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LINDSEY BADGEROW (408) 347-6398 English Teacher
ELIZABETH BANDY (408) 347-6436 Math Teacher
CHRISTINE SZELONG (408) 347-6413 Science Teacher
QuIp Courses

English 1A

This course emphasizes the study of literature while integrating reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. It provides students with the opportunity to write successful, multiple-paragraph compositions and to identify advanced grammatical structure in their writing. In addition, students will periodically make formal presentations of their work to the class. Student performance will be
assessed through a variety of methodologies: teacher evaluation, self-evaluation, peer-group assessment, testing, homework, and class discussions.​

Math 1 & 2

College-prep math courses that meet graduation requirements. These are full year courses covering the California State Standards for Math 1 & 2.  The fundamental purpose of these Mathematics course is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned in in previous years. This course includes standards from the conceptual categories of Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Trig and Statistics/Probability.


A one-year college preparatory course that satisfies a one-year lab science requirement needed for high school graduation. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: cell biology, genetics, photosynthesis, respiration, ecology, evolution, physiology, and human immune response. The topics covered will be taught using a variety of laboratories, readings, activities, lectures, projects, and discussions. This course is designed to help you learn biology while gaining enthusiasm and confidence with scientific ways of thinking. This is a fast paced, rigorous course. Students are expected to study daily, complete assigned homework, participate in lab activities, and review their notes on a day-to-day basis.

Studies in Media 

This UC a-g approved course supports success in the core QuIP courses through a variety of media-related projects. Students can expect to work within a wide range of media and will be able to sample several different types of electives through various projects and field trips. Projects vary each year depending on QuIP curriculum and student interests, but students can expect to work on several projects such as: photography, videography, animation, mock trial, robotics, graphic design, crafts, drama, leadership, and forensics.


quip logo The Quicksilver Innovation Program (QuIP) is a Small Learning Community that opened in Fall 2015 for incoming freshmen to Santa Teresa. The 9th grade program will consist of four courses-English 1 or 1A, Math 1 or 2, Biology, and Studies in Media. The 10th grade program will consist of English 2 or 2A, Math 2, World History, and Chemistry. Courses for each grade level are taught by a core staff of dedicated teachers. What makes the program unique is its emphasis on project-based cross-curricular learning that empowers students to participate in real world experiences that have a direct impact on their community. 
Core Values

​The following represent the essential elements of the Quicksilver Innovation Program:

 project basedProject-Based Learning
QuIP teachers have been trained by the Buck Institute for Education in Project-Based Learning and will utilize this methodology throughout the program. Project-based learning is an intensive style of teaching and learning that engages students in hands-on experiences that prepare them for the world in which they will live and work. The eight essential elements of Project Based Learning are as follows: Significant Content, a Need to Know, a Driving Question, Student Voice and Choice, 21st Century Competencies, In-Depth Inquiry, Critique and Revision, and a Public Audience. To learn more about Project-Based Learning, please visit

cross curricularCross-Curricular Learning
In traditional high school education, students move from subject to subject with different teachers and different assignments. There is little to no planned correlation between subject areas. A major advantage of QuIP is that students will share the same team of core teachers. This enables the teachers to work together to plan cross-curricular projects that span multiple subject areas. Students will benefit both by having fewer disparate assignments and by having deeper learning experiences through cross-curricular connections. 

real worldReal-World Experiences
A major goal of QuIP is to connect students to their local and global communities. Many projects in the program will involve working with experts in a field to develop products that have real world applications. Students can expect to take frequent field trips, have regular guest speakers, and receive critiques from a public audience throughout their projects. Much of the work and processes that students experience in the program is intended to mimic the world of college and careers.

21st century21st Century Skills
Common Core, the East Side Union High School District, and many other organizations agree that an essential function of high school is to teach students 21st Century Skills, namely skills that they will likely need to use throughout their lives regardless of what the future holds. The skills adopted by the district are known as the 5 C's: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Citizenship. Students in QuIP will be taught these skills through both direct and indirect instruction, and will be explicitly evaluated on their development in these skills.

communitySmall Community Environment
In the school year QuIP will consist of 60-90 incoming 9th and 10th graders. All students in each grade level will be taught by the same core staff of teachers, so that every teacher knows every student. This smaller environment allows teachers to work together to support students, and allows students to experience the comfort and security of an environment without anonymity. QuIP will additionally support this family-like atmosphere by incorporating team building and bonding activities throughout the year.

QuIp banner

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between QuIP and Santa Teresa High School?
QuIP is a Small Learning Community within Santa Teresa's larger school. Students in QuIP are Santa Teresa High School students and are not isolated or differentiated in any way. They are just part of an academic program provided by the school. QuIP students will take 2 of their classes outside of the program with the rest of STHS and will have breaks and lunches at the same time as everyone else. QuIP students are encouraged to participate in all STHS extracurriculars and activities.

Who can join QuIP?
Freshman QuIP will be open to all incoming 9th graders to Santa Teresa High School however, the program can only accept 60 students. Incoming students will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis. If the number of students applying to the program exceeds the number of spaces, a waiting list will be created and students may be offered a place in the program later in the year if space becomes available. Additionally, QuIP freshman must take the required elective Studies in Media in addition to the core classes to participate in the program.

What kind of student is QuIP right for?
There is no one kind of student for this program, and this is well represented in our current cohort! Just about every student would benefit from better teacher support, real-world learning experiences, and meaningful projects. That said, QuIP is intended to serve students who may be successful in traditional models of education, but who would thrive with more freedom to be creative, more hands-on learning opportunities, and a teaching faculty that respects and honors their strengths. The ideal QuIP student is curious, active, works well with groups, and prefers to make new things, rather than repeat information back. Typically these students are smart, but may not perform as well in their classes as their ability indicates. QuIP is NOT intended to serve students with severe behavior or attendance issues, students who are not yet ready for 9th grade curriculum, or students who prefer to be told exactly what to do at all times. 

Can students in QuIP be a part of sports, clubs, activities, other electives etc. at Santa Teresa?
YES! QuIP students are STHS students and they are strongly encouraged to get involved in as many of Santa Teresa's amazing programs and activities as they can.

Will QuIP students be isolated from the rest of Santa Teresa?
No. QuIP is NOT a separate school or program. QuIP is on the same bell schedule and the classes are scattered throughout campus, not tucked away in a corner. There is no difference between a QuIP student and a non-QuIP student outside of the classroom. 

Can students be in both Band and QuIP?
YES! Since Santa Teresa has a block schedule, we are able to make a schedule that will work for students enrolled in Concert Band to also be enrolled in QuIP.

Will QuIP students be able to take AP courses?
Absolutely. In fact, the intensive and deeper learning within the QuIP program will likely better prepare QuIP students for AP courses than traditional 9th grade classes. (There are no 9th grade AP courses.)

Is QuIP easier or less academic than traditional classes?
Certainly not. Students may have an easier time completing projects because they are engaged with what they are learning, and they will likely have a lot more fun in the program, but, if anything, the learning is more academically intensive than traditional models because it connects across multiple subject areas and requires students to master 21st-century skills. 

What will a QuIP student's schedule look like?
Freshmen QuIP students will take English 1 or 1A, Common Core Math 1 or 2, Biology, and Studies in Media within the program. Sophomore QuIP students will take English 2 or 2A, Common Core Math 2, and Chemistry in the program.  Most students in the program will take PE and another elective (usually a World Language) with the regular population of Santa Teresa. QuIP classes are scheduled in the middle of the day to accommodate both 1st-6th and 2nd-7th schedules.

Can a student only participate in only part of QuiP?
Due to the nature of the program and scheduling constraints students can not participate in part of the program. Additionally students can not participate in QuIP and a magnet program. 

How can I sign up or get more information?
To sign up and receive more information please complete the Pathways Interest Form.
For more information please email Mr. Payne-Alex.

QuIp Back To School FAQs

How do I know if my student is in QuIp?

Because QuIP is a program and not a separate school, the words QuIP will not show up on your student's schedule. The easiest way to tell is to check on your teachers. QuIP 9 students will have Jenkins for English 1 or 1A, Bourbour for Biology, Pereira for Studies in Media, and either Barkley or Nguyen for Math 1 or 2. 

What's Studies in Media and why is that the QuIp Elective?

Studies in Media supports student success throughout high school, while preparing them with the necessary skills for college and careers. In QuIP, the Media elective will both help students with transitioning to high school, and also serve as the coordinating class for cross-curricular projects and real-world experiences. The course will focus on developing and refining the 4C's (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity), building a supportive community, and making learning meaningful and fun.  Students can expect to participate in a wide variety of activities, including learning games, guest speakers, and field trips. They will also be provided with targeted support and the freedom to explore individual interests. We are very excited to be able to offer Studies in Media, as it will be a perfect complement to the rest of QuIP!

Are there any supplies or other specific preparations I need for QuIp?

We will go over syllabi and expectations on the first days of school, but if you want to get ahead, know that all QuIP 9 students will need one binder that's at least 2-inches, with at least 4 dividers. Work for all QuIP 9 classes will go into this binder. Students are also encouraged to have a pencil/supply pouch that fits into a 3-ring binder. If families are not able to supply a binder, one will be provided.