Fall Courses

Virtual Saints offers competitively priced, for-credit virtual classes during the school year to our current Saints community and to students from other schools in grades 9-12. This program will serve academically motivated students who wish to complete a required course to create more room in their regular schedule, or take a high-interest elective course that is typically not offered during the school year. Participating in this program will create more opportunities for students to take a wide array of specialized classes later in their high school years.

*The deadline to register for fall Virtual Saints classes is August 20, 2021.

List of 4 items.

  • Cinematic Francophone Identity

    Instructor: Wesley Saylor
    Materials: All materials will be provided by the teacher
    Grade Levels: 11th-12th
    Synchronous Meeting Time: Mondays from 7:00-9:00pm CST
    Tuition: $475
    This course focuses on using film to discuss what it means to be Francophone. We will first learn how to look at film by analyzing film techniques and discuss what a typical American film means. Then we will use that to explore a film of a different Francophone country: France, Canada, Martinique, Algeria, & Indochina (Historical piece). Each country includes a series of articles, youtube videos, & background research before watching the film. At the end of the course, you will be responsible for a final project that allows you to go and watch a film on your own, applying everything we have learned to discuss “Francophonia” in that chosen film. The instructor has an approved list available - other options will be considered.
  • Short Story as Memoir: Critique and Editing

    Instructor: Jen Whitt
    Grade Levels: 9th – 12th
    Materials: Selected stories will be emailed at the beginning of each week. You will need a journal/paper if you think better using a pen and paper. If not, we will be using shared Google Docs for all peer reviews.
    Participants in the class would learn to think like writers, to better understand the techniques a writer uses and the decisions a writer must make. 

    By focusing on the short story format, the class would examine how the construct is the perfect vehicle to build a personal narrative. Through a close study of a collection of diverse short stories, students will learn how to turn the mundane and ordinary from their life into memoir. 

    Work for the class includes a Harkness table short story analysis that ties directly to daily writing prompts. In addition to the nightly readings, students will be expected to generate pieces for critique as each class will contain a creative writing workshop either in small groups or one-on-one. The final week will primarily  consist of revisions and edits with the goal of producing an original short story memoir that could then be published. Depending on schedules and the timing of the class, it is possible to also have an author come as a guest speaker to offer tips and feedback. 

    Short stories to be examined include works by: Irving, Hemingway, Chopin, Dubus, Kinkaid, Plath, Walker, Bellow, O’Brien
  • War and Peace: Global Conflicts and Efforts to End Violence

    Instructor: Emily Philpott
    Grade Levels: 9th-12th
    Tuition: $475
    This course focuses on current global conflicts and the work of peacebuilders who are trying to reduce violence and build peaceful pathways forward. Students will gain a better understanding of current world issues and the important international peacebuilding work being done in the field through case studies, conversations with experts, and access to the latest scholarship and resources. Students will be challenged to think critically about the world around them and to make connections between global events and their own lives. They will learn that while conflict is a part of human interaction, it can be managed without violence. Hopefully, students will leave this course with the understanding that there exist many different ways to build peace and that it is possible for anyone to develop the skills to become a peacebuilder in the world.
    The course is designed around a weekly topic or theme and they include conflict and human nature, negotiation and mediation, current global conflicts, media and the arts for peace, gender inclusivity and peacebuilding, examples of individuals and institutions working for peace, and more. Students will have one virtual class meeting each week and they can complete the rest of the work on their own time. Students can expect to spend approximately 5 hours a week on this course, including the class meeting, and technology is leveraged to allow students to communicate and collaborate asynchronously.
  • Timeless Jane Austen

    Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Brown
    Grade Levels: 12th
    Tuition: $475
    Jane Austen, who died 204 years ago this July, remains one of the most popular authors in the world. She only wrote six complete novels, but all continue to be read  and studied widely. In this class we will begin with a biography of Austen in order to examine her life and career, and then read two of her novels: Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. In addition, students also will read an “Austen-inspired” work, literary criticism, and view clips from modern film adaptations of the two novels in order to attempt to understand her enduring popularity.

Global Online Academy

St. Andrew's is the only school in Mississippi to have been granted membership in Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of leading independent schools from around the world that provides online courses which go beyond the confines of the traditional school curriculum, and we are excited to now be able to provide this experience to students outside of St. Andrew's through Virtual Saints' curriculum. Interested students can view the full course offerings here and browse popular courses below.

*The the cost of semester GOA courses is $850. The deadline to apply for Fall GOA classes is July 30, 2021, and the deadline for spring enrollment is December 20, 2021.

List of 6 items.

  • Enhancing Critical Thinking in a Medical Environment

    Students explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences in this high school summer medical program include studying current issues in health and medicine, interviewing a patient, and creating a new mystery case.
  • Entrepreneurship in a Global Context

    How does an entrepreneur think? What skills must entrepreneurs possess to remain competitive and relevant? What are some of the strategies that entrepreneurs apply to solve problems? In this experiential course, students develop an understanding of entrepreneurship in today’s global market; employ innovation, design, and creative solutions for building a viable business model; and learn to develop, refine, and pitch a new startup. Units of study include Business Model Canvas, Customer Development vs. Design Thinking, Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Iterations & Pivots, Brand Strategy & Channels, and Funding Sources. Students use the Business Model Canvas as a roadmap to building and developing their own team startup, a process that requires hypothesis testing, customer research conducted in hometown markets, product design, product iterations, and entrepreneur interviews. An online startup pitch by the student team to an entrepreneurial advisory committee is the culminating assessment. Additional student work includes research, journaling, interviews, peer collaboration, and a case study involving real-world consulting work for a current business.
  • Medical Problem Solving

    In this medical program for high school students, participants collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine, and enhance their critical thinking skills through:
    • Examining data
    • Drawing conclusions
    • Making diagnoses
    • Treating patients
  • Positive Psychology

    What is a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling life? The focus of psychology has long been the study of human suffering, diagnosis, and pathology, but in recent years, however, positive psychologists have explored what’s missing from the mental health equation, taking up research on topics such as love, creativity, humor, and mindfulness. In this course, we will dive into what positive psychology research tells us about the formula for a meaningful life, the ingredients of fulfilling relationships, and changes that occur in the brain when inspired by music, visual art, physical activity, and more. We will also seek out and lean on knowledge from positive psychology research and experts, such as Martin Seligman’s well being theory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow, and Angela Lee Duckworth’s concept of grit. In exploring such theories and concepts, students will imagine and create real-world measurements using themselves and willing peers and family members as research subjects. As part of the learning studio format of the course, students will also imagine, research, design, and create projects that they will share with a larger community. Throughout the development of these projects, students will collaborate with each other and seek ways to make their work experiential and hands-on. Students will leave the class with not only some answers to the question of what makes life meaningful, happy, and fulfilling, but also the inspiration to continue responding to this question for many years to come.
  • Prisons and the Criminal Law

    How do societies balance individual freedoms with security? How do definitions of “crime” and “punishment” shift across jurisdictions and time periods? How do recent protests and discussions about racial biases and systemic racism inform our understanding of criminal law and its applications? Although the United States has been frequently cited as having the highest “mass incarceration” rate, other countries in the world have also been criticized for injustices in their criminal justice systems. In this course, students become familiar with the legal rules and institutions that determine who goes to prison and for how long. Along the way, students gain a concrete, practical understanding of legal systems while grappling with mass incarceration as a legal, ethical, and practical issue. To understand current views on crime and criminal punishments and to examine proposed systemic reforms, we immerse ourselves in the different forms of rhetoric and media that brought the U.S. and other nations to our present. We read and analyze jury arguments, courtroom motions, news op-eds, judicial decisions, recent cases, and other forms of public persuasion that shape the outcomes of criminal defendants. The final project requires students to advocate for a major reform to a criminal justice system in a city, state, or country. Having developed research skills, students apply them to build an effective argument that includes a real-world solution.
  • Problem Solving with Engineering and Design

    This course investigates various topics in science, technology, computer programming , engineering, and mathematics using a series of projects and problems that are both meaningful and relevant to the students' lives. Students will develop engineering skills, including design principles, modeling, and presentations, using a variety of computer hardware and software applications to complete assignments and projects. This is a course that focuses on practical applications of science and mathematics to solve real-world issues. Prototyping and project based learning are therefore essential components of the course. Upon completing this course, students will have an understanding of the application of science and mathematics in engineering and will be able to make informed decisions concerning real-world problems. Furthermore, students will have worked on a design team to develop a product or system. Throughout the program, students step into the varied roles engineers play in our society, solve problems in their homes and communities, discover new career paths and possibilities, and develop engineering knowledge and skills. There are no particular math or science prerequisites for this course, just an interest in using STEM to solve problems and a desire to learn!

Malone Schools Online Network

St. Andrew’s academics evolve and expand to provide our students the very best opportunities to explore their curiosity. Thanks to a partnership with the prestigious Malone Schools Online Network, St. Andrew’s students are able to access challenging and specialized classes taught by instructors at independent schools around the country. We are excited to be able to offer our Virtual Saints students access to these unique courses. Interested students can view the full course offerings here and browse popular courses below.

*The cost of a semester Malone course is $850, and the deadline to apply for Malone fall/spring classes is April 28, 2021.

List of 5 items.

  • Bob Dylan’s America

    Arguably the most influential, important, and closely scrutinized American artist of the past six decades, Bob Dylan is as difficult to define as the nation that produced him. Connecting his work to contemporary theories of cultural memory, this course looks at the ways in which Dylan, both in his music and his cultivation of various public personae, maps the contours of the national imagination and explores the prevailing attitudes of class, race, gender, and place in American culture. 

    Proceeding chronologically and using Dylan’s masterworks and subsequent official “bootleg” recordings as touchstones, students will consider a variety of texts, including poetry, fiction, and cultural history; biography and autobiography; and popular and documentary film, including Greil Marcus’ The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (2001), Murray Lerner’s Festival (1967), D. A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back (1967), and Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home (2005) and Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story (2015). Access to a music streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music is required; access to video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime is strongly recommended.
  • Creative Writing in the Digital Age

    Storytelling is as important today as it was hundreds of years ago. What has changed, in many cases, is the media through which writers tell their stories. Today’s literary artists take advantage of digital tools to spread their messages and tell their stories in new ways that combine narrative and contemporary form. Students will begin with the traditional forms of poetry, short prose, and literary non-fiction and then go beyond those forms to explore how contemporary tools can enhance expression. We will study master writers in each of the traditional forms and be inspired by their examples. Then, we will look at how communication in the 21st century has provided us with even more ways to share our thoughts and to be creative. Possible explorations include hyperlinked narratives, social media as inspiration and tool, animated text, audio, videos, and all manner of non-linear narrative. The class will ask an essential question: what happens when communication becomes wider and has an instant audience? The class routine, based around writing, reading, and discussion, will include weekly critiques of student work and required writing, including in some non-traditional, contemporary formats.
  • Global Voices of Oppression: Literature for Social Justice

    This semester seminar is designed as a survey of literature that focuses on expressions of oppression. From protest to processing, persecuted populations have created many mechanisms to give voice to their suffering. Books, memoirs, songs, short stories, and documentaries will all be used to discover the power of personal experience. Additionally, the class will explore the ways in which oppressed voices have been instruments in forcing positive social change throughout the 20th century.
  • Think Global, Debate Local

    Water justice. Gentrification. Housing. Education. Race Relations. Public Safety. Environmental Issues. Is it wrong to shut off water service to households that are delinquent on their water bills? Is access to affordable housing a human right? Should environmental issues take priority over the needs of businesses? Do we have an obligation to help asylum seekers? People all around the world struggle with these and other challenges. In Think Global, Debate Local, we use issues in our own neighborhoods to take deep dives into the facts and philosophies underlying the challenges, values, and perspectives that shape our world on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 

    The overarching goal of this course is for students to teach each other about important topics in their own neighborhoods, towns, states, and regions, and to use debate as a tool to examine the perspectives surrounding those topics. Other goals include achieving a better understanding of complex issues by taking on and arguing for the viewpoints of various stakeholders; discovering ways to shift from an adversarial to a cooperative relationship when disagreements arise; and understanding the ways different values can be used as filters through which a given issue can be viewed. Please note that this course is geared toward beginning debaters with an emphasis on basic argumentation, not competition, although more experienced debaters are welcome.
  • Watching the Watchmen: The Role of Detective Narratives in a Carceral Culture

    Writing about the hard-boiled detective novel he helped to invent, Raymond Chandler wrote, “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean...” This course investigates the cynicism and grittiness of detectives in relation to national incarceration rates. Is this relationship coincidental, or does our national fixation with hero detectives, warrior cops, and batmen suggest something more complex at work? Students in this class will examine portrayals of crime and crime fighting in fiction and film as a way of interrogating our national culture’s understanding of itself in relation to crime and policing.

South Campus | PK-3 to Grade 4

4120 Old Canton Road | Jackson, Mississippi 39216
Tel 601.987.9300 | Fax 601.987.9324

North Campus | Grades 5 to 12

370 Old Agency Road | Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157
Tel 601.853.6000 | Fax 601.853.6001