Rainier Beach High School

Rainier Beach
High School
Rainier Beach High School


Rainier Beach Academics Overview

Schedule Changes (10 day rule)

Schedule changes must be completed BEFORE the end of the 10th school day of the semester. Changes are made ONLY for the following academic reasons:

  • Hole in their schedule
  • Error in course placement
  • Attended night school or summer school program and completed the course ahead of time
  • Running Start schedule conflict
  • Missing graduation requirement(s)

All other changes require administrative approval. All schedule change requests must be submitted in writing on the Schedule Change Request Form. (Form available in the Counseling Office)

Making up a Failed Required Course and Grade Replacement

If a student fails a required course, they must retake it and pass it to graduate. Failed courses can ONLY be made up through Apex Learning (online Digital Learning Department), although some Running Start courses can also qualify. Counselor approval is required before registering in any non-Rainier Beach course. Grade replacement is when a student wants to improve the grade received the first time the course was taken. When replacing a grade, the student is required to take the course over through Apex (online Digital Learning Department). The first grade remains on the transcript but is not computed in the GPA. The student does not receive double credit for the course.

Art and Music

Band This class emphasizes individual skill development in the Marching band setting through skill exercises combined with the study and performance of marching and moving. Extra practices and performances are mandatory.

Ceramics Ceramics is a one semester course where students will learn about the elements of clay, glaze, and firing. Students will explore form through hand building methods such as pinch, slab, coil, and sculpture. In addition, students will learn about the elements of arts and principles of design. Written components or critiques will accompany each of the projects.  Choir This performing group will study a complete spectrum of vocal literature from classical to jazz and from early Renaissance to contemporary styles. The group will travel to competitions and performances throughout the community.
Drawing and Painting
Students will be exploring different drawing and painting techniques and materials. They will be searching for ways to generate ideas both by looking at other artists’ work as well as developing their own personal vision. Materials may include, but not be limited to pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, markers, ink, watercolor, and acrylic. Each student will keep a sketchpad for drawing practice which will be turned in as homework due every week. Guitar Lab Guitar will focus on learning the basics of note reading, exercises, songs, chords, and rudimentary classical guitar technique. The class will also contain many audio/visual examples from world-class guitarists and musicians.  IB Visual Arts Visual arts continually open up new possibilities and challenge traditional boundaries. This is evident both in the way we make art and in the way we understand what artists from around the world do. Theory and practice in visual arts are dynamic and ever-changing, and connect many areas of study and human experience through individual and collaborative production and interpretation.The Diploma Program visual arts course enables students to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. The course is designed to enable students to study visual arts in higher education and also welcomes those students who seek life enrichment through visual arts.

No audition is required for placement into this class. Students will be introduced to marching percussion and learn the foundations of what a drum line is.

Theater Theater emphasizes student recognition, interpretation and dramatization of character objectives, relationships, emotional and physical traits within scenes. Students will identify and analyze character, relationships, plot, setting, conflict, and theme in the context of choosing and performing monologues.

Business Education

AP Computer Science Students will learn program design and basic programming in Java. The course will be equivalent to a college-level semester introduction to programming and will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Exam. Topics covered will include primitive types, procedural programming (methods, parameters, return values), basic control structures (if/else, for loop, while loop), array manipulation, file processing and using and defining objects (identifying reusable components, class relationships). Students will learn by designing, writing and testing their own software.  Computer Applications I An introduction to current business software applications and tools that students will use for their high school and future college and career success. Software and skills include: Office 2007 –word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentation applications, databases, and desktop publishing. In addition, students are introduced to Web Design, research on the Internet, and “life online” safety and tools. Class is available for Tech Prep credit with the Seattle Community College system. Business Law This course is designed to provide students with an overview of our legal system, including statutes and regulations that affect businesses, families, and individuals in a variety of ways. Knowledge of business law is particularly useful because all students eventually assume the role of citizen, worker, and consumer in society. IB Business & Management The Diploma Program business and management course is designed to develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills.    As a course it aims to encourage a holistic view of the world of business by promoting an awareness of social, cultural and ethical factors in the actions of organizations and individuals in those organizations. Intro to Engineering Design 1 & 2 They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate solutions. Through theory and practical hands-on experience, students will become familiar with the multifaceted career of engineering. Two units per semester include mechanisms, energy, statics, and materials and kinematics. This course will explore in detail: Design Process,Fluid Power, Electronics, Robotics, Mechanical Systems,Materials Testing, Thermo-dynamics, and Engineering for Quality and Reliability.  Mobile Application Development Students use computer programming to develop mobile applications which are uploaded to the Microsoft store. Proceeds from the application sales go back to Rainier Beach. Skill Centers and City Campus The Seattle Public Schools Skills Centers and City Campus are secondary public education vehicles for delivering advanced career and technical education programming for high school students, usually juniors and seniors. Programs are distributed throughout the city (that is, not at a single building or location). Community colleges, community-based sites, and schools will host programs. They are accessible to high school students from ANY Seattle Public Schools high school with course offerings that challenge the highest achieving students, accommodate students with disabilities, and welcome students from every culture. Choose from the following programs: Skills Centers:

  • Aerospace Science (offered onsite)
  • Health Science
  • Digital Animation/Game Design
  • Information Technology
  • Culinary Arts

City Campus:

  • Auto-Body Collision Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • C-WEST
  • Health Science Careers
  • eXploratory Internship Programs (XIP)

ELL Department

In accordance with federal, state and local guidelines, the ELL department provides access to appropriate educational opportunities for all eligible students and their families which enable them to successfully participate in the mainstream environment – academically, culturally, socially and economically.

The ELL (English Language Learners) department at Rainier Beach High School serves the needs of students who are new to the United States. It also addresses the needs of American-born students whose first spoken language was not English. The goal of the program is to develop English language proficiency while maintaining academics in students who have limited speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. A student’s initial eligibility is determined by the results of the Washington Language Proficiency Test (WLPT-II Placement Test), and then followed by the annual (WLPT) assessment to establish continued eligibility.

English/Language Arts

LA 9A and B All 9th grade students will be enrolled in Introduction to Literature and Composition. This yearlong course focuses on guided and critical reading of texts from different genres that reflect themes of identity and self-discovery and on developing clear and purposeful composition skills. Grammar, vocabulary, and writing are all emphasized in the course. Four modes of writing are practiced – narrative, persuasive, expository, and literary analysis. LA 10A and B 10th grade continues the development and deepening of the skills begun freshman year. Regular and Honors World Literature and Composition are yearlong courses where students read international texts. The course concentrates on critically reading how the human experience is expressed in literature from around the world. Working with students on refining skills is a priority as the students move into this final HSPE year. LA 11A and B
This course is a survey of American Literature, but it also seeks to represent the diverse perspectives and voices of what it is to be “American.” Attention is paid to representing both minority and women writers. Varieties of texts, including novels, plays, non-fiction and poetry seek to expose students to historical and literary time periods while approaching these from a relevant perspective. Intensive writing exercises aim to allow students to respond, evaluate, analyze and apply new skills and information. LA 12A and B While three years of Language Arts are required for High School Graduation, four years are required for admission by four-year colleges. Senior year has two yearlong options. Comparative Literature and Composition is a yearlong course that synthesizes critical reading and writing skills from previous years, focusing on texts that cross a wide range of genres, and embody a high level of thematic and technical complexity and independence.

Family and Consumer Science

Family Health
One semester course on the structure and function of the human body, C.P.R., and first aid, human sexuality, personality and mental health, self image, values and decision making, consumer health, cancer disease, death and dying.  Included in this course are opportunities to explore global and cultural influences, careers and FCCLA/leadership.  This course satisfies an occupational education or Health credit for graduation. Students will also have an opportunity to earn a Tech Prep college credit (Seattle Central Community College) by taking and passing the HIV/AIDS portion of the sexuality unit test.

Mathematics Department

Algebra A/B
Using Key Curriculum Press Discovering Algebra is taught first semester, and upon successful completion, students continue to Algebra B second semester.  This course focuses mainly on algebraic, proportional reasoning, graphing, and problem solving skills.  It is expected that all 9th grade students enroll in Algebra A/B (or higher) upon entry to high school. 
Geometry A/B
This course, using Key Curriculum Press Discovering Geometry follows successful completion of Algebra A/B.  Geometry A is taught first semester, and Geometry B second semester.  This course focuses mainly on logical thinking, geometric properties, algebra, coordinate geometry, and problem solving skills.  In this course, students continue developing skills introduced in Algebra also, in preparation for the HSPE (State Assessment Test) and future math courses. 
Geometry A/B Honors
This course is primarily for 9th graders who completed Algebra in middle school.  Students (10th/11th grades) who exhibited high achievement in Algebra(A or high B average) may also be enrolled. It is similar in content to the Geometry A/B course, with a faster pace and more topics covered.  Students who begin Honors Geometry in 9th grade and successfully complete 4 years of honors math will reach the highest level of high school math (Calculus) in their senior year.
Algebra 2 A/B

This course follows successful completion of Geometry A/B.   In this class, most of the focus is on advanced algebra in preparation for advanced math courses (pre-calculus) and/or college level mathematics.  This course is required for attendance at a 4-year university. 
Algebra 2 Honors A/B
This course, similar in content to Algebra 2 A/B, follows successful completion of Geometry Honors A/B or high achievement and teacher recommendation following Geometry A/B (non honors).  Students continue to Pre-calculus. IB Math
The nature of the subject is such that it focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way. This is achieved by means of a carefully balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solving problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts. Development of each topic should feature justification and proof of results. Students embarking on this course should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure, and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas. They should also be encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.
IB Math SL 
The course concentrates on mathematics that can be applied to contexts related as far as possible to other subjects being studied, to common real-world occurrences and to topics that relate to home, work and leisure situations. The course includes project work, a feature unique within this group of courses: students must produce a project, a piece of written work based on personal research, guided and supervised by the teacher. The project provides an opportunity for students to carry out a mathematical investigation in the context of another course being studied, a hobby or interest of their choice using skills learned before and during the course. This process allows students to ask their own questions about mathematics and to take responsibility for a part of their own course of studies in mathematics.
Algebra Lab
This support class offered currently both after school and during the day, is designed to help students be more successful in their regular Algebra A/B class.  Students focus on three areas:  review of prerequisite skills, additional and enrichment activities on current Algebra A/B course topics, and preview of future topics.  Students must be enrolled in Algebra A/B to take the Algebra Lab course.
Geometry Lab
This support class offered currently both after school and during the day, is designed to help students be more successful in their regular Geometry A/B class.  Students focus on three areas:  review of prerequisite skills, additional and enrichment activities on current Geometry A/B course topics, and preview of future topics.  Students must be enrolled in Geometry A/B to take the Geometry Lab course.

Physical Education

The Basic curriculum educates students in fitness and health concepts. These concepts are taught through instructional units that include; unit guidelines, student introductions, vocabulary words, original activities and assessments. Fitness measurements are used to establish base-line fitness levels for all students. The practice of goal setting directs students to set realistic goals and work towards them. Functional equipment, combined with fun games and interesting activities, facilitate improvement in the five components of fitness. As students move through the Basic Program they are taught meaningful fitness concepts which empower them to make healthier choices. The links between activity, movement skills, fitness, nutrition, health, and personal achievement are carefully woven together to provide everyone with the opportunity for success  Team Sports Physical education students will participate daily in selected individual and/or team sports. Emphasis will be placed on physical fitness, sportsmanship, sports skills, and knowledge. Special attention will be placed on the value of establishing habits leading to lifelong physical activity as a component of a healthy lifestyle. Tests and written assignments will be required. Nutrition/Fitness Students actively participate in aerobics, step training, walking, jogging, and beginning resistance training. Emphasis is on developing and maintaining a well-balanced fitness level to include cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and strength training. Students will analyze eating habits to improve food choices and work on goal-setting for self-improvement. Tests and written assignments will be required.

Science Department

Physical Science/Physical Science Honors All freshmen should be enrolled in this course which typically has three sections to be completed in the year.  These three sections are:  “Active Physics,” “Active Chemistry,” and “Active Earth Science”.  These texts use inquiry based science with lots of hands on activities.  The district provides activity kits to be used with the text.  Students will continue to use science journals, a skill which all students are now required to master in elementary and middle school grades in the Seattle Public Schools.  A review of the science journal as well of science safety procedures will take place the first week of class.  WASL preparation will be emphasized; previous WASL questions will be introduced where they apply in the curriculum.  A class size of no more than 25 students is recommended for these classes to be effective.
This class is typically for 10th grade students at RBHS.  Most 10th grade students should be enrolled in this class. This course is very inquiry based and requires many higher level thinking skills.  Good journal keeping is essential.  Regular core standard testing question practice has also been introduced into this course.  It is recommended that this class be reserved for sophomores and advanced freshman.  There should also be at least one honors section.
Chemistry/Chemistry Honors 
Chemistry students should be in at least the 10th grade and enrolled in at least Algebra III (they should have completed geometry).  We are currently using Addison Wesley “Chemistry” 5th edition (2000).  This class is a rigorous college preparatory class and should only be taken by students who have previously done well in science and math.
Laboratory experiences and safety are stressed in this course, so classroom conduct, preparation, and clean up are important to success in this class.  Students and parents must read and sign the Laboratory Rules and Procedures Form.
Physics is recommended for students who want to study math and science at the college level.  Physics students should have completed Algebra III/Trigonometry, and be taking a 4th year of high school math.  Most students will be in their senior year.  We currently use Glencoe “Physic” (2005) as our text.  Physics uses inquiry and mathematics to describe the physical properties of the universe.  Laboratory investigations are an important part of this course.  IB Biology Through studying biology, students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other.  In all group 4 subjects there is an emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work.  The group 4 project (which all science students must undertake), mirrors the work of real scientists by encouraging collaboration between schools across the regions.

Social Studies

American Government
This one-semester course will explore issues of the founding of the United States government. Students will study social class, the Bill of Rights, the role of the media, voting and elections, and the criminal justice system. They will study and debate current issues and understands legal precedent.
IB History of the 20th Century 
This two semester course explores the main developments that encompass the main developments in 20th Century world history. This Diploma Program history provides both structure and flexibility, fostering an understanding of major historical events in a global context. It requires students to make comparisons between similar and dissimilar solutions to common human situations, whether they are political, economic or social. It invites comparisons between, but not judgments of, different cultures, political systems and national traditions
IB Theory of Knowledge 
It is a stated aim of TOK that students should become aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases, regardless of whether, ultimately, these biases are retained, revised or rejected.TOK also has an important role to play in providing coherence for the student as it transcends and links academic subject areas, thus demonstrating the ways in which they can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility
United States History 11A

This semester long course covers the time period from the origins of the United States through the Reconstruction Period. The class will explore issues facing ethnic groups residing in North America, with a particular focus on Native American struggles. Students will learn skills of critical analysis and understand the themes of revolution, rebellion, activism and skills of debate. Topical areas include early exploration, the road to revolution, the American Revolution, slavery and the abolitionist movement, the Civil War and Reconstruction.
United States History 11B
This course is the second half of a one year course.
The semester begins with themes of immigration and continues through industrialization and unionization. The class will focus on the role of the United States in the global arena. Units will include: immigration, World War One and Two, Latino and African-American Civil Rights Movement and contemporary U.S. issues.  World History One/World History Honors
This freshman class will begin with an exploration of theories about the origins of humanity. It will introduce students to the economic, political and social development of civilization, including study of Khemet (ancient Egypt), Greece, Rome, and Harappa (India.) Students will explore world geography and also become aware of current issues including environmental awareness. They will also view these regions with a lens of current issues.
World History Two

The primary purpose of this freshman class will be to continue studies of the economic, political and social characteristics of regions and countries of the world. The areas of focus will include the Middle East, South Africa, Asia and Mexico. Students will explore world geography and be introduced to current issues, including issues of war and peace.
World History Three/World History Three Honors

The primary purpose of this sophomore course is to give students an opportunity to learn about the economic, political, and social developments that created the global civilization of which they are a part. The course includes the Ancient African, Caribbean, and Polynesian cultures. There will be an extensive study of how historical events such as Ma’Afa, the Black Diaspora, the rise and fall of imperialism and colonialism impact the daily lives of students. Human rights and current day Latin America will also be a focus.

Special Education

Our Special Education courses mirror not only the standard courses required for graduation but additional specialized courses which address learning, physical and other disabilities.

Other Electives

  • Academic Success
  • Leadership
  • Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Yearbook