Online Elective and AP Courses2018-10-21T19:18:04+00:00
lyndon academy

Online Elective and AP Courses

Online Course Policies:

Lyndon Academy is proud to offer the following courses online in partnership with The Virtual High School, a Massachusetts based institution with Massachusetts based curriculum. The Virtual High School is also accredited by AdvancEd.

The courses offered are paced and penalties do apply for late work. They are delivered in an asynchronous manner and do not require specific log times. Students are required to complete assessments in school and are not allowed to conduct them off campus. Households will need to make sure computers are compliant at home to conduct studies off campus. Lyndon Academy is not responsible for home computing devices.

The Virtual High School has a different academic calendar than Lyndon Academy. Students enrolled in an online course will need to continue their online coursework even if Lyndon Academy is on a school break or snow day. The Virtual High School academic calendar is as follows:

Fall 2019 VHS Schedule:

September 4, 2019 – Fall Semester Begins

September 10, 2019 – Add/Drop Period Ends

October 29, 2019 – Term 1 Ends

October 30, 2019 – Term 2 Ends

December 17, 2019 – Fall Semester Ends

Spring 2020 VHS Schedule:

January 2, 2020 – Full Year Classes Resume

January 22, 2020 – Spring Semester Begins

January 28, 2020 – Add/Drop Period Ends

March 18, 2020 – Term 1 Ends

March 19, 2020 – Term 2 Ends

May 6, 2020 – Spring Semester & Full Year Courses End

Middle School Online Course Offerings:

  • MS Number Theory

  • MS World War II Through the Eyes of Dr. Seuss

  • MS The Teenage Brain

  • American Popular Music

  • Programming in Visual Basic

  • Science from Space

  • Video Game Design

  • 101 Ways to Write a Short Story

Middle School Online Course Descriptions:

MS Number Theory: (Semester Course)

Math is everywhere you look; in paintings, in nature, in architecture, even in the movies. This class will investigate some intriguing principles of math and the people behind them. It will challenge you to create your own math puzzlers and will give you an opportunity to crack some famous codes and cryptograms. Math? Fun? Give it a try!

Prerequisites: Pre-Algebra I & II

MS World War II Through the Eyes of Dr. Seuss: (Semester Course)

Can you really learn something about history by reading Dr. Seuss? Yes, and if you take this course, you will! Challenge yourself to look beyond the simplicity. In World War II Through the Eyes of Dr. Seuss, you will encounter new stories, new questions, and new ways of looking at the works of Dr. Seuss. You will have many opportunities to share, create, and discuss interpretations of Dr. Seuss’ works by merging your experiences with others: the author, his whimsical characters, and infamous historical figures, as you explore controversial topics, such as fascism, anti-Semitism, and racism.

Prerequisites: You will need to obtain the following Dr. Seuss books: Yertle the Turtle, The Sneetches, Horton Hears a Who, and The Butter Battle Book. You should be able to obtain copies of these books from your public libraries.

MS The Teenage Brain: (Semester Course)

This course is called “The Teenage Brain: What’s Going on in There?”. And that’s exactly the question we will try to answer. During the first part of this course, you will learn some basic facts about neuroscience. Once you’ve got those down, we will start learning and discussing what scientists think is going on inside the teenage brain. It’s perfect, because you have the ideal person to test out their theories on – yourself!

American Popular Music: (Semester Course)

This course will examine the relationships between events in the twentieth century, the evolution of popular music, and the cultural messages that music displayed. The course begins with a look at how popular culture (be it art, theatre, literature, or music) has been “historical” in the past. Students will examine the cultural impact of music from 1900 through the 1960’s and will examine lyrics and historical events and analyze how lyrical content has changed over time. The course will also examine the history of the recorded music and explore careers in the music industry.

Programming in Visual Basic: (Semester Course)

Computers can do fantastic things, ranging from mundane calculations to exciting virtual reality. However, it is a programmer’s job to teach the computer how to do meaningful tasks. That’s where you come in. This course is an exploratory programming course that uses one of the easiest programming languages in the world today, Visual Basic. It’s a graphically-oriented language that allows for the easy construction of useful programs. Students will gradually build a vocabulary and syntax to create programs that meet specific guidelines. The logic and creativity used in solving the course problems will enlarge a student’s capacity for problem-solving in all other disciplines. The course activities provide a great introduction to programming in general. With the support of the course instructor and the rest of the class, students will experience a non-threatening laboratory in which to experiment with their ideas.

Science from Space: (Semester Course)

“Imagine training to be an astronaut: blasting off in a Soyuz rocket, floating in micro-gravity, exploring space and Earth from the International Space Station, and contributing to the collective knowledge base of our planet. The International Space Station (ISS) is one of humanity’s most remarkable accomplishments. It is a sophisticated laboratory in space, pushing the boundaries of research in biology, materials science, medicine, chemistry and Earth observation. The ISS provides a fabulous context for students to explore topics in life science, physical science, earth science and engineering.

Space Station Academy is a semester-long science course that sends classes of students, or “cadets”, on a simulated mission to space. During their pre-flight training, cadets explore the physics and engineering of space travel, space suits and the ISS. Upon arrive on the ISS, cadets consider the effects of micro-gravity on the body, including skeletal structure and sensory systems. Cadets then turn their attention to Earth Science, as they explore Earth as a system, major geological processes and the impact of human activity on the planet, all while observing Earth from space. Before cadets return to Earth they are faced with the problem of fixing a solar panel on the ISS, requiring them to investigate key concepts in energy including thermodynamics, waves and electromagnetic radiation, before completing their virtual spacewalk. Once cadets make the brief, but dramatic trip back to Earth, they are asked to debrief, as all astronauts do. Their mission is complete once they submit a Science Mission Report, detailing how the important research done on the ISS across all areas of science is critical to our understanding of life back on Earth.

The immersive storyline of this 15-week science course was developed with support from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). Students engage in interesting discussions each week, consider what living and working on the ISS would entail through various activities, and complete hands on activities and design challenges throughout the course. Looking back at Earth from space provides a powerful new perspective, and the innovations that make it all happen naturally spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The countdown has started. Join us for lift off!

Video Game Design: (Semester Course)

The video game design course provides an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the world of video game design and development. Students will explore conceptual and technical aspects of contemporary video game creation using Unity software, a robust and highly respected industry game development platform. This curriculum stems from the Unity Curricular Frameworks and includes three larger modules focused on game design theory, the major aspects of game creation including programming, art, production and design, and exploration of the conceptual and technical implementation of elements within those domains.

In the first module, students will begin by exploring the critical thinking behind game design theory, story and game creation, and develop their own unique non-digital game. In the second module, students will focus on key aspects of video game design, writing and implementing code in the Unity editor and implementing elements of art and production, as they use basic features to create an initial game in Unity. In the final module, students will explore advanced constructs of game development such as level design, cameras, lighting, and audio, as they complete a capstone video game project. Students will then peer review video games created by their classmates and use the iterative process to reflect on feedback provided on their own game and revise.

Over the course of the semester, students will be engaging in discussions around current trends in the game industry and the future of the field. There will be a strong focus on project management for technical projects such as video game creation. This course will require accurate and thorough documentation, including game design documents and a game developer’s journal, as well as clear and consistent communication with classmates.

101 Ways to Write a Short Story: (Semester Course)

This course focuses on the short story form and allows student writers to engage in a dialogue about their work in a safe environment. By reading short stories in a variety of literary genres, the student will develop a basic understanding of the short story form. Using this knowledge, the student will craft two short stories. Students will also visit sites that cater to short story publishing, editing and reviewing, as well as sites that provide creative resources for short story writing.

High School Online Course Offerings:

  • Business and Personal Law

  • Entrepreneurship

  • International Business

  • Investing in the Stock Market

  • Marketing and the Internet

  • Personal Finance

  • CAD

  • Java Programming

  • Java Fundamentals for Science and Engineering

  • Programming in Visual Basic

  • Video Game Design

  • Web Design

  • Anatomy and Physiology

  • Animal Behavior and Zoology

  • Astronomy Principles

  • Climate Science

  • Epidemics

  • Forensic Science

  • Genes and Disease

  • Meteorology

  • Nuclear Science

  • Oceanography

  • Pre-veterinary Medicine

  • The Human Body

  • Engineering Principles

  • Sustainable Engineering

  • Criminology

  • Peacemaking

  • Philosophy I

  • Practical Law

  • Psychology of Crime

  • Sociology

  • The Glory of Ancient Rome

  • The Holocaust

  • World Conflict: A United Nations Introduction

  • AP Art History (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Biology (Grades 11-12)

  • AP Chemistry (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Computer Science A (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Computer Science Principles (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Economics (Grades 10-12)

  • AP European History (Grades 10-12)

  • AP French Language & Culture (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Music Theory (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Psychology (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Spanish Language & Culture (Grades 10-12)

  • AP Statistics (Grades 10-12)

  • AP United States Government and Politics (Grades 10-12)

High School Online Course Descriptions:

Business: (Semester Courses)

Business and Personal Law:

Business and Personal Law is designed for students who have a desire to learn more about legal issues that will affect them in the present and in the future. It will acquaint students with basic legal principles common to business and personal issues. Ethics, the origin of law, our court system structure, contracting, buying and selling, employment, organizing a business, real estate, wills, trust, and marriage and divorce will be explored. Students will leave the course with an understanding of legal issues impacting their lives in today’s world. They will leave the course with an understanding and preparedness to face future legal issues.

Students should have an interest in legal issues and a desire to learn about legal concepts that will impact their lives on a personal level and within the business community. The course will require written work and weekly discussions. Case studies and debates will be part of this course. Students will need to defend their position and ideas. Self-evaluation will be stressed within the course. The class should take a minimum of 5 to 8 hours per week.

Entrepreneurship:

Entrepreneurship starts to prepare future small business owners to run their own businesses according to the principles of business. It also allows students to experience the entrepreneurial spirit. Students learn how to develop a business idea and write a business plan to promote that idea. Future business people must understand economics, financial statements, marketing and selling techniques, investing, business structures, legal issues, banking, technology and taxation. Entrepreneurship teaches students how to use all these business principles to develop a successful business and kindle an entrepreneurial spirit that will help students follow their dreams and reach their goals.

International Business:

International Business is designed to help students develop the appreciation, knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to live and work in a global marketplace. International Business is an ever-changing field that affects everyone across the entire globe. Consumers buy products made in countries all around the world. Workers find changing employment opportunities due to international trade and global competition. Companies compete with firms from other countries for the money spent by consumers. As U.S. companies increase international business activities, our roles as consumers, workers, and citizens expand.

This course will provide the foundation for becoming well informed about international business. It introduces international business activities and the economic, cultural, and political factors that affect international business. Business structure and management, trade, global entrepreneurship, marketing, and career planning will be studied. Throughout the course, students will use their creativity and new international business skills to develop the framework for a fictitious company that sells its products around the world.

Investing in the Stock Market:

In this course, students will learn about the history of the stock market as well as various internal and external influences on the economy that affect businesses and stock prices. Students will experience investing, through a realistic stock market simulation that challenges the student to evaluate companies, the economy, and various investment products that will meet their individual investing goals.

Marketing and the Internet:

Marketing and the Internet is a business course that covers marketing, sales, mass media, research, business planning, and more. The class will investigate business on the Internet, study how e-business compares to traditional business, and find out more about the marketing strategies involved in promoting a business, and the laws affecting Internet businesses. In addition to traditional businesses and their use of the Internet, students will learn about the structure of the Internet and basic design strategies to develop “sticky” sites.

Personal Finance:

This course is designed to introduce students to making good decisions about their own finances. Students will keep an income and personal spending journal which they will analyze to create a manageable budget. Students will also explore real world topics such as the value of a dollar, purchasing a vehicle, purchasing insurance, setting short and long term financial goals, banking, and the basics of investing. This course will provide students with a basic understanding for making informed financial decisions leading to financial independence.

Computers: (Semester Courses)

CAD:

CAD introduces students to the world of engineering drawings. CAD students will learn how to create 3D drawings of mechanical objects, layer these drawings with dimensions and annotations, and extend the representation of 3D models and assemblies through presentation and animation tools. Students will also use the design process to convert their original ideas and solutions into new 3D models and working drawings, without the use of step-by-step instructions. All drawings are prepared to the standards of the industry.

Students will create 3D models, assemblies, formal 3-view drawings with dimensions, plus presentations and animations. Each week, students will be introduced to a new set of drawing skills. Students will use the free educational version of Autodesk Inventor 2019, a respected industry-level CAD software platform.

Java Programming:

This course is an introduction to programming and is designed for students with little or no programming experience. Students are exposed to the basic concepts and elements of programming through the Alice and Java programming languages which are object-oriented programs. Alice is a highly-visual and friendly environment that is used to introduce students to programming and Java is an industry standard program. Students will strengthen their computational thinking skills as they gain experience breaking down assignments using problem solving skills and writing programs that comply with industry standards. Additionally, the students will develop effective communication and collaboration skills as they work both independently and collaboratively to solve practical problems that illustrate application-building techniques. Elements covered include career applications, computer processes, primitive data types, string manipulation, methods, arrays, lists, algorithms, loops, stacks, and queues.

This course is intended to teach and reinforce crucial academic skills to help students strengthen their background in Computer Science prior to taking an Advanced Placement Course. This course is not intended for students who have completed Advanced Placement Computer Science A.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra 1.

Java Fundamentals for Science and Engineering:

This course is an introduction to computational science, an interdisciplinary method of scientific inquiry. Students will develop a working knowledge of Java, the most important new computer language to arise in the last decade. Students will also gain experience with the fundamental ideas of calculus and its application in science and engineering. The emphasis of the course is scientific programming, and not simply learning Java. The Java language is used as a tool in building mathematical models that are of interest to scientists and engineers.

Each student will receive evaluative grade scores on the basis of the completion of the assigned programs, the completion and quality of a few writing assignments, the completion of an experimental design project (group activity), and the completion of a final modeling project that includes an online presentation (group project).

Prerequisites: Two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one year of a laboratory science. This course is designed as a first course in programming for science and engineering.

Programming in Visual Basic:

Computers can do fantastic things, ranging from mundane calculations to exciting virtual reality. However, it is a programmer’s job to teach the computer how to do meaningful tasks. That’s where you come in. This course is an exploratory programming course that uses one of the easiest programming languages in the world today, Visual Basic. It’s a graphically-oriented language that allows for the easy construction of useful programs. Students will gradually build a vocabulary and syntax to create programs that meet specific guidelines. The logic and creativity used in solving the course problems will enlarge a student’s capacity for problem-solving in all other disciplines. The course activities provide a great introduction to programming in general. With the support of the course instructor and the rest of the class, students will experience a non-threatening laboratory in which to experiment with their ideas.

Video Game Design:

The video game design course provides an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the world of video game design and development. Students will explore conceptual and technical aspects of contemporary video game creation using Unity software, a robust and highly respected industry game development platform. This curriculum stems from the Unity Curricular Frameworks and includes three larger modules focused on game design theory, the major aspects of game creation including programming, art, production and design, and exploration of the conceptual and technical implementation of elements within those domains.

In the first module, students will begin by exploring the critical thinking behind game design theory, story and game creation, and develop their own unique non-digital game. In the second module, students will focus on key aspects of video game design, writing and implementing code in the Unity editor and implementing elements of art and production, as they use basic features to create an initial game in Unity. In the final module, students will explore advanced constructs of game development such as level design, cameras, lighting, and audio, as they complete a capstone video game project. Students will then peerreview video games created by their classmates and use the iterative process to reflect on feedback provided on their own game and revise.

Over the course of the semester, students will be engaging in discussions around current trends in the game industry and the future of the field. There will be a strong focus on project management for technical projects such as video game creation. This course will require accurate and thorough documentation, including game design documents and a game developer’s journal, as well as clear and consistent communication with classmates.

Web Design:

Web Design introduces students to the raw materials of web content and the design techniques that create effective web communication and interaction. The three primary web languages, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, form the raw materials; web standards from the W3C help shape design techniques for media creation, navigation, and interactivity.

Students will create single-page and multi-page web artifacts that meet the standards of the industry. Each week, students will be introduced to a new set of language, computation, and design skills. Students will create one new web project per week to solve a problem using their acquired skills. They will also work in teams to create a multi-page site for a real-world client over the course of the semester. Class participation and collaboration will be emphasized so that an authentic design and development community can emerge from the class. Among other helpful tools and curricular resources, students will use the free educational version of Mozilla Thimble, a respected training-level, browser-based web development platform.

Engineering: (Semester Courses)

Engineering Principles:

Why don’t buildings and bridges fall more often? Because there are people who have the skills to put together the right materials in the right shape to make them stay up –sometimes even during large earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Have you ever looked at impressive structures like large bridges or skyscrapers and wondered why they don’t fall more often? Perhaps you are the kind of person who assumes that structures are all safe. But even a quick look at the history of buildings will show you that they don’t always work. What made the Tacoma Narrows Bridge fall apart in a tame wind in 1940? Why do buildings in Los Angeles survive large earthquakes, while others in other parts of the world (such as in Bam, Iran, 2003) are flattened? This course will introduce students to the engineering world that helps to understand these questions, and to lead some people into the professions related to structural engineering.

Sustainable Engineering:

Sustainable Engineering is an exciting new semester course offered in partnership with Concord Consortium through a federally supported grant from the National Science Foundation. Engineering touches nearly every aspect of our lives—buildings, transportation, utilities, consumer goods and our food supply are some of the many areas impacted by the engineering decisions that are made at the design level and throughout the lifespan of a structure or system. Historically, engineering projects have not always considered the environmental impact of their design. Sustainable Engineering considers the environmental consequences of the design and seeks to develop structures and systems which reduce the use of fossil fuels and enhance our local, as well as global, environment.

Students will work through three modules: a three-week introduction to energy, which includes an understanding of motors and engines, generation and transmission of electricity, and systems for heating and cooling; a second three-week module on matter which includes natural resource acquisition and usage, including land management for lumber and food, fossil fuel processing for fuels and plastics, and durable goods manufacturing and recycling; and a third module focused on the demands of society, which includes the construction and maintenance of buildings, infrastructure, and transport systems and vehicles. Each week students will assess the status of their local community around these topics, and research and present global initiatives in all these areas. Students will also complete a design challenge for each module which will include the engineering processes of analysis, design, and evaluation.

Finally, students will conduct a capstone solar village group project where they will use the software program Energy3D and Google Earth to develop a solar panel array for sustainable energy production of four integrated buildings: a transportation center, a school, a retail store, and a community building.

Sustainable Engineering and allied careers are dynamic, are part of one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy and are projected to continue to experience tremendous growth throughout the 21st century as we explore alternatives to meeting the needs of our planet. Please join us as we explore the technology of today and the exciting possibilities of tomorrow!

Science: (Semester Courses)

Anatomy and Physiology:

How can the results of an ECG (EKG) indicate heart pathology? How does a bone grow? What are the latest developments in reproductive medicine? How does the histology of a normal lung compare to that with emphysema? These are among the questions that are addressed in Anatomy and Physiology.

This is an honors level course that is designed to investigate the anatomy and physiology of the 11 major body systems. This course begins with a quick review of biological levels of organization and microscopy and then focuses on both structure and function of the following systems: skeletal system, muscular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, immune, endocrine and nervous. The course culminates with a look at how the systems work together to ensure homeostasis for the body and what happens when one or more of these systems don’t function correctly.

Students play anatomy games, complete online quizzes, analyze histology data (using NIH imaging software) and communicate results in lab reports, complete shorter writing assignments, conduct “hands on” labs and activities, and research specific topics such as hormones, viruses and the senses. Students regularly engage in virtual “lab meetings” and discussions about the latest topics associated with each system. During the first term, students work individually on a project that looks at the structure and function of a cell. Students collaborate with classmates in a team project to identify the anatomy and physiology associated with a disease during the second term.

The content and pace of the course require students to attend class and complete work regularly; it is expected that students will spend 8-10 hours per week on average in this course. Those who have successfully completed a biology course and are looking for a challenging study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body are good candidates for the course.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of biology or equivalent. Students must be mature enough to handle urinary and reproductive system content.

Animal Behavior and Zoology:

This course explores the tremendous diversity of animal life and the inter-connectedness of different animal species with each other and with humans. The first part of the course explores the classification and characteristics of all the animal phyla, with an emphasis on the evolution of animals and the adaptations that have allowed such diversity to flourish. The second part of the course focuses on many different animal behaviors (including human behavior). Students learn about different types of behaviors – from innate (genetic) behaviors to learned behaviors. The social interactions between animals will be covered in depth as we study courtship, aggression, altruism, and parental behaviors in animals. Students also discuss different careers in the animal sciences as a culminating activity, which should be of great interest to students who wish to pursue their love of animals as their professions. The course will utilize several interesting articles, discussions, virtual field trips, activities, videos, and projects to give a wider perspective of the animal kingdom and animal behavior.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of biology or equivalent.

Astronomy Principles:

This course is an introduction to astronomy. Student will learn how to observe the sky we see and how it appears to change over time. Then they will learn more about the planets of our solar system and the structure and life of stars. Lastly students will study the Milky Way galaxy as well as those beyond and end by looking to the future.

Students will be evaluated on weekly contributions to: discussions; reading assignments; regular, outside, nighttime observation assignments in their Sky Watch journal; and other activities and assignments. Activities will involve hands-on and virtual labs, web inquiries, and using planetarium software. There will be a mid-term and final project.

Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2. Physics is recommended but not required.

Climate Science:

Current and future generations will be forced to deal with the consequences of our Earth’s changing climate. Understanding how life on Earth has been shaped by, depends on and affects climate, is essential for making scientifically informed and socially responsible decisions about our future. Focusing on real-world case studies, this honors level course encourages students to question the cause and effects of climate in the world around them and then explore the science associated behind those questions.

This class focuses student learning on better understanding Earth as a dynamic system and then challenges students to evaluate how certain factors are connected to and ultimately impact this system. The course curriculum is anchored in the scientific investigation of Earth’s energy budget, carbon chemistry, paleoclimatology and climate data sources. Through this science, students can interpret current research and evaluate the latest news and then work together to investigate decision-making processes around public policy that will impact their future.

A major project in this course allows each student to research and evaluate a specific climate change impact story of their choice. Across both terms, course assignments guide students to develop a comprehensive climate report that ultimately can be shared publicly. Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and advocate for those in their report via public policy proposal as they participate in a climate congress at the end of the course. Students will take away from the course newfound knowledge and confidence that will allow them to communicate about climate issues in meaningful ways.

Prerequisites: One year of a high school level physical science.

Epidemics:

One of the most fascinating and frightening aspects of disease, epidemics are known to have affected civilizations, medicine, and human interactions since the beginning of written history. If you were born even a century ago, your chances of dying or becoming disabled by an infectious disease as a child would have been very high. Thanks to modern medicine like antibiotics and vaccines, many of those childhood illnesses are all but eradicated in our world.

Unfortunately, our battle against epidemic diseases continues, despite medical successes and our improved understanding of the causes and process of disease. New diseases are emerging, and those considered controlled are re-emerging in more virulent, resistant forms. News reports are documenting outbreaks of strange diseases in both underdeveloped regions and those with the highest levels of medical care.

This dynamic course is designed to enable students to understand why new diseases are appearing and why those we thought conquered are reappearing. This is done in the context of basic concepts upon which our understanding of biology is built; the interdependence of life and the interconnectedness of our world. Epidemic diseases will be analyzed using a holistic approach to controlling and eradicating disease called One Health. This framework will help us see how our past and present actions will affect the future course of disease.

After we’ve covered the basics, students will utilize the One Health approach throughout the course building a solid foundation of the need for global collaboration in the fight against disease. With this foundation, students will tackle dilemmas such as the vaccination debate, antibiotic resistance, the human animal interface, food distribution, and travel quarantines. We’ll also discuss breakthroughs in technology including how smart phones and social media are revolutionizing disease surveillance!

Current information on infectious diseases and their treatment and control are available through many on-line resources. Students will explore these resources to understand the biology of pathogens and the diseases they cause. Students will complete lab exercises, examine case histories, and perform simulations to better understand the impact of infectious diseases on populations. A final student-created project will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the need for collaboration between scientists, biostatisticians, farmers, veterinarians, doctors, and public officials in developing and implementing plans to control and eradicate outbreaks.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of high school biology or equivalent

Forensic Science:

Forensics will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of techniques and strategies used by forensic scientists. They will learn the steps involved in analyzing a crime scene to provide evidence that will be admissible in a court of law. Emphasis is placed on the investigative process. They will get a detailed knowledge of the industry to explore the potential for careers in forensic science.

Students will research different methods that forensic scientists use to solve crimes and analyze crime scene data to solve crimes themselves. Topics include collecting evidence, fingerprinting, blood-typing, ballistics, trace evidence, anthropology, and of course, DNA!

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of high school biology or equivalent.

Genes and Disease:

Buried in the cells of each newborn is a unique set of genetic instructions. These molecular blueprints not only shape how the child will grow and develop and whether it will have brown eyes or blue, but what sorts of medical problems it might encounter. Errors in our genes, our genetic material, are responsible for an estimated 3,000-4,000 hereditary diseases, including Huntington disease, cystic fibrosis, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. What’s more, altered genes are now known to play a part in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other common diseases. Genetic flaws increase a person’s risk of developing these more common and complex disorders. The diseases themselves stem from interactions of genetic predispositions and environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle.

Human Genetics has many areas of expertise. This course will focus on four areas, (1) classical or Mendelian genetics, diseases where major effects are from a single gene, (2) multifactorial inheritance, continuous traits and discontinuous traits where several genes plus environmental factors are involved, (3) cytogenetics, diseases involving chromosomal abnormalities, and (4) mathematical genetics, including population genetics, linkage, and mapping.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of high school biology or equivalent.

Meteorology:

Earth’s weather and climates have influenced and continues to influence daily human events as well as human history. We are inundated daily with accounts of weather, both good and bad. Our daily activities depend, a great deal, on the weather. Weather phenomenon, such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes have caused loss of life and damage of property. Loss of food crops has resulted from drought or extremes of temperature. We cannot fly a plane, have soldiers jump out of planes, or, for that matter, fight a war without consulting meteorologists to see what the weather is supposed to be on any given day. The Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War were planned according to the weather. The weather helped bring Allied victory on the Russian front during World War II. This class is designed to introduce you to the basic factors of weather/meteorology and to engage your natural curiosity in it. I hope you will find this course interesting as well as challenging.

This class was designed around the Internet like our daily activities are designed around the weather. Simple meteorological observations are interwoven with online based assignments, mapping activities, data gathering and graphing activities, and writing assignments to introduce students to the many facets of weather.

Nuclear Science:

Whether we realize it or not, nuclear science continues to play a major role in all of our lives. Using a multi-disciplinary exploration, students will gain a solid understanding and appreciation of the scientific, technological, and societal implications arising from nuclear science.

Through state-of-the-art simulations and vibrant discussions, students will explore science topics including the history of nuclear discovery, types of nuclear reactions, interactions between radiation and matter, the standard model of subatomic matter and current research. Although some math is used to provide better understanding of the concepts covered, math problems are not the primary focus of the course. Technology components of the course include the design and function of particle detectors, nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, nuclear waste facilities, geological dating, and nuclear medicine facilities.

Weekly discussions on controversial nuclear topics allow students to understand and appreciate the societal implications of the expanding field of nuclear science. They provide opportunities to look back at the politics behind weapons development and use, the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, and the atomic energy industry. Discussions during the course will also include topics that have made recent headlines; such as nuclear reactors in space, small modular nuclear reactors, radon mitigation, the demise of the Super-Conducting Super-Collider, the theft of nuclear secrets, food irradiation and nuclear test ban treaties.

A final student-created project will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the need for collaboration between scientists, environmental advocates, engineers, public officials, and the public in developing and implementing plans to address a number of current issues in nuclear science.

Oceanography:

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Marshall McLuhan.

Students will board the USS Cyber, a virtual oceanographic research vessel modeled after the flagship of NOAA’s fleet for a sail that begins in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and ends in San Diego, California. As the crew of the ship, students will perform scientific experiments and collect data that will teach them about the geology, chemistry, and physics of the ocean. From the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia to the Caribbean and Antarctica, from the coral reefs to the hydrothermal vent communities deep in the ocean, students will make observations about the sea’s ecosystems and the sometimes-unexpected life within them. There are no traditional tests. Students are expected to participate fully as members of the expedition. If you have ever wondered what it might be like to go to sea, pack your bags, and join us.

This is a survey course covering the basics of physical oceanography and marine biology presented in a fun and engaging format. There are no traditional tests. Students will be graded on their weekly assignments, which will include both individual and group projects. In lieu of a midterm or final exam, students will be expected to complete a major individual project each term. There will be a strong multimedia component to the course, and students will have the opportunity to choose from reading assignments that meet their comfort level.

Pre-veterinary Medicine:

Are you interested in becoming a veterinarian or a veterinary technician? Do you love animals and wish to learn more about them? Pre-veterinary Medicine will introduce you to basic vertebrate anatomy by covering the major systems of the body including the digestive, reproductive, skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, and integumentary systems. We will use examples from small animal medicine (dogs and cats although some large animal anatomy will be covered) and discuss medical problems that are commonly seen in veterinary offices. Every week we will have a “Dilemma of the Week” where students will examine and discuss common ethical dilemmas that veterinarians face on a regular basis.

Following the introduction to anatomy and physiology, you will learn the diagnostic procedures that assist veterinarians in making appropriate diagnoses. You will learn how to take a medical history, perform a basic physical examination, and what types of tests (blood, X-ray, fecal) that vets employ to get a better picture of the animal’s health. For the remainder of the course, you will work in small groups on case studies. You will follow cases from start to completion, brainstorming about potential causes of ailments, diagnoses and treatment options.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of a full year of high school biology.

The Human Body:

Do you wonder how your body works? Take a journey through the major systems of the human body with us! Although this course is an introductory level class, it provides a comprehensive overview of the workings of the human body. We use many online readings and animations, as well as field trips to selected web sites in our exploration. You will join your fellow classmates as you investigate how the human body functions. Your critical reading and organizational skills, ability to communicate, and most of all, your curiosity will help you succeed in this course. The Human Body is a course designed to familiarize you with the key systems of the human body and how they function. The course studies the structures and basic functions of organs involved in the body systems.

Social Studies: (Semester Courses)

Criminology:

How can a person commit unspeakable criminal acts? How can someone who seemingly has everything throw it all away by doing something illegal? Criminology will explore these questions, and many others, in a semester-long exploration into the reasons why people commit crimes.

This course begins with an examination of why laws were created and how they evolve over time in response to society’s needs. Then the focus moves to the theoretical perspectives of criminal behavior including biological, psychological and sociological theories. Students will delve into the minds of serial killers, thieves, drug dealers, and even corporate criminals while examining notable and notorious criminals. Finally, the class will explore the treatment of criminals by the correctional system. Students will be asked to design a policy statement for crime prevention and treatment programs for criminals.

Peacemaking:

Peacemaking is about power. It is about realizing and utilizing your personal power, by recognizing that there are alternatives to violence and to a “win-lose” philosophy of life. Peacemaking is an active process, not a passive exercise.

Peacemaking is an interdisciplinary course exploring Peace and Peacemaking in four interrelated ways – the personal, interpersonal, communal and global. Through exploration, evaluation, reflection and discussion we will better understand our own roles and responsibilities as peacemakers. Topics covered will include: service for the sake of peace, forgiveness, understanding, contemplation, philosophies of non-violence, and peacemakers past and present among the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Readings include works by Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King, The 14th Dalai Lama, Mohandas Gandhi, Simon Wiesenthal and others. Projects will include a Peace Offering and creation of a multimedia project: assembling Pieces of Peace. Discussion will be open and spirited. Learning is a collaborative process.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to obtain the following books from their school or local library:

Living Buddha, Living Christ – Thich Nhat Hanh
Sunflower – Simon Wiesenthal

Philosophy I:

In this course, students are invited to participate in an activity that is over 2500 years old and expected to develop their own ideas about philosophical problems, theories and arguments. Students will be challenged to think critically, while taking into consideration what the others had and have to say about those matters.

Philosophy enhances the improvement of the analysis of personal convictions, the understanding of the diversity of arguments of others and the awareness of the limited character of our knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is a basic and important part of education and an instrument for making democratic life deeper.

Participants in this philosophy course will be challenged to think critically and learn to think with the ideas and points of view of past and contemporary philosophers. Students will write, read and debate extensively, always by means of an argumentative discourse and weekly assignments.

Practical Law:

This course explores practical and controversial topics of law which affect young people in the United States. Topics include:

  • The foundation of law in America, the United States Constitution.

  • How the criminal justice system works and participate in a mock trial.

  • Timely and relevant issues in criminal law.

  • The juvenile justice system of various states.

  • Employment, consumer, and family law.

  • The civil rights protections that residents of the United States enjoy

  • What happens when these rights are infringed upon.

Psychology of Crime:

Students will learn how psychology applies to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The course will include all aspects of the legal system including police, the trial and corrections. Topics will include: recovered memories, children as victims and offenders, violence and murder, strategies for interviewing witnesses, expert testimony, and factors influencing the credibility of witnesses, victims and offenders and insanity. Students will also examine the relationship of psychology and law in the educational and work settings.

Sociology:

Sociology students examine the influence of society, the groups we belong to, and institutions like government, family, education, religion, media, etc. on human behavior. We use popular movies and contemporary events, plus research, as the foundations for class discussions of issues such as crime and who defines criminal behavior and the legal response to it; gender inequality in the workplace; and the impact of media on violence and sexual behavior. Poverty and minority groups are discussed with a focus on how being a person of color shapes one’s opportunities and life chances. Learners are exposed to the possibility of community-wide responses to social problems, instead of the “fix the individual” approach. Learners will also experience the scientific method of studying society, through design and execution of a survey and interpretation of results.

The Glory of Ancient Rome:

Come explore the “Eternal City” –Rome—which rose from a small village in central Italy to become mistress of one of the largest and longest lasting empires in all of history. Stretching from England to Syria, the Roman Empire persisted for centuries and laid the foundation for all of the rest of Western history. This course will examine in detail some of the major accomplishments of ancient Roman art and literature and investigate how this society was able to create and maintain its amazingly durable cultural institutions.

This honors-level course covers the equivalent of an undergraduate Classics survey class. In it we will read (in translation) selections from original Latin texts, take virtual tours of Rome and of some of the other major archaeological monuments of the Roman Empire, and engage in active online discussions and group work as we reflect on what we read and see.

The Holocaust:

The Holocaust is a major event in human history. The murder of six million Jews–as well as millions of other human beings–is a tragedy of such magnitude that it seems impossible for any one person to fully comprehend. But what seemed impossible did, in fact, happen. We are left to try to learn the lessons of this tragic history so that each of us might do our part to help prevent such events from happening in the future.

There are important lessons to be learned in a study of the Holocaust, and this course will introduce students to such concepts as the capacity for some people to hate, stereotype, dehumanize, humiliate and even murder those who are different from themselves; how the vast majority of Germans and others simply stood by and took no action when Jews and other minority groups were being treated unjustly and ultimately taken away to be killed; and how this history also brought out the best in human courage and the will to survive, as well as the compassion some brave individuals displayed to put themselves and their families at risk for the sake of others.

To properly understand the Holocaust, students will become familiar with the long history of antisemitism, as well as engaging in a study of individual identity, group membership, and the targeting of “The Other.” The course will examine the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Students will understand the history through primary source documents and personal testimonies, to connect “head and heart” as we grapple with–and try to make sense out of–this tragic history.

A study of this history requires us to bear witness and face the reality of the horrors that took place. As such, please note that as the course progresses, students will be exposed to some graphic images, video clips and stories. Journaling, group and teacher interactions, and other activities will help students process the difficult material contained in this course.

World Conflict: A United Nations Introduction:

World Conflict looks at how nations of the world seek to resolve issues through dialogue and action at the United Nations. Students will be assuming the roles of representatives of different member counties of the United Nations Security Council. Students will seek to resolve issues in different committees by writing and debating resolutions created in the UN format. Issues under consideration are in the areas of human rights, disarmament, economic and social marginalization, and environmental degradation. Resolutions will be voted on in a General Assembly style meeting. During this time the membership will also seek to pass a Security Council resolution to solve a world crisis that happens to arise during the course.

The goal of the course is to develop problem solving skills and consensus building to get other countries to support your initiatives. In addition, students will acquire knowledge about global issues, as well as, different ways that different organizations are trying to resolve issues of concern to us all. Other goals that will be accomplished are the improving of research, writing and on-line debating skills. One of the most pertinent goals of the course is to help student recognize that there are many perspectives on an issue and that a lot of work is required to get people to agree to an idea.

As globalization continues, the problems that need solving, whether issues of energy, employment, environment, disease or destructive weapons, continue to bring us closer together. All actors, whether governments, businesses, or individuals, are becoming more dependent on each other to solve these problems together and in a peaceful manner. This can be harder than it seems because each nation can have different needs. This course will use various web sites to assist in becoming familiar with both the countries being represented as well as with the workings of the United Nations Security Council.

Advanced Placement Courses: (Full Year Courses)

AP Art History:

“The function of the art is not only to show life as it is, but to show life as it should be.” -W.E.B. DuBois

What is art? How is it made? What inspires art styles and revolutions? How can we respond and describe our own reactions to art? The visual language of human beings speaks more directly and immediately through the ages than any other form of human communication. Exploring the world through the study of art and architecture enables us to understand our times as well as those that have come before all over the globe.

Advanced Placement ® Art History builds the visual literacy and critical thinking skills needed to effectively analyze art across time and place. The framework of the AP® Art History course encourages students to develop deep understanding of representative art works from diverse cultures, including the fundamental knowledge that places these works in context and articulates the relationships among them.

The curriculum conveys the big ideas and essential questions at the center of an investigation into the world art and art production. Clear learning objectives that represent the art historical skills valued by art historians and higher education faculty will inform class assignments.

Students will acquire a comprehensive knowledge of historically significant artists, movements, aesthetic theories and practices, ranging from the prehistoric times to the significant contributions in the 21st Century. Art production of all cultures will be studied in relative proportion to their representation on the Art History Advanced Placement Exam.

Students will see the development of trends, movements, and events in art, how they reflected and affected the times in which they occurred, gaining insight into typically misunderstood topics pertaining to the visual arts. Students will research and write knowledgeably on a number of art history topics, reflecting and synthesizing their own theories on the many works they will see in virtual museums and collections. They will be expected, through carefully structured assignments, to exhibit an extensive scholarship in conjunction with these experiences.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP exam, and to report their AP exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

AP Biology:

The Advanced Placement course in Biology is equivalent to a full-year Freshman Biology course taught at any major University. Students will be reading the same text that is used at many major colleges and universities and working at a rigorous pace to cover the material and prepare for the Advanced Placement Examination in May. Upon successful completion of the exam, students may receive college credit and will be well-prepared for any future Biology course.

This class will build upon prior knowledge of Biology. The course covers topics such as molecular genetics, biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology, cell biology, plant biology and ecology. Using the text, the Internet, class discussions, and projects, the course will cover a tremendous amount of material in order to give students a complete understanding of the study of biology. Biweekly examinations will test students’ knowledge of the material as well as prepare them for the AP® examination. Due to the volume and level of the material, this course is designed to challenge extremely motivated students who have a strong interest in the Biological Sciences.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

Prerequisites: One full year of high school Biology and one full year of high school Chemistry.

AP Chemistry:

This Advanced Placement Chemistry Course is equivalent to a full-year Introductory Chemistry college-level course. The rigor and pace of this course is consistent with that of many major colleges and universities and will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May. Upon successful completion of the exam, students may receive college credit and will be well-prepared for additional advanced chemistry coursework.

AP® Chemistry builds upon prior knowledge of Chemistry. Students will investigate topics such as chemical reactions, stoichiometry, atomic theory, periodicity, bonding, states of matter, thermodynamics, kinetics and equilibrium. This course incorporates a variety of textbook and multimedia resources and will require students to perform hands on and virtual experiments to develop a deeper understanding of chemistry. Students will engage in collaborative activities such as class discussions, contribute to class data and attend regular “lab meetings” throughout the course. AP practice quizzes and unit exams will help prepare students for the AP examination. Due to the rigor and pace of the content, this course is designed to challenge extremely motivated students who have a strong interest in Chemistry.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.
Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This Advanced Placement Chemistry Course is equivalent to a full-year Introductory Chemistry college-level course. The rigor and pace of this course is consistent with that of many major colleges and universities and will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May. Upon successful completion of the exam, students may receive college credit and will be well-prepared for additional advanced chemistry coursework.

AP® Chemistry builds upon prior knowledge of Chemistry. Students will investigate topics such as chemical reactions, stoichiometry, atomic theory, periodicity, bonding, states of matter, thermodynamics, kinetics and equilibrium. This course incorporates a variety of textbook and multimedia resources and will require students to perform hands on and virtual experiments to develop a deeper understanding of chemistry. Students will engage in collaborative activities such as class discussions, contribute to class data and attend regular “lab meetings” throughout the course. AP practice quizzes and unit exams will help prepare students for the AP examination. Due to the rigor and pace of the content, this course is designed to challenge extremely motivated students who have a strong interest in Chemistry.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

Prerequisites: One full year of Honors high school Chemistry which must include a comprehensive, hands-on, teacher-supervised laboratory component to ensure that students have mastered appropriate chemistry laboratory techniques including: quantitative liquid measurement and transfer, safe liquid heating, and familiarity with common chemistry glassware. One full year of high school Algebra 2.

AP Computer Science A:

Advanced Placement (AP®) Computer Science A is designed to prepare students for the College Board’s AP® Computer Science A Exam. The course curriculum covers the topics and activities of a first-year computer science course at the undergraduate level. It is designed to be engaging and motivating for the high school student.

AP® Computer Science is a course designed to awaken and support students’ problem-solving skills. The course will introduce the Java programming language while emphasizing universal language techniques like syntax, semantics and readability. Students will gain mastery in programming concepts by using a subset of Java features that are covered when needed throughout the course content. This allows the student to understand and master important concepts that will apply to programming problems in many additional languages.

Students in AP® Computer Science will begin by encountering situations that involve solving problems with the use of primitive data types, methods, and control statements. Later, this inquiry will evolve into the use of Object Oriented Programming (OOP), which is today’s most common and practical way to develop software.

Throughout the course, students will also grow to understand how computers process information. This understanding will deepen as students apply concepts like string manipulation, the behavior of elements in arrays and lists, and the use of external data to interact with algorithms.

The College Board’s AP® Computer Science curriculum presents three hands-on laboratory practice sets that will help students synthesize course concepts. These labs will expand and secure their knowledge of programming and prepare them thoroughly for the AP® Computer Science exam in May.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam and are required to report their AP® examination scores to VHS (note: students who are failing their AP® class are not required to take the exam). Upon receipt of the student’s exam score, each score will be recorded by VHS and assigned an anonymous tracking number to ensure student anonymity and confidentiality. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school site coordinator and school administration to report AP® examination scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

AP Computer Science Principles:

According to the College Board, the AP Computer Science Principles course (AP CSP) is designed to be equivalent to a first semester introductory college computing course. In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The course is unique in its focus on fostering student creativity. Students are encouraged to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts and to think creatively while using computer software and other technology to explore questions that interest them. They will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills, working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and discussing and writing about the importance of these problems and the impacts to their community, society, and the world.

The course is designed to engage students from diverse backgrounds and those who are new to computing. The course engages all students in authentic, project-based learning to develop computational thinking through:

  • Collaborative problem solving

  • Creative design of unique solutions

  • Data representation through modeling and simulations

  • Algorithmic reasoning

In addition, the course prepares students to successfully complete both the AP CSP Performance Tasks and the AP CSP exam. Students enrolled in VHS Advanced Placement courses are expected to take the AP® exam and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the students authorize their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

AP Economics:

Economics is a social science which addresses how society allocates (distributes) limited resources (e.g. – goods and services). It is a “science” because it is governed by quantifiable laws designed to predict likely outcomes. It is a “social” science, as opposed to a natural science, because its laws are based upon social, as opposed to natural occurrences. This course will prepare the student for both the AP® Micro and Macroeconomics exams. Each exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions and three free-response essay questions. Many colleges and universities give credit for passing the AP® exam, enabling the student to move on to more advanced level courses. Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses. This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

AP European History:

AP® European History is a rigorous academic course that is structured around the investigation of five course themes from 1450 to the present. It prepares students for the demands of a college education by emphasizing the development of nine specific historical thinking skills while providing extensive experience in college level reading, writing and responsibility for learning. The challenging and stimulating curriculum of AP European History requires much more time than other high school courses. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable hours to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. This course promotes effective time management and organization skills and is structured specifically to meet new criteria set forth by the College Board.

During this full-year course, students will investigate the broad themes of interaction between Europe and the World, Poverty and Prosperity, Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions, States and Other Institutions of Power, and the Individual and Society, while making crucial connections across four different chronological periods ranging from 1450 to the present. In addition, the course is focused toward 19 key concepts, which enable students to better understand, organize, and prioritize historical developments within a chronological framework. As students learn to analytically examine historical facts and evidence, they will gain deeper conceptual understandings of critical developments in European history and will understand issues from multiple perspectives.

This course specifically encourages the development of students’ skills in the categories of chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, construction of evidence-based arguments, and interpretation and synthesis of historical narratives, all competencies essential for college and career success.

Throughout the course, AP European History students can expect to:

  • Watch or listen to traditional history lectures produced by the teacher or offered by colleges and universities online.

  • Participate in class discussions of primary documents, course themes, and key events in threaded discussions.

  • Use historical facts and evidence to debate key issues or role-play historic figures through student audio recordings.

  • Demonstrate historical thinking skills through essays designed to meet the requirements outlined by the College Board for Advanced Placement exams.

  • Collaborate with other students in research groups using Web 2.0 information tools.

  • Utilize supplement traditional textbook reading with historical journals and primary documents.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses. This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

AP French Language and Culture:

The AP® French Language and Culture course is designed to promote proficiency in French and to enable students to explore culture in contemporary and historical contexts. The course focuses on interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication, encourages cultural awareness, and incorporates the six themes of global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, families and communities and beauty and aesthetics. By using these six course themes outlined in the AP® curriculum, students will increase their cultural knowledge and experience with the Francophone world through a comparison with their own cultural experience.

Instructional content will include the arts, current events, literature, sports, and more. In addition to textbooks, materials will include websites, podcasts, films, newspapers, magazines, and literature. The course helps develop language skills that can be applied beyond the French course in further French study and everyday life.

AP® French will enable advanced French students to improve writing skills and problem-solving techniques in preparation for the AP® French Language Exam. Students will explore the French-speaking world through a variety of perspectives based on authentic and up- to- date materials and the use of French media like TV5 Monde, while gaining a better understanding of themselves.

A variety of assignments and activities will be included. For example, students would read and discuss poetry, create their own poetry and showcase their poems in a class magazine. Another example is that students might participate in an online mock trial after researching France’s role in the slave trade and which key figures were involved. They would assume the roles of those figures who lived during that specific time period. Also, students will read an important work of classic or contemporary literature, write an essay that focuses on a specific theme or aspect and then participate in a discussion that addresses comprehension, stylistic techniques and relevant historical or situational background. Current events in French society, politics, culture, education, etc. would also drive assignments and activities regarding discussions, debates, written work and research that encourage students to consider their own views, in oral and written formats as well as those of their peers.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed a minimum of French III with a grade of B or better. Successful completion of French IV is preferred.

AP Music Theory:

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of music theory, sight reading, and aural skills that is equivalent to that of a first-year college music student. It is also designed with the explicit purpose of preparing the student for the AP® Exam in Music Theory. The course content and presentation will adhere to the guidelines set forth by the College Board in the Music Theory Course Description.

The course will cover: the fundamentals of traditional melodic and harmonic composition through the early twentieth century; multiple techniques for melodic, harmonic, and formal analysis; an introduction to two- and four-voice counterpoint; an introduction to jazz, blues, and non-Western techniques; and the basics of orchestration.

In addition, students will be trained to sight-read melodies in major and minor keys, with limited chromatic alteration. They will also perform listening exercises for the purposes of memorizing and notating specific intervals, scales, chords, rhythms, melodies, and progressions.

This course may not be appropriate for students with specific accessibility limitations as written. Please refer to the VHS Handbook policy on Special Education/Equity for more information on possible modifications. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at service.goVHS.org.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam and are required to report their AP® examination scores to VHS (note: students who are failing their AP® class are not required to take the exam). Upon receipt of the student’s exam score, each score will be recorded by VHS and assigned an anonymous tracking number to ensure student anonymity and confidentiality. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school site coordinator and school administration to report AP® examination scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

AP Psychology:

The AP ® Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

This course is taught at the college level. The major difference between a high school and college course is the amount of reading and depth of focus. The AP ® curriculum stresses higher order thinking skills within a rigorous academic context. Students will be required to frequently analyze, synthesize, and evaluate primary and secondary sources in addition to memorizing, comprehending, and applying psychological concepts.

Students are engaged in content (through a variety of multimedia, using high quality online resources in addition to those offered with their text) case study work and regular discussions on controversial topics and applications of psychological concepts throughout the course. Student will also research specific experiments on their own as well as reflect on their learning in regular journal entries.

Students should expect weekly reading assignments in the ebook, Meyers’ Psychology for AP® 2nd Edition. in addition to research, writing, group work, and participation in discussions

Tips for completing multiple choice questions and writing the essay part of the exam are part of the instruction for this course. Students will be given numerous opportunities to review and practice for the AP exam through-out the course.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are required to take the AP® exam and are expected to report their AP® examination scores to VHS (note: students who are failing their AP® class are not required to take the exam). Upon receipt of the student’s exam score, each score will be recorded by VHS and assigned an anonymous tracking number to ensure student anonymity and confidentiality. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school site coordinator and school administration to report AP® examination scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete their summer assignment before the course begins and submit their work by the end of Week 1. Students who register on or after September 1st will receive an extension to complete the summer assignment by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

AP Spanish Language and Culture:

AP® Spanish Language is intended for highly motivated students who wish to develop proficiency and integrate their language skills, providing frequent opportunities for students to use authentic materials and sources. Not only will they be prepared for the AP® Spanish Language exam in May, but they will also gain an insight into the cultural aspects of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. Students will be exposed to many different forms of written and spoken Spanish through the study of poems, short stories, newspaper articles, along with radio and television broadcasts.

The course will:

  • Encourage a thematic approach to teaching.
    Students participate in activities that integrate language, literature, and culture; make connections to other disciplines; and compare aspects of the target culture with other cultures.

  • Articulate clear learning objectives.
    Clearly articulated learning objectives provide information on the knowledge and skills students should demonstrate to succeed on the exam.

  • Reflect college-level expectations.
    The College Board collaborates with language educators from leading colleges, universities, and secondary schools to ensure that the course reflects rigorous college standards.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam and are required to report their AP® examination scores to VHS. Upon receipt of the student’s exam score, each score will be recorded by VHS and assigned an anonymous tracking number to ensure student anonymity and confidentiality. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school site coordinator and school administration to report AP® examination scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

This AP course has a required summer assignment. Students are expected to complete the summer assignments by the end of Week 3. The summer assignment is intended to review crucial content associated with pre-requisite knowledge for the course, where applicable, as well as to allow students to better understand the rigor associated with the content.

Prerequisites: Spanish I-IV or the equivalent with at least a B average in your previous Spanish class.

AP Statistics:

The Advanced Placement Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. The rigor and pace of this course is consistent with non-calculus-based statistics offerings at many colleges and universities and will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, students may receive college credit and will be well-prepared for additional advanced coursework.

AP® Statistics introduces students to major concepts that consist of collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. This course is organized into four major themes: (1) exploring data, (2) sampling and experimentation, (3) anticipating patterns, and (4) statistical inference. This course allows students to gain conceptual understanding through discussions, data collection activities, investigations and a final project in which they will conduct a statistical study. In order to prepare for the exam, students will complete weekly AP practice quizzes and unit exams that will conform to the constraints of the AP® exam.

Students enrolled in VHS Advanced Placement courses are expected to take the AP® exam and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP VHS class, the students authorize their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.

AP United States Government and Politics:

AP® United States Government and Politics is a college level course designed for highly motivated students who have a strong interest in the area of American government. The course approaches government and politics in the United States from an analytical perspective and involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. Students should expect assignments of significant required reading each week, as well as required participation in many group discussions and activities as we analyze the Constitution as a document and investigate its use as the foundation of our government. Students will interpret and evaluate documents related to American government and be expected to write well-structured essays.

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are expected to take the AP® exam, and to report their AP® exam scores to VHS. By enrolling in an AP® VHS class, the student authorizes their school administration to report AP® exam scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student’s VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.