AP Program

Course Name | Credit Type | Description

AP English Literature | Core/Elective | Department & Administrative Approval

An AP English course in Literature and Composition should engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students should deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.

AP Calculus AB | Core/Elective | Dept. & Administrative approval

Prerequisites: College Algebra and Trigonometry

This is a college-level course in differential and integral calculus, equivalent to one or one and a half semester of university calculus. Topics include a review of functions, an introduction to limits and continuity, derivatives and their applications, integrals and their applications, anti-derivatives and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and an introduction to differential equations using slope fields. 

Course emphasis is on conceptual understanding and working with functions represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally. Graphing calculator is used extensively. The Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam is expected of all students in this course. More information can be found at http://www.collegeboard.com/ap/students/calculus/ 

As for all AP courses, students need to work at least .5-.75h daily outside the class time, and to study extensively for tests. Extra effort is required in April to adequately prepare for AP test.

AP Calculus BC | Elective | Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB and departmental approval.

This AP Calculus BC Course covers topics in single variable differential and integral calculus typically found in a first-year college Calculus I and Calculus II semester course sequence. The course prepares student to succeed on the AP Calculus BC exam and subsequent courses that draw on material from this course. Topics include: Precalculus review. Limits and continuity, Derivatives & applications, curve sketching, related rates, techniques of integration and appiclations, applications of integration, L'Hopital's rule and improper integrals, applications of integral calculus, parametric equations and polar coordinates, differential equations, sequences and series, applications of series. 

The course coverage includes the review and reinforcement of all topics taught in AP Calculus AB and detailed coverage of topics not included in AP Calculus AB. 

AP Statistics | Elective | Prerequisite: Intermediate Algebra and Departmental Approval

The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. This course draws connections between all aspects of the statistical process, including design, analysis, and conclusions. Additionally, using the vocabulary of statistics this course teaches students how to communicate statistical methods, results and interpretations. Students learn how to use graphing calculators and read computer output in an effort to enhance the development of statistical understanding. More information can be found at http://www.collegeboard.com/ap/students/statistics/ 

As for all AP courses, students need to work at least .5-.75h daily outside the class time, and to study extensively for tests. Extra effort is required in April to adequately prepare for AP test.

AP Biology | Core/Elective | Prerequisite: Biology

The AP Biology course focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. The course focuses on the following four “big ideas:” the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life; biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis; living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes; and biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. This approach will enable students to spend less time on factual recall and more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts, and will help them develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology. To foster this deeper level of learning, the breadth of content coverage in AP Biology is defined in a way that distinguishes content essential to support the enduring understandings from the many examples or applications that can overburden the course. Students who take the AP Biology course will also develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses as well as preparedness for the AP Biology test at the end of the year. The revised AP Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course and has been endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials.

AP Chemistry | Science/Elective | Prerequisite: Chemistry (Department & Administrative Approval)

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, in their first year, second year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses. Students in this course will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. 

The AP Chemistry course will provide a laboratory experience equivalent to that of a typical college course. In order to accommodate a college level lecture and lab course, a single AP Chemistry class will be two periods long. In addition to in-class time, students should expect to spend approximately 10 hours on homework each week. All students who take this course are expected to attempt the AP exam when offered near the end of the year. 

There is an emphasis on science practices with course material focused around six “Big Ideas” as prescribed by the College Board. For more information regarding the AP Chemistry course, science practices, and the six Big Ideas, please refer to the following document, published by the College Board: 


AP World Civilizations | Elective | Prerequisite: World Civilizations (Department & Administrative Approval)

AP World History is a vigorous elective course. The primary goal is to attain a high score on the AP Exam at the end of the year. In most colleges, a passing score will garner college credit. The course of study is about the interactions and growth between human civilizations since 8000 B.C. E. There are extensive reading and writing assignments throughout the year.

AP Spanish | Elective | Prerequisite: Spanish 4 (Department & Administrative Approval)

This is a college-level class and is conducted in Spanish to improve the student’s ability to comprehend the spoken language. Students taking the Advanced Placement Spanish Language course have already had several years of Spanish language study. The class curriculum is reviewed every year because of the rigorous demands of the College Board. Writing, reading, and speaking skills are emphasized. Students will learn complex skills in these areas. The AP Spanish language course draws on all of the student’s previous language learning, but emphasizes use of the second language for active communication. 

The AP Spanish Language course has the following objectives: 

  • Prepare the students to excel in the AP Exam 
  • The ability to comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish. 
  • The acquisition of vocabulary and the grasp of structure to allow easy, accurate reading of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as modern literature in Spanish. 
  • The ability to compose expository passages. 
  • The ability to express ideas orally with accuracy and fluency. 

The course seeks to develop language skills that are useful in themselves and that can be applied to various activities and disciplines rather than to the mastery of any specific subject matter.

AP Studio | Drawing, 2-D Design, 3-D Design | Prerequisite: Department & Administrative Approval

This is for students who plan to submit a portfolio in the spring to the A. P. program. Individual study and work is done to complete their concentration, with assignments given to help complete the breadth section. Group critiques are held about every 4 weeks to review work done, according to quality and quantity. Some work over the summer is expected. It may take two years to complete portfolio.

AP Art History | Core/ Elective | Prerequisite: Department Approval

Students are with the regular art history class during 1st semester; during 2nd semester they explore in greater detail the art and architecture of the world. Gardner’s History of Art is a recommended text with Barron’s A.P. Art History Study Guide. Students prepare to take the A. P. test through individual and guided study and review.