will articulate their identity as both an individual and a member of an intersection of ethnic and cultural groups (unit 1), explain the historical and economic development of various stereotypes and their effect on identity, examine how underrepresented groups celebrate their cultural and ethnic heritage through film and other media (unit 2), compare and evaluate oral histories as an alternative to mainstream media’s representation of ethnicity by conducting their own oral history research (unit 3), apply their knowledge of social justice movements and multicultural coalitions towards participation in two service learning projects (units 4 and 5).

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