Advanced Placement (AP)
AP Course Selections provide information to help students select appropriate courses for Advanced Placement, these are typically geared to college preparatory work.
AP American Government
The AP United States Government course is designed to be comparable to a college introductory U.S. Government course. Students develop an analytical perspective on the federal, state, and local governments and politics, including a study of general concepts used to interpret government and politics, as well as the analysis of specific examples, i.e., the United States and Illinois Constitutions. Upon completion of this course, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement American Government exam to earn possible college credit.
AP Art History
Students will explore the nature of art, its uses and meanings, art making, and responses to art. Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures from prehistory to the present, the course fosters in-depth and holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students learn and apply skills of visual, contextual, and comparative analysis to engage with a variety of art forms, constructing understanding of individual works and interconnections of art-making processes and products throughout history. Upon completion of the class, students are encouraged to take the AP exam for possible college credit.
The Advanced Placement Biology course will cover the set curriculum as described by the College Board. Students study molecules and cells, heredity, evolution, organisms, and populations. This course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. This course will meet every day terms 1 and 2 and every other day terms 3 and 4. This course is designed for the mature and serious science student who has successfully completed Biology and Chemistry. Successful completion of this course will qualify a student to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May for possible credit and/or adequately prepare a student for further college studies. For a non-science major, this may qualify as your only required science course in college.
AP Calculus AB
Advanced Placement Calculus covers the College Board requirements in preparation for the Advanced Placement Calculus Exam. Topics are typical to those offered in a first semester college course. Pre-calculus mathematics is reinforced. Limit theory, derivatives, anti-derivatives, and integration are studied in relation to their applications in science and mathematics. Broad concepts are emphasized using multiple representations. A graphing calculator is required for this class. Upon completion of the class, students have the opportunity to take the AP Exam for possible college credit.
AP Calculus BC
Calculus BC is a full-year course in the calculus of functions of a single variable. It includes all topics covered in Calculus AB plus additional topics. Both courses represent college-level mathematics for which most colleges grant advanced placement and credit. The content of Calculus BC is designed to qualify the student for placement and credit in a course that is one course beyond that granted for Calculus AB. Upon completion of the class, students are encouraged to take the AP Exam for possible college credit.
AP Capstone: Seminar
The AP Capstone Program is a 2 year sequence of courses that is designed to equip students “with the skills to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence based arguments.” AP Seminar is the first year course and AP Research is the second year course. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate signifying their attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills.
Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.
The Advanced Placement Chemistry course will cover the set curriculum as described by the College Board. Students study matter, bonding, acid-base reactions, red-ox reactions, and electrochemistry. This course will meet every day terms 1 and 2 and every other day terms 3 and 4. This course is designed for the mature and serious science student who has successfully completed Chemistry. Successful completion of this course will qualify a student to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May for possible credit and/or adequately prepare a student for further college studies. For a non-science major, this may qualify as your only required science course in college. For engineers, this course can take the place of ALL college chemistry.
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science covers the College Board requirements in preparation for the Advanced Placement Computer Science A Exam. Topics are typical to those offered in a first semester college course. The topics include designing and implementing solutions to problems by writing programs, using and implementing commonly used algorithms and data structures, coding fluently in an object oriented paradigm and utilize the standard AP Java subset, and to read and understand the AP Computer Science case study. Upon completion of the class, students are encouraged to take the AP Exam for possible college credit.
AP English Language & Composition
This course is equivalent to the Freshman English 101 rhetoric and writing class required by most universities. The goal of this class is to help students develop their skills in the reading and writing of diverse types of texts for a variety of academic purposes. Students read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of fiction and nonfiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of how authors use the English language to create unique literature and develop individual styles. Course readings will focus primarily on selections from American Literature with brief forays into British and World literature. In addition, the course intends to foster the student’s development as a successful writer of nonfiction prose.
AP English Literature & COMPOSITION
This is an AP course in literature with an emphasis on British Literature. Students will read three novels over the summer and several novels, plays, and poetry during the semester. Discussions and written responses to these works are stressed. Consistent improvements in sentence structure, word choice, and vocabulary are expected. Weekly AP tests are given to prepare students for the AP exam. Application of the techniques of study and analysis are a significant part of becoming cognizant of the ability level required for students to be successful. To prepare for the AP literature test, we will cover a number of works. Over the summer you will be required to read and annotate several novels.
AP Environmental Science
The Advanced Placement Environmental Science course will cover the set curriculum as described by the College Board. Students study scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. Students will identify and analyze environmental problems – both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems and to examine alternate solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course will meet every day terms 1 and 2 and every other day terms 3 and 4. This course is designed for the mature and serious science student who has successfully completed Biology and Chemistry. Successful completion of this course will qualify a student to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May for possible credit and/or adequately prepare a student for further college studies. For a non-science major, this may qualify as your only required science course in college.
AP History Course
Objectives - Students will:
- Develop an appreciation for the study of history.
- Demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology.
- Use historical data to support an argument or position.
- Interpret and apply data from original documents, cartoons, graphs, letters, etc.
- Use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, compare and contrast.
- Collaborate with others to produce products and solve problems.
- Develop a better understanding of present-day United States.
- Prepare for the Advanced Placement Exam.
AP Human Geography
The primary goal of this social studies course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They will learn about methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. The advantages of the course are based on the National Geography Standards. Upon completion of this course, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Human Geography exam to earn possible college credit.
AP Macro Economics
The primary goal of this social studies course is to introduce students to the driving forces behind financial decision making at both the government and global level. Students will analyze graphs, calculate shifts and stressors, interpret global policy and financial movements and predict future outcomes based on current evidence. This class can be taken instead of the one-semester Global Economics class. Upon completion of this course, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Macro Economics exam to earn possible college credit.
AP Music Theory
The course will examine the fundamentals of music and musical structure through many different techniques including written analysis, listening, composing, ear training, singing, and playing. The course will also introduce students to music technology through the use of computer software, recording equipment, and sound reproduction equipment. Students will be prepared to take the AP Music Theory Exam at the end of the course.
AP Physics 1
This Is a first year college physics course. The Advanced Placement Physics course will cover the set curriculum of an algebra-based physics as described by the College Board. Students study mechanics, electricity, waves, fluids and thermodynamics. Upon completion of the class, students are encouraged to take the AP Exam for possible college credit. This course can be taken without prior Physics experience.
AP Physics 2
This is an algebra-based, introductory college level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through Inquiry based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory, PV diagrams and probability, electrostatics, electrical circuits and capacitors, magnetic fields, among others.
AP Physics C
AP Physics C is equivalent to a two semester, calculus based, college level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. Mechanics Is covered In Semester 1, while Semester 2 focuses on electricity and magnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus are used throughout the course, and students should have taken or be concurrently enrolled in calculus.
This course will introduce students to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of individuals and groups. Students will become familiar with the principles and phenomena associated with major subfields of psychology. Students will also learn how scientific methodology is utilized in applied psychology and will learn to hone critical thinking skills. The primary goal of this course is for all students to attain an understanding of the principles of psychology equivalent to that obtained in a college-level introductory psychology course, and to develop a genuine enthusiasm for and mastery of at least one of the subfields of psychology. Additionally, it should provide students with the necessary tools to take the A.P. Psychology exam.
AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish Language is intended for students who wish to develop their proficiency in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students who enroll should already have a basic knowledge of the language and culture of Spanish-speaking peoples and should have attained a reasonable proficiency in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing.
AP Spanish Literature
AP Spanish Literature and Culture is the second Spanish course in the AP catalog. The class uses a thematic approach to teach students about the literature of Peninsular Spanish, Latin America, and the Hispanic communities of the United States. Students utilize critical reading, analytical writing, and speaking skills to examine literature and its context within time and place. This class will expose students to a rigorous course and prepare them to take the AP Spanish Literature and Culture Test.
AP Studio Art
During this rigorous year long class, students will work toward the completion of a twenty four piece portfolio. Each portfolio will focus on three equally valued components: quality, concentration and breadth. Utilizing each students declared focus in 2D design, 3D design, or drawing, the class will seek to encourage the creative and systematic investigation of issues both formal and conceptual, while continuing to develop technical skills. Additionally, the goal of the AP studio art class is to encourage students to become independent thinkers who can contribute both critically and inventively to their culture through the process of creating art. Mandatory summer assignments will be integral to each student’s success.
AP U.S. Government
This course explores the principles, philosophies, practices, and institutions that comprise the United States system of government. Lessons explore the founding of the United States, the motivation and goals of political documents (such as the Bill of Rights and Constitution), and historical debates and issues that have had substantial effects on U.S. politics. This course makes extensive use of historical examples to explore these topics. Readings in primary sources, interpretive articles, and other materials will supplement the text. Significant writing will be required as part of the curriculum. Higher order thinking skills and activities will be stressed throughout the course. This course is a preparatory tool for the Advanced Placement test.
AP U.S. History
The AP United States History course is designed to be comparable to a freshman level college survey course. Students will master a broad body of historical knowledge, analyze and interpret documents, and develop college level historical writing skills. This class can be taken instead of the US History class. Upon completion of this course, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam to earn possible college credit.
AP World History
AP World History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance - focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures - provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. Students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam to earn possible college credit.