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Academics

Core Curriculum

Murray High provides an academically rigorous and innovative curriculum with personalized student learning environments that result in college, career, and community ready students. Murray has high standards and expectations for all students.

  • Students are challenged to learn in a collaborative environment.
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills and strategies.
  • Students leverage technologies to enhance learning in meaningful ways
  • Students are expected to demonstrate academic proficiency or excellence through projects and portfolios as well as state (SOL) and national (ACT, SAT) assessments

Mastery Learning

The Murray philosophy recognizes that time must be the variable if learning is to be a constant.  Students are encouraged to view learning as a continuum. As Standards of Learning in any subject are mastered, a student should have the opportunity to advance. Learning is said to be incomplete when a student has not demonstrated mastery of course content and requirements.  

The student and teacher work together in a variety of ways to help the student achieve mastery. Students with a high interest or ability in a particular subject will be encouraged to extend their learning through the completion of Self-Directed Learning (SDL) credits, independent projects, or alternative assignment proposals. Students who chose not to work towards mastery are violating one of their core commitments to attend Murray. This is a separate issue and will be handled as such.

Student Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment of learning in an active learning environment is multifaceted.  Participation, effort, content mastery and commitment to learning should all be considered.  Learning may be assessed through the completion of projects, written or oral quizzes, or other tools that allow the student to demonstrate mastery.  It is our goal to utilize a number of assessments to evaluate student achievement. The grading scale is:

  • A = 90-100
  • B = 80- 89
  • NMY (Not Mastered Yet) = 79 and below

A student's learning is said to be incomplete if they have not demonstrated mastery as determined by the student's teacher.  Percentage grades of 80 and above correspond to the teacher's assessment of how well the student has mastered the given material. If a student has not completed all required work satisfactorily at the end of the semester, an “NMY” or NOT Mastered Yet will be awarded.  Incompletes may be carried for two weeks after the end of a grading period.  “NMYs” may not be carried for more than one academic year. Teachers will determine the requirements for finishing incomplete work.

Note: The current A-B-NMY grading model will likely be adjusted with the implementation of IB beginning SY 2020-21; however, we will not be moving toward a more traditional A-F reporting structure. On the contrary, Murray faculty and Division staff are currently designing a standards-based grading and reporting structure that will more accurately represent true content mastery.

Program of Studies SY 2020-21

Freshman Courses

  • Freshman Seminar (ACPS requirement)
  • Contemporary Media and Art (Suggested Murray-designed exploratory course))
  • Design Thinking (Credit earned through full integration across currciculum)

English

  • English 9
  • English 10
  • English 11
  • English 12
  • IB Language and Literature

Mathematics

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra Functions, and Data Analysis (AFDA)
  • Algebra II
  • Algebra II/Trigonometry
  • Math Analysis
  • Calculus
  • IB Math: Applications and Interpretations

Social Studies

  • World History II from 1500 to Present
  • World Geography
  • AP Art History
  • Virginia and U.S. History
  • Virginia and U.S. Government
  • IB History

World Languages

  • Spanish I-IV
  • IB Spanish
  • IB Spanish Ab Initio (21-22)

Science

  • Earth Science
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Ecology
  • IB Environmental Systems and Societies
  • IB Biology

Health, Physical Education, Driver's Education

  • Physical Education I-II (.5 credit each)
  • Health Education I (.5 credit)
  • Health Education II (.5 credit)
  • Weight Lifting I-IV
  • Advanced PE/Elective (offered based on student interests and needs
  • Part I Classroom
  • Part II Behind-the-Wheel

Special Education Programs

  • Consultation/Monitor (Non-Credit)
  • Study/Organizational Skills (1 credit)

Additional Offerings and Opportunities

  • Extended Learning Period (ELP)
  • Self-Directed Learning (SDL)
  • Community-Based Learning (Internship) Program
  • Center 1: ICT Academy (Grades 10-12)
  • CATEC (Grades 11-12)
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Virtual Courses

Creative Arts & Design Electives

College Acceptances Since 2017 (Partial List)

  • University of Alabama
  • Baldwin Wallace University
  • Ball State University
  • Christopher Newport University
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • East Carolina University
  • Emerson College
  • George Mason University
  • Indiana University
  • James Madison University
  • Mary Baldwin University
  • Muhlenberg College
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Ohio University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • Roanoke College
  • San Francisco State University
  • Sweet Briar College
  • Temple University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • University of Virginia
  • West Virginia University

Virginia Standards of Learning Test (SOL) Results

Murray outperformed the Division and State overall on the 2018-19 Virginia SOL standardized tests.  Scroll through the slides below for those data compared over a three year trend.


A Unique Approach to Course Sequencing

Sample Murray Curriculum with IB Diploma

​9th Grade
10th Grade​11th Grade​​12th Grade
​US/VA History
​Government​IB History (HL)
​IB History (HL)
​English 9
​English 10
​IB English (HL)
IB English (HL)
​Spanish 1
​Spanish 2/3
​IB Spanish (SL)
IB Spanish (SL)
​Algebra 1 or Geometry
​Algebra 2
​IB Math (SL)
IB Math (SL)
​Earth Science
​Physics or Ecology
​IB Biology (HL)
​IB Biology (HL)
​Contemp Media & Art or Art 1
​Art 2
​IB Visual Arts (HL)
​IB Visual Arts (HL)
​Freshman Seminar​AP Art History or ELPELP+Theory of KnowledgeELP+Theory of Knowledge
​Health/PE​Health/PE​Econ/Personal Finance
​Elective or ELP


Note: To ensure equity of access, Murray will develop specialized summer, virtual, hybrid or other alternative/individualized opportunities for prerequisites or academic support so any student who chooses to pursue the IB program will have the option to do so, and do so successfully.  Students who are considering entering the lottery for 11th grade entry to Murray for IB should contact their counselor as soon as possible for 9/10th grade scheduling considerations. Students pursuing an IB Arts Elective other IB Visual Arts may will have Elective or ELP option in 11th grade as all others IB Arts course are SL (1-year).

Sample Murray Curriculum with IB Certificate (One or More IB courses but not full Diploma)

​9th Grade
10th Grade​11th Grade​​12th Grade
​US/VA History
​Government​World History1
​World History 2
​English 9
​English 10
​IB English 11
IB English 12
​Spanish 1
​Spanish 2
​Spanish 3
Elective
​Algebra 1 or Geometry
​Algebra 2 or Geometry
​AFDA
Trigonometry
​Earth Science
​Physics or Ecology
​Biology
​Ecology
​Contemp Media & Art or Art 1
​Art 2
​IB Visual Arts (HL)
​IB Visual Arts (HL)
​Freshman Seminar
​AP Art History or ELP
​ELP
​ELP
​Health/PE​Health/PE​Econ/Personal Finance
​Elective or ELP


Sample Murray Curriculum with no IB coursework

​9th Grade
10th Grade​11th Grade​​12th Grade
​US/VA History
​GovernmentWorld History 1
​World History 2
​English 9
​English 10
​English 11
English 12
​Spanish 1
​Spanish 2
​Spanish 3
Spanish 4 or Elective
​Algebra 1
​Algebra 2
​Geometry
Trigonometry
​Earth Science
​Physics
​Biology
​Ecology
​Contemp Media & Art
​Elective
Elective
Elective
​Freshman Seminar
​Elective or ELP
​Elective or ELP
Elective or ​ELP
​Health/PE​Health/PE​Econ/Personal Finance
​Elective or ELP



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