The Academy of Business and Law
Welcome to the Academy of Business and Law
The Academy of Business and Law puts a strong emphasis on Industry, Marketing, Law, and Public Speaking. Students have an opportunity to explore the disciplines with likeminded classmates and supportive teachers.
6th Grade: Personal Finance
In the 6th grade, students in ABL will be introduced to key concepts around personal finance, focusing on the importance of budgeting. Students will discuss needs versus wants, and learn how to create a budget to track income and expenses. Class activities will allow students the opportunity to learn about allocation of funds for different categories and students will think about their future plans as they set financial goals..
Additional topics of interest include:
- Financial Institutions
- Credit and Debt Management
This work is supported through our partnership with Junior Achievement. The curriculum is aligned with JA Finance Park, Junior Achievement’s capstone program for career exploration and financial planning. The lessons lead to a field trip excursion to JA Finance Park, an onsite facility where students are mentored by volunteers from financial institutions who work with them on developing a personal budget.
7th Grade: Investments & Portfolio-building
7th grade ABL students build upon their work in Business by focusing on portfolio-building; students learn about a variety of investment options, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. These lessons are aligned to the 7th grade Next Generation math standards - for example, students work with compound interest and percent. As part of the portfolio-building curriculum, students learn about building a diversified investment portfolio while exploring the relationship between risk and return.
Their work in this class is enhanced by their engagement with the Stock Market Game. Students work in teams to create a profitable stock portfolio and compete against teams from across the country and across grade-levels. Students strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills while researching stock options and collaborating with a team. Through Junior Achievement, students are also given an opportunity to visit the Federal Reserve to learn more about its role in our economy.
8th Grade: Marketing
8th grade Business students focus on the importance of marketing in the 21st century marketplace. A new initiative in this class will be the partnership between selected 8th grade classes and our school’s ACES program; our 8th grade students will work with the ACES students on creating a marketing plan for the Kids Cafe.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in the Junior Achievement Global Challenge, where teams are given a directive to create and market a product or service. Students must develop the product/service, create a marketing plan (such as a website or app), and present their work. Last year, a team from our school placed third globally.
6th Grade: Introduction to the Legal System
In the 6th grade, students are introduced to civic values such as equality, tolerance, and justice and the importance of civic participation for the betterment of their community. Students also learn about the three branches of government and their roles and powers. The system of checks and balances is explored and discussed.
In researching and learning about local, state, and federal government, students also discuss current events through the lens of media literacy. Through presentations and written work, students develop critical thinking skills when analyzing various media sources.
7th Grade: The American Legal System
The 7th grade law program will focus on exploring the American legal system in detail. Students will learn about the United States Constitution, studying its history, the Bill of Rights, and the amendment process. Constitutional principles, such as the separation of powers and federalism will be expanded upon during class activities. In addition, students in the 7th grade will learn about the role of the attorney and the structure of courtroom proceedings. Major Supreme Court cases and decisions will be studied and discussed.
ABL students in the 7th grade also work on Project Soapbox, with selected students presenting their speeches to the academy at an assembly. Students will also continue to work on the ABL Law Day event, where they invite local politicians to talk about the importance of civics in the community and the role of local government as it applies to our school community. Last year, Senator Iwen Chu attended and participated in a Q&A session with our students.
8th Grade: Student Activism
Students in the 8th grade will work extensively with our Law teacher on both Project Soapbox and their Take Action projects. Building upon their work in 7th grade, students will engage in hands-on opportunities for civics engagement. 8th grade students will also take an active role in planning for ABL Law Day.
8th grade ABL students will also be working on their Take Action projects. Designed to engage students in researching and designing public policy meant to improve their school or their community, students will focus on local public policy issues, then identify a problem with the policy, research alternatives, create and propose their own policy solution, and design an action plan to implement their proposal.
Students in classes 606, 706, and 806 will be taking a public speaking course aimed to improve their skills in oracy and debate. These skills directly complement their coursework in both business and law electives, which often require students to verbally present and discuss their ideas. Through this class, our students will be supported as future business leaders and legal minds while they transform into articulate and empowered speakers through practice and feedback.
At the end of the year, the Public Speaking teacher would like to organize and present a showcase of student work where selected students would perform monologues, Soapbox speeches, and debates.