Academics

There is a lot of information about our JPII's academics. For ease of access, our information in full is located in our Curriculum Guide. However, general information concerning our academics at JPII can be found below. 

Policies

The course of studies at JPII is designed to prepare students to enter colleges or universities. Within this college preparatory framework, we seek to direct students into courses that will consistently challenge their capacity and potential. Every student at JPII will be given ample opportunity to meet and explore challenges in the learning process.

To succeed academically at JPII requires rigorous effort by students both in class and out of class. Homework, like practicing a sport, is an important part of learning. Unless otherwise instructed, students must do their own work.

Download the Student and Parent Handbook  or the Curriculum Guide and Course Descriptions for more details.

Image result for unicheckJPII uses Unicheck as the School's plagiarism checker. To ensure all work that is reported is original, and not plagiarized. 

Graduation Requirements  

The courses required for graduation from JPII exceeds the entry requirements of Washington State public colleges and universities and most private universities.  There are 7 total credits possible each year and 28 over a four year high school career.  26 credits plus successful completion of the assigned community/advisory class requirements are required for graduation.  Academic rigor of coursework may be considered in graduation honors such as valedictorian and salutatorian.

Departments

THE COMMUNITY PERIOD

Philosophy: The purpose of the Pope John Paul II High School Community Period, while integrating the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, is to assist students to reach the goals of a JPII graduate, prepared to engage the world as leaders who are religious and spiritually alive, open to growth, loving, academically and intellectually strong, socially aware and committed to doing justice. JPII educates students to pursue truth, act virtuously and build community. The community formed within each community period will become a small family of learners focused on helping each other, the greater school community, and the larger South Sound community. The community service requirements will be an integral piece of this four year course. The community period teacher for each student is considered their personal advisor and will assist the student in school communication and scheduling.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass four years of Community period to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School. The specific graduation requirements completed in this class are the community service hours and the formalization of a senior presentation. This is a pass/fail class and must be passed every semester to meet graduation requirements.

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of English education in the high school, while integrating the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, is to expose students to the beautiful art of expression, through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students use literature in its many forms; short story, poetry, novel, essay, drama, and nonfiction to examine their perceptions of the present, the past, their personal values, and their potential and creativity. Students will read and respond to the literature studied in class both affectively and evaluatively, use critical skills in reading unfamiliar texts in order to develop an appreciation of the art of expression on many levels. Department classes also emphasize grammar and compositional skills required for effective communication in any venue.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass four years of English to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School. Students with a strong aptitude or interest in English are also encouraged to take English electives as they become available based upon enrollment. In order to meet the needs of all students, JPII offers many pathways for students to achieve success in English. While following a specific course pathway is the standard, movement is possible based upon student needs and teacher recommendation and/or approval. Students struggling with English may be required to attend extra assistance programs either as an elective or on a regular basis before or after school with the consent of the teacher.


FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of fine arts education in the high school, while integrating the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, is to inform and challenge students’ perceptions of artistic awareness both personally and culturally, and to give students the opportunity to fully participate in the creation of visual and/or auditory forms of art. Fine and performing arts are an elegant vehicle for communication that affects the senses of the creator and the audience. It can challenge or enhance the individual’s or society’s thoughts. The assumption that students have to have special talents to participate in fine or performing arts is naive. Talent is certainly welcome and nurtured to its full potential, but all students are encouraged to experience the creative utilization of their spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical selves regardless of a perception of “talent”.

Requirements and Pathways: All students must earn one credit from the fine and performing arts department (although some fine arts credits are available in the Technology Unlimited department.) Students with high interest or aptitude for these creative expressions are encouraged to take additional elective courses. In particular, both the student and the music program will benefit from a full four year commitment to excel in vocal or instrumental music, preparing the student for participation in college level performance classes in the future.

MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of mathematics education in the high school, while integrating the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, is to challenge students and provide them with strategies to identify problems, organize information, devise a plan, solve the problem, and analyze the solution to communicate results. Mathematical reasoning and analysis and the use of equations to model real-life relationships will be presented concurrent with a focus on fundamental number sense, algebraic sense and geometric sense. These are the foundations of strong mathematical understanding. Mathematicsis a thing of beauty, exciting in its logic, elegance and coherence. It builds the analytic spirit on which intelligent and precise thinking depend. The assumption that students have to have special talents to be successful in mathematics has reigned for too long. Everyone needs to have broad, deep and useful knowledge of mathematics in order to stay ahead of our global economic competitors. Students will be provided with the skills and understanding needed to demystify mathematics.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass four years of mathematics to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School. Advanced Algebra must be completed as this is a four-year college admission requirement. In order to meet the needs of all students, PJP2HS offers many pathways for students to achieve success in understanding mathematics. While following a specific course pathway is the standard, movement is possible based upon student needs and teacher recommendation and/or approval. Students struggling with mathematics may be required to attend extra assistance programs either as an elective or on a regular basis before or after school with the consent of the teacher. Each course has the prerequisite of a C or higher completion of the previous class. Transfer students must meet with the department chair prior to placement to insure appropriate placement for the success of the student. Graphing calculators are required for all courses. All classes will have assessments with and without calculator technology.

MODERN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of modern language education in the high school, while integrating the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, is to provide students with a combination of grammatical and communicative skills with a cultural background in the language of choice. Listening, speaking, reading and writing within the language are the foundation and key components of learning. Throughout their course of study, students will develop a heightened awareness and appreciation of cultural issues pertaining to all countries who utilize the language being studied.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass three years of foreign language to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School. Occasionally students come to high school with a previous background in a foreign language. Students who would like to start at a level beyond first year must take a challenge test to determine placement. 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND WELLNESS DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of physical and wellness education classes at Pope John Paul II High School are to provide strategies that promote wellness, and make fitness a lifetime priority while challenging students in a collaborative environment. Through integration of the above mentioned mission and the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, students are instilled with the attitudes and beliefs that encourage a healthy way of living in the future. Furthermore, we want to give students the knowledge, experience, and desire essential to carry out a life of fitness and wellness. Performance and concern for health and physical maturity for each individual are emphasized. The measure of personal performance is not what an individual can do in comparison to others, but what he or she can do in comparison to his or her own best self. It is in this framework that the physical education and wellness department join enthusiastically in the mission of helping develop the God-given potential in every student.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass two semesters of physical education and one semester of health to successfully complete the graduation requirements of PJPII High School.


THEOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: Pope John Paul II High School exists in order to provide an excellence in education that is more than academic. Religious education at JPII begins with the awareness that all members of the school community are religious educators, with parents as the primary educators. Within this community of faith, and following the wisdom of our namesake, Pope John Paul II, the religious education department challenges the student to more consciously reflect on their lives and the world in light of Catholic Christianity so that they may ultimately be more integrated (whole), more discerning, and more able to choose to be a person for others. Students will experience God personally and communally whether they are Catholic or from a different faith tradition. They will examine their religious understandings and beliefs in developing their individual relationship with God and in validating their faith and their commitment to community. Class interaction, reading, and participation in discussions, prayer, and personal reflection are essential to all courses. Focus in the religion department, as stated in the grad at grad language, is to ensure that students will:

  • Understand that each individual is created and unconditionally loved by God and is therefore worthy of their love and others.
  • Have a basic knowledge of Christianity and of the major doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church and understand Catholic Christianity through the study of and reflection on Catholic Teachings, Tradition, and Scripture.
  • Have developed an understanding of the Church’s role in Christ’s redeeming mission and seek to participate actively and fully in the Church’s life and mission of evangelization.
  • Have developed a relationship with Christ through Eucharist, prayer, reflection, retreats and service.
  • By the grace received through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and shared experiences, recognize the fundamental importance of reconciliation with friends, family, Church and God.
  • Begin through service and an understanding of the Church’s teaching on social justice to comprehend that faith in Jesus as Christ obligates one to live a life as a person for others.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass four years of theology to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School.

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of the Science Department is to connect Pope John Paul II High School’s goals of academic excellence, and the values and teachings of the Catholic Church to our understanding and comprehension of science in today’s world. For this reason, science courses are designed to provide students with an academic opportunity that reflects high standards of performance in the study of various fields of science, use of the scientific method (inquiry) and critical thinking with an appreciation of God’s divine gift of creation of the universe. The focus of the Science Department is to provide students with a scientist’s approach to science. Consequently, students will understand how an experiment is prepared, conducted and presented at a scientific meeting at the conclusion of each course. The curriculum provides an understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge in relationship to math skills, scientific writing and computer technology as tools to support scientific inquiry and understanding. The department offers numerous courses, both full year and semester.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass three years of science to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School. In order to meet the needs of all students, PJP2HS offers three pathways for students to achieve success in understanding science. While following a specific course pathway is the standard, movement is possible based upon student needs and teacher recommendation and/or approval. Students struggling with science may be required to attend extra assistance programs either as an elective or on a regular basis before or after school with the consent of the teacher. Each course has the prerequisite of a C- or higher completion of the previous class. Graphing calculators are not required for all courses, but highly recommended. Lab skills, inductive reasoning and quantitative precision will be emphasized in accompanying lab investigations. Students are expected to maintain a lecture and laboratory notebook (journaling) in all Science courses using the OneNote computer program. Biology, Chemistry and Physics are offered in college prep and honors sections.


SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Philosophy: The mission of the Social Studies Department is to connect Pope John Paul II High School’s goals of academic excellence, and the values and teachings of the Catholic Church to our understanding and comprehension of human history and human cultures both past and present. For this reason, Social Studies courses are designed to provide students with an academic opportunity that reflects high standards of performance in the study of fields of Washington State History, World and US History, AP Government, and Civics. The focus of the Social Studies Department is to provide students with an appreciation of the rich diversity in human history and to recognize the influence of past cultures on the present. Consequently, students will understand the basic chronology of human history, and students will develop analytical skills necessary to make critical insights into events and individuals that shaped historical events at the conclusion of each course. The curriculum provides an opportunity for understanding the political, social, economic, cultural, geographic and religious developments in human history. Students will develop critical and analytical skills from textbook readings, writing essays and research papers, and make presentations using Microsoft Office.

Requirements and Pathways: Students must pass three years of Social Studies to successfully complete the graduation requirements of Pope John Paul II High School, and many four-year college admission requirements. In order to meet the needs of all students, JPII HS offers three pathways for students to achieve success in Social Studies. While following a specific course pathway is the standard, movement is possible based upon student needs and teacher recommendation and/or approval. Students struggling with Social Studies may be required to attend extra assistance programs either as an elective or on a regular basis before or after school with the consent of the teacher. Each course has the prerequisite of a C- or higher completion of the previous class.