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Classes at Rio

If you’re a student who likes to learn, collaborate with others, and customize your learning experience, then Rio is a great place for you. Below you will read about all of the courses we offer, but make sure to have a look at the graduation requirements to calculate what classes you’ll need to take to earn the diploma you want. 

Computer Technology

computer apps

This is a practical, introductory computer class designed to teach students how to use the computer as a business and personal tool through the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students learn the basic concepts and integration of these programs. A variety of other computer concepts are covered such as organizing files, Internet safety, computer ethics, research skills, and information technology. This class is a prerequisite to all other computer classes at Rio.

student photographer takes a picture for yearbook

Yearbook teaches students desktop publishing in a very practical way as they participate in producing Rio’s yearbook, school calendar, and Fitch Faces student directory. The class teaches basic graphic design principles, as well as photography basics and how to use a DSLR camera.


Students learn the fundamentals and functions of coding in a web-based platform. Together as a team, they gain understanding of various computer languages with a more in depth focus on Python which is used to create many of the apps and websites we use. The class is taught remotely by a computer science professional and by the end of the semester, students are able to program their own app or site.


English I is a literature-based program emphasizing writing, speaking, critical thinking and reading. Students are guided through the reading comprehension process as they read American literary pieces and are challenged to analyze meaning. English I also teaches grammar and writing skills.

English II students are guided through a comprehensive language arts experience that prepares them for competent composition writing and public speaking. Critical thinking skills are developed through analysis of classical literature.

English III is a general requirement English class. First semester, students will learn grammar, usage, and sentence structure, along with creative writing and an introduction to speech. Upon completion of the semester, they will have learned to express themselves correctly, logically, and imaginatively, both in written form and orally. Second semester, students will be introduced to selected novels, short stories, and poems from American Literature. They will read, evaluate, and discuss these works, studying the content, historical context, and literary techniques represented.

Honors English III is a University of California-approved honors class requiring extensive reading, writing, and analysis. The class content includes an intensive, yearlong survey of American Literature, with a focus on full-length works. Students will learn to write literary analysis essays. In addition, they will also write original short stories and poetry, inspired by the professional models studied in class. Prerequisite: A’s or B’s in previous English classes or the permission of the instructor.

English IV is a general requirement English class. First semester helps prepare students to enter freshmen composition in college, with an emphasis on expository writing and vocabulary development, concluding with writing a fully documented research paper in MLA style. Second semester emphasizes literary analysis and writing about literature as students study a variety of literary works.

Honors English IV is a University of California-approved honors class requiring extensive reading, writing, and analytics. This class is a chronological study of the development of ideas beginning with classical Greece and Rome and concluding with modernism and post-modernism. Works from world literature are studied for each of the periods, supported with an overview of art history and philosophy to support the ideas developed in the literary works. At the end of the course, students have the option of taking the AP tests in literature and/or composition. Prerequisite: A’s or B’s in previous English classes or the permission of the instructor.

Fine Arts

Creative Art is an introductory course designed to expose the student to a variety of mediums: pencil, charcoal, watercolor, block printing, oil painting and ceramics. Students will develop a working knowledge of design, color, perspective, and art appreciation.



student creates ceramics on pottery wheel

Ceramics is a course designed to introduce students to three-dimensional art through the following methods of developing clay: sculpting, hand building and the wheel. Students will develop skills in the use of a wide variety of tools, glazes and clay types.




Handbell Choir is a group of 10–13 ringers performing on a five-octave set of English Handbells. Repertoire consists of a variety of sacred, classical, pops, and ethnic literature. Students must have a strong sense of rhythm, good hand/eye coordination, and the ability to read music. Members are selected by audition and are expected make a full-year commitment. This group tours extensively during the school year and participates in the annual Spring Music Tour.

Orchestra is an ensemble featuring strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Members are selected by audition and are expected to make full-year commitment the ensemble. A high level of musicianship is expected and encouraged and students are encouraged to devote personal practice time in preparation for rehearsals. Standard repertoire includes sacred works, seasonal music, classical literature, ethnic/world music, and pops selections. Orchestra tours extensively throughout the year and participates in the annual Spring Music Tour. Prerequisite: at least two years of private instrumental instruction.


Lindaires is the select touring choir of Rio Lindo Adventist Academy. A high level of musicianship is expected and required. Prior choral experience and sight-reading skill is preferred. Standard repertoire includes sacred works, seasonal music, classical choral pieces, ethnic/world music, and secular works. Membership is by audition only and students are required to make a full-year commitment to the group. Lindaires tours extensively throughout Northern California as well as across the state and country during the annual Spring Music Tour. Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in Chorale.


Chorale is open to any student interested in learning or improving their vocal skills. Membership is gained through a placement audition with the director and students are required to make a full-year commitment. Students will develop skills in sight-reading, musicianship, and choral training. Repertoire consists of a variety of sacred, seasonal, classical, pops, and ethnic literature. Chorale performs mainly on-campus and also takes part in a limited number of off-campus tours.


History & Social Science

World History students examine the origins, developments and contributions of the many rich cultures from around the globe. Students analyze the rise of independence and interdependence among the states of Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Finally, the students evaluate the role they individually play as part of the diversity found in today’s modern world.

Honors U.S. History is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and is intended to prepare students to take the AP National U.S. History Exam. It is a two-semester survey of American History from the age of exploration and discovery to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography.

U.S. History gives students an understanding of their American heritage and discover what it means to be an American – due to the diverse origins of the American population. Students will analyze the early Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas through the context in which this nation was founded. Students will concentrate on the testing of the new nation through the Civil War and the nineteenth century. Students will study the emergence of the United States in the late nineteenth century as a world power.

government class students

U.S. Government uses problem-solving skills to analyze civic roles within the theory and machinery of American government. The complexity of social issues is studied, and each student is encouraged to seek solutions to those issues in both the domestic and foreign worlds. Students are exposed to the constant negotiating and interaction between the world’s independent states and their numerous political bodies.

Economics explores each of the three major divisions in economics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics. Analysis of these areas as they relate to the law of supply and demand is required. In this modern age of computers and instant information, the students are given an opportunity to observe the complexity of a global economy. Students should apply tools learned in other subject fields to their understanding of our economic system.

Life Skills & Industrial Arts

Intro to Shop is designed to give students the opportunity to explore and learn about various industrial art forms. Students spend time learning about woodworking, automotive and basic home and car repairs. Each student is guided through the process of choosing and designing a personal project, selecting the necessary supplies, and satisfactorily completing the project.


Auto Body is a project-oriented class designed as an introduction to the field of automotive sheet metal repair and refinishing. Students are encouraged to work on their own vehicles. If students do not have their own vehicles, a wide variety of projects will be assigned. Students participate in hands-on activities to learn how the engine works. Dismantling and reassembling an engine, and basic maintenance and care are also taught.

Metals provides students with a variety of experiences including welding with gas, wire, arc, heliarc, plasma torch, and basic foundry casting with aluminum and brass. After developing basic welding skills, students actively participate in building various projects.


Geometry is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra I. The course processes solutions to problems involving basic geometric shapes, triangles, polygons, and circles.

Algebra I is designed for students who have had a solid foundation in arithmetic and Pre-Algebra. When students complete this course they will be well prepared for Algebra II or Geometry.

Algebra II is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra I with a grade of at least a C−. Students explore unknown variables, Logarithms, Trigonometry, and complex numbers.

Pre-Calculus is intended for students who have completed Algebra I, Algebra 2 and Geometry. Students are given the opportunity to prepare for college mathematics, review for college entrance exams, and broaden their understanding of mathematics. They will be well prepared to move on to Calculus after successful completion.

Calculus is designed to show the students how pre-calculus mathematics is transformed to form the “new math” of calculus. It covers differentiation and integration with applications. Designed as an AP preparatory course.

Modern Language

Spanish I is a beginning level course using the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Native customs, songs, foods and games are used to spark interest and enhance learning in the Spanish world.

Spanish II provides the framework necessary to apply basic language skills to everyday life. Students will study more advanced vocabulary and grammar and increase their understanding of Spanish cultures.


Physical Education

Freshmen PE is a sports specific PE class. Students learn the rules and strategies of several team sports, as well as basic skill development. Students participate in fitness activities and sport lessons in volleyball, basketball, flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, badminton, and softball.

Team Sports introduces sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, and flag football. The course is designed to teach the fundamentals of each sport and give each student the opportunity to use those fundamentals in actual game situations. Rules and strategy are also stressed. As with any physical education class, personal fitness is incorporated throughout.

Fitness for Life offers an option for physical education that introduces students to a variety of fitness opportunities. Through cardiovascular exercise and strength conditioning, each student has the opportunity to reach personal fitness goals that are essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Lifetime Sports is a physical education class designed for juniors and seniors who are ready for more advanced activities. The goal of this class is for each student to become aware of and participate in a variety of sporting activities that can become integral parts of his or her recreational life. Activities such as backpacking, tennis, canoeing, and golf can be enjoyed well past the “prime” years. They are also excellent ways to maintain physical fitness throughout one’s life.

Health is the study of the relationship between the mind and body.  Students explore nutrition, exercise, and how to make good choices pertaining to health.

The Rio Spartans belong to the North Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation and the North Central League. Students can gain 2.5 PE credits per sport played. Rio’s varsity sports, in order of season, include varsity flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. To join a sport, students must go through a multi-day tryout and practice 3-5 times per week after joining the team. There is also an additional uniform fee per sport.

Religious Studies

Religion I explores “beginnings” and leads students through the process of establishing a philosophy for understanding and living life. The foundation for this study is taken from the book of Genesis. Second semester is spent looking at the four Gospels and the various perspectives that the writers had in documenting Jesus’s ministry on Earth.

Religion II is a class designed to explore God’s leading of His people. This covers historical periods of Abraham and Moses and follows God’s leadership to recent history. First semester emphasizes the Old Testament and demonstrates God’s leading even if His people are not always following. Second semester emphasizes God’s leading the Reformation and its key figures, including the inception of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Religion III is a fun, interactive class that focuses on the Word of God. The first semester focuses on biblical doctrines and what the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes. The second semester focuses on the prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation and the Book of Romans. In addition to these subjects, students will discuss current global issues, and how they affect Christians, as well as what it really means to be a true Christian. Throughout the year the students will be challenged to state what they believe and be able to defend it using Scripture. Class learning will involve group discussions, lectures, creative projects, reading and reports.

Religion IV is divided into three main sections: Belief and Philosophy of God in our lives, Marriage and Family, and Career Basics. During the first section students study the existence and nature of God, the Great Controversy, the Cross and World Religions. During the second section students study about the role God plays in our personal relationships with others. Students are exposed to the realities of courtship, engagement, marriage, budgeting, pregnancy, and childcare. During the third section students will be engaged in “job shadowing” projects to explore real life career situations.


Physical science serves as an introductory survey of Chemistry and Physics. Students study composition of matter, the atomic model theory, electrons and chemical bonding. They take part in activities where basic theories of physics can be tested and demonstrated with a core theme of order and design being evident in the physical world. Students are involved in activities (such as basic darkroom chemistry of photography), which help demonstrate the connection between basic concepts of Physical Science and daily life. Field trips are taken to the Exploratorium in San Francisco where students can experience hands-on activities in the Physical Sciences. Students also visit the San Francisco Bay Model in Sausalito to learn how models may be used in research and education.

Biology introduces students to the world of microscopic life. They will study cell structure and energy relationships within living systems. Importance is placed on analyzing evidence and characteristics that indicate order and design. Students will study the interrelationships of living and nonliving factors and compare them with the Christian concept of stewardship and environmental issues. Marine biology and biotic communities are introduced during several days of intense school on the Northern California coast.

Chemistry is an introductory course that stresses the principles of structure, composition, and interaction of matter. Much of this course is based on the atomic model theory and the quantum theory. Electron configuration and the periodic table are used to build a foundation for studying chemical reactions and compound formations. The Mole theory is central to the development of skills and laboratory exercises that deal with the quantitative aspects of chemical reactions. Students are taken on outings to observe how chemistry is applied in the industrial community. They visit oil refineries and other production facilities where concepts of chemistry are used on a daily basis. Prerequisite: completion of or concurrent enrollment in Algebra II.

Physics class students learn to solve problems in the areas of acceleration, velocity, parallel and concurrent forces, conservation of energy and momentum, phases of matter, heat, waves, sound, light, and electricity. This class will provide a good foundation in science and prepare students for college-level classes. Prerequisite: completion of Algebra II.

Anatomy & Physiology is an upper-division course designed to give students an in-depth view of how our body parts fit and work together. The main emphasis of the class is to learn the names and functions of the structures that form the human body. Students learn medical terminology for the organ systems and for diseases and other external factors that may affect them. Principles of preventative health are stressed. Models and lab specimens are used to help students visualize what they are studying. Study trips are taken to various medical and health care facilities where students can observe daily application of concepts studied in class. Prerequisite: B− or higher in Biology and completion of Algebra I.

We’re so excited you’d like to learn more about Rio. Feel free to click below to get in touch, download our guides, and apply today. We hope to have you here on our campus soon.