Category Archives: HARC Course Descriptions

Intro to Programming

This course aims to introduce students to the computer programming language Python. We will discuss why an understanding of programming is essential in modern society, cover the basics of constructing a program from a series of simple instructions in Python, and delve into practical uses of programming skills in various industries.  More advanced concepts like data structures, networked application program interfaces, and databases will also be covered.  Students will learn how to translate their knowledge of Python into other languages like Javascript and Go. Throughout the course we will also discuss various cutting edge topics including Mobile App Development, Security & Privacy, Opensource, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and others.

Instructor:  Dave Conklin


Students should have completed Algebra 1 and have some aptitude/interest in computer programming.  Actual programming experience is not required. If you have any questions, please contact me at


We will be using Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3 by Dr. Charles Russell Severance and will also follow along with the related Coursera course offering.  We will supplement with a number of free online resources.

Students will need a functioning laptop they can bring to class.  This does not need to be the latest and greatest model! The laptop should minimally:

Have at least 2GB of RAM and 1GB storage

Boot up reliably on a Mac, Linux or Windows OS

Run a modern web browser with several tabs open without crashing/lagging


Personal Finance

Course Description

As parents, we know the devastating impact of financial illiteracy:  bankruptcy, broken marriages, high stress levels.  Let me help you show your student the financial impact of their choices.  Along the way, we will cover (and they will get to experience via practice) the following subjects:  Working with Microsoft Excel*, Budgeting, Student Loans and Financial Aid, Career Choice and Payroll, Car Purchase, Home Purchase and Furnishing, Marriage, Children and Divorce, Investments and Retirement Saving, All Types of Insurance.  The class is a journey through the student’s “life” from graduation to their mid 40s.  Each lesson, the student will learn a financial truth and apply it by making a choice that will impact their personal budget.  They will calculate and see their savings rise and fall based on these choices.

*Student must be able to bring laptop loaded with Microsoft Excel to the first 8 classes. No other spreadsheet software is acceptable.

Instructor: Charla McKinley 

Materials Required:  

Student Workbook (purchased separately at

Laptop with MS Excel loaded (needed mandatory for first 8 weeks of class, optional after)


English Grammar and Composition



This is a comprehensive grammar, spelling/vocabulary, and beginning writing course that
includes literary analysis. This class is offered primarily to 8th and 9th grade students, or any
student who needs to strengthen their basic grammar and writing skills in preparation for future
English classes. Students can expect 2 – 3 hours of homework per week for this class.
The grammar curriculum for this course is Saxon Grammar and Writing 8, the 2nd edition. This
complete curriculum is developed in the classic Saxon model of incremental development and
continuous review. Students can expect thorough instruction and practice in the areas of types
of sentences, capitalization, punctuation, diagramming, active and passive voice, personal
pronouns, adjectives, irregular verbs, appositives, the colon, italics, and many, many more.
In addition to an extensive grammar focus, this course also provides instruction for writing
various essays and papers. We use the Windows to the World curriculum, which is very
efficient for helping students learn valuable writing skills while also providing instruction on
literary analysis as the basis for their writing. The Windows to the World Curriculum includes
instruction in the following topics as the basis for literary analysis and writing: annotation, plot/
suspense, characterization, symbol, theme, setting, mood/tone, irony, parallelism, allusions, and
point of view.
The spelling and vocabulary component of the course includes weekly focus and mastery of
prefixes, root words, and suffixes utilizing the Word Roots curriculum from The Critical Thinking
Company. This curriculum is provided by the instructor through weekly pdf’s and does not need
to be purchased.  This is a two-semester (year) course and counts as 1.0 English credit.

INSTRUCTOR:  Missy Meece


1. Grammar and Writing 8 (Student Text ONLY) by Saxon Publishers (around $35)

2. Windows to the World: An Introduction to Literary Analysis (Student Text ONLY) by IEW
Publishers (around $30)

3. Spelling/Vocabulary (Word Roots Level 1) by The Critical Thinking Company — teacher
supplies weekly pdf (free)

ACT Test Preparation


The best way for students to score well on the ACT is to invest their time to practice and plan for
this specialized test. Students in this course can expect instruction and practice in test taking
techniques and strategies for all 4 required sections of the ACT: Reading, English, Science, and
Math. In addition, this course will give instruction and practice to the optional Writing portion of
the test. By the end of the semester, students will have greater confidence on test day due to
their increased familiarity with the format and types of questions on the ACT. In addition, by the
end of the semester, students will have practiced using over 40 combined test-taking strategies
specific for each section of the ACT. Students can expect to complete many practice tests
through the semester in addition to writing several essays in preparation for their best ACT test
performance. For optimal benefit, it is suggested that students complete math through
Geometry and Algebra II for the ACT Prep Class. Students can expect 2 – 3 hours of homework
to prepare for each class meeting.  This is a one-semester course and counts as 0.5 elective credit.

INSTRUCTOR:  Missy Meece

2 Texts used for this class:
1.  The Official ACT Prep Guide 2020 – 2021 1st edition
ISBN-13: 978-1119685760
2.  Princeton Review Premium Prep 2020 1st edition
ISBN-13: 978-0525568803