Ninth-12th Grades

  • The following are Colorado academic standards for high school students:

    Comprehensive Health

    • Apply knowledge and skills to engage in lifelong healthy eating
    • Apply knowledge and skills necessary to make personal decisions that promote healthy relationships and sexual and reproductive health
    • Apply knowledge and skills related to health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance
    • Utilize knowledge and skills to enhance mental, emotional, and social well-being
    • Apply knowledge and skills to make health-enhancing decisions regarding the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    • Apply knowledge and skills that promote healthy, violence-free relationships
    • Apply personal safety knowledge and skills to prevent and treat intentional or unintentional injury

    Dance (Fundamental Pathway)

    • Demonstrate competence and confidence in performing a variety of dance styles and genres
    • Understand that dance performance requires technical competency
    • Demonstrate awareness of fitness, wellness, and the body's potential for movement
    • Participate in a dance production
    • Demonstrate and use the principles and practices of choreography in the creative process
    • Improvise and create movement based on an intent or meaning
    • Demonstrate an understanding of form and structure to create dances
    • Explore and perform dance styles from various cultures and times
    • Understand and appreciate a dance in terms of the culture in which it is performed
    • Demonstrate thinking skills such as describing, analyzing, interpreting, evaluating, and problem-solving through dance movement and verbal discussion
    • Use criticism and analysis to reflect upon and understand new works, reconstructions, and masterpieces
    • Discover connections to academic content areas, social activities, mass media, and careers

    Drama and Theatre Arts (Fundamental Pathway)

    • Employ drama and theatre skills, and articulate the aesthetics of a variety of characters and roles
    • Use a variety of methods, new media, and technology to create theatrical works through the use of the creative process for performance, directing, design, construction, choreography, playwriting, scriptwriting, and dramaturgy
    • Create drama and theatre by interpreting and appreciating theatrical works, culture, and experience through scenes and scenarios, improvisation, creating environments, purposeful movement, and research
    • Express drama and theatre arts skills in a variety of performances, including plays, monologues, improvisation, purposeful movement, scenes, design, technical craftsmanship, media, ensemble works, and public speaking
    • Demonstrate the evolution of rehearsal and product through performance and/or production teamwork while simultaneously validating both as essential to the theatre making process
    • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of theatre history, dramatic structure, dramatic literature, elements of style, genre, artistic theory, script analysis, and roles of theatre practitioners through research and application
    • Make informed, critical evaluations of theatrical performance from an audience member and a participant point of view, and develop a framework for making informed theatrical choices
    • Discern and demonstrate appropriate theatre etiquette and content for the audience, self, venue, technician, and performer


    • Understand the structure and properties of our number system. At their most basic level numbers are abstract symbols that represent real-world quantities
    • Understand quantity through estimation, precision, order of magnitude, and comparison. The reasonableness of answers relies on the ability to judge appropriateness, compare, estimate, and analyze error
    • Make sound predictions and generalizations based on patterns and relationships that arise from numbers, shapes, symbols, and data
    • Use critical thinking to recognize problematic aspects of situations, create mathematical models, and present and defend solutions
    • Understand that equivalence is a foundation of mathematics represented in numbers, shapes, measures, expressions, and equations
    • Are fluent with basic numerical and symbolic facts and algorithms, and are able to select and use appropriate (mental math, paper and pencil, and technology) methods based on an understanding of their efficiency, precision, and transparency
    • Solve problems and make decisions that depend on understanding, explaining, and quantifying the variability in data
    • Communicate effective logical arguments using mathematical justification and proof. Mathematical argumentation involves making and testing conjectures, drawing valid conclusions, and justifying thinking
    • Recognize and make sense of the many ways that variability, chance, and randomness appear in a variety of contexts
    • Apply transformation to numbers, shapes, functional representations, and data
    • Make claims about relationships among numbers, shapes, symbols, and data and defend those claims by relying on the properties that are the structure of mathematics

    Music (Generalist Pathway)

    • Employ musical skills through a variety of means, including singing, playing instruments, and purposeful movement
    • Demonstrate the expressive elements of music - including melody, harmony, rhythm, style, genre, texture, voicing/instrumentation, mood, tonality, and form - through voice, musical instruments, and/or the use of electronic tools
    • Demonstrate the processes of development of musical literature from rehearsal to performance, exhibiting appropriate interpersonal and expressive skills, both individually and within ensembles
    • Display instrumental or vocal improvisation skills by performing extemporaneously what is created in the mind
    • Create music by composing and/or arranging what is heard or envisioned, in notated or non-notated form, with or without the use of music technology, demonstrating originality and technical understanding
    • Demonstrate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic aural skills through identification, transcription, and vocalization or instrumental playback of aural musical examples
    • Read and employ the language and vocabulary of music in discussing musical examples and writing music, including technology related to melody, harmony, rhythm, style, genre, voicing/orchestration, mood, tonality, expression, and form
    • Know the place of each of the participants in the performance environment and practice appropriate audience participation; recognize the place and importance of music in life
    • Make informed, critical evaluations of the effectiveness of musical works and performances on the basis of aesthetic qualities, technical excellence, musicality, or convincing expression of feelings and ideas related to cultural and ideological associations
    • Develop a framework for making informed personal musical choices, and utilize that framework in the making and defending of musical choices
    • Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of aesthetics in music, appropriate to the particular features of given styles and genres, as it relates to the human experience in music

    Physical Education

    • Demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities
    • Demonstrate understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to learning and performing physical activities
    • Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness
    • Participate regularly in physical activity
    • Exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings
    • Apply personal safety knowledge and skills to prevent and treat intentional or unintentional injury

    Reading, Writing and Communicating (12th Grade)

    • Deliver organized and effective oral presentations for diverse audiences and varied purposes
    • Collaborate effectively as group members or leaders who listen actively and respectfully pose thoughtful questions, acknowledge the ideas of others, and contribute ideas to further the group's attainment of an objective
    • Evaluate how an author uses words to create mental imagery, suggest mood, and set tone
    • Engage in a wide range of nonfiction and real-life reading experiences to solve problems, judge the quality of ideas, or complete daily tasks
    • Effectively use content-specific language, style, tone, and text structure to compose or adapt writing for different audiences and purposes
    • Apply standard English conventions to effectively communicate with written language
    • Gather information from a variety of sources; analyze and evaluate the quality and relevance of the source; and use it to answer complex questions
    • Articulate the position of self and others using experiential and material logic


    • Observe, explain, and predict natural phenomena governed by Newton's laws of motion, acknowledging the limitations of their application to very small or very fast objects
    • Apply an understanding of atomic and molecular structure to explain the properties of matter, and predict outcomes of chemical and nuclear reactions
    • Apply an understanding that energy exists in various forms, and its transformation and conservation occur in processes that are predictable and measurable
    • Explain and illustrate with examples how living systems interact with the biotic and abiotic environment
    • Analyze the relationship between structure and function in living systems at a variety of organizational levels, and recognize living systems' dependence on natural selection
    • Analyze how various organisms grow, develop, and differentiate during their lifetimes based on an interplay between genetics and their environment
    • Explain how biological evolution accounts for the unity and diversity of living organisms
    • Describe and interpret how Earth's geologic history and place in space are relevant to our understanding of the processes that have shaped our planet
    • Evaluate evidence that Earth's geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere interact as a complex system
    • Describe how humans are dependent on the diversity of resources provided by Earth and Sun

    Social Studies

    • Develop an understanding of how people view, construct, and interpret history
    • Analyze key historical periods and patterns of change over time within and across nations and cultures
    • Develop spatial understanding, perspectives, and personal connections to the world
    • Examine places and regions and the connections among them
    • Understand the allocation of scarce resources in societies through analysis of individual choice, market interaction, and public policy
    • Acquire the knowledge and economic reasoning skills to make sound financial decisions (PFL)
    • Analyze and practice rights, roles, and responsibilities of citizens
    • Analyze origins, structure, and functions of governments and their impacts on societies and citizens

    Visual Arts

    • Transfer the value of visual arts to lifelong learning and the human experience
    • Explain, demonstrate, and interpret a range of purposes of art and design, recognizing that the making and study of art and design can be approached from a variety of viewpoints, intelligences, and perspectives
    • Recognize, articulate, and debate that the visual arts are a means for expression
    • Analyze, interpret, and make meaning of art and design critically using oral and written discourse
    • Critique personal work and the work of others with informed criteria
    • Use specific criteria to discuss and evaluate works of art
    • Recognize, articulate, and implement critical thinking in the visual arts by synthesizing, evaluating, and analyzing visual information
    • Recognize, demonstrate, and debate philosophic arguments about the nature of art and beauty (aesthetics)
    • Develop and build appropriate mastery in art-making skills using traditional and new technologies and an understanding of the characteristics and expressive features of art and design
    • Recognize, interpret, and validate that the creative process builds on the development of ideas through a process of inquiry, discovery, and research
    • Recognize, compare, and affirm that the making and study of art and design can be approached from a variety of viewpoints, intelligences, and perspectives
    • Identify, compare and justify that the visual arts are a way to acknowledge, exhibit and learn about the diversity of peoples, cultures and ideas
    • Transfer the value of visual arts to lifelong learning and the human experience
    • Explain, compare and justify that the visual arts are connected to other disciplines, the other art forms, social activities, mass media, and careers in art and non-art related arenas