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AP Courses

AP Art – (12th)

This course meets two periods a day. Students who elect to become part of the AP class are required to submit a portfolio that fulfills the requirements of the College Board and covers three areas of exploration—Quality, Breadth, and Concentration. Students are required to work on the Concentration as independent work meeting the deadlines for each critique. While Breadth work requires students to further explore and to develop their skills with a variety of media and concepts. This is a rigorous program for the most committed art students. Summer projects are assigned and due on the first day of classes in September. Failure to meet the summer requirement will make a student ineligible for the program.

This course requires a $15 materials fee.

Prerequisite: Art 3 or its equivalent with a minimum grade of a B. Permission of instructor, Ms. Keefe, is required.

A scheduled meeting in early June (to be announced) MUST be attended to allow for full understanding of course requirements and summer assignments.

 

AP English Language and Composition – (11th Grade)

The 11th grade Advanced Placement Program is a sophisticated course designed to help students to read, analyze and write with the level of skill needed in a first-year college composition course. Students are held to high standards of performance in a rapidly paced program. Students who enter this program are expected to have already mastered the fundamentals of writing and speaking. Students will explore a diverse collection of college-level readings and techniques that focus on rhetoric, reading and writing. This intense examination of rhetorical devices will lead them to more effective communication, including rational exchange of opposing points of view. Emphasis will be given to analysis, argumentation, synthesis, and visual analysis skills. Students will explore the complexities of issues and learn to integrate the different viewpoints represented. Timed-writing practice will be given in the classroom, resulting in fully processed formal essays. Students will be expected to be genuinely committed to the Advanced Placement Program, including the Advanced Placement Examination in May. In addition, students will be expected to complete all Central requirements for the 11th grade English curriculum, including a research paper and numerous readings in American Literature. For admission, students are required to complete an application, to get their current English teacher’s recommendation, to submit a copy of their report card with As and Bs in all subjects, and to take and score well on the department test (essay). Additionally, attendance and PSAT scores (AP Potential) will be considered. Please see your current English teacher for more information.

 

AP English Literature and Composition – (12th grade)

The Advanced Placement Program is designed to evoke the atmosphere of a university course in the introduction to literature. Students will be held to high standards of performance and make progress at a very rapid pace. Students who enter this program will be expected to have already mastered the fundamentals of writing and speaking. Hence, drill and mere skill development will not be part of this program. Instead, the course will center on the study of literature, and students will be required to respond to that study with intelligence and clarity of expression. However, verbal and written expression will be emphasized. Students will produce extemporaneous responses under timed conditions but will also compose fully processed formal essays. Students will be expected to be genuinely committed to the Advanced Placement Program, including the Advanced Placement Examination in May. For admission, students are required to complete an application, to get their current English teacher’s recommendation, to submit a copy of their report card with As and Bs in all subjects, and to take and score well on the department test (essay). Additionally, attendance and PSAT scores (AP Potential) will be considered. Please see your current English teacher for more information.

 

AP Calculus AB / AP Calculus BC

The Advanced Placement calculus course covers all topics normally covered in a first college course. BC Calculus will cover some additional topics (series, differential equations, parametric equations, etc.)  and proceed at a more rapid rate. Students must pass the Calculus AP test and have received at least an 80 test average in Pre-Calculus Honors or have received at least an 84 test average in regular Pre-Calculus.

AP Statistics

AP Statistics is a non-calculus based statistics course covering what is usually learned in a one semester college introductory statistics course.  The course emphasizes understanding and analyzing statistical studies and the development of an intuitive understanding of statistics and probability.  Students develops skills in sampling procedure, analyzing data, designing and analyzing surveys and experiments, estimation, and hypothesis testing.  Students gain a sense of the importance/relevance of statistics in the real world and are able to evaluate the use and misuse of statistics.  All students are expected to take the AP Statistics Examination in May.

Requirements:
  • Students applying to AP statistics typically complete a written assessment.  The department publishes the assignment in January and interested students have approximately three weeks to submit their work.
  • The assignment is marked according to a rubric by a committee of mathematics teachers based on the following criteria:  communications, mathematical presentations, personal engagement/reflections, and use of mathematics.
  • While students should have earned at least a B in their current mathematics courses, students with at least a C will be considered for AP Statistics provides their overall weighted GPA is at least 3.7.

AP Music Theory

This course serves as a component of any college curriculum introducing the first-year student to music theory, a subject that comprises the musical materials and procedures common throughout music history.  It emphasizes many aspect of music, such as harmony; more often, however, it integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical analysis, elementary composition, and to some extent, history and style. Musicianship skills such as dictation, listening skills, and sight-singing are an important part of the theory course. See Mr. Blazer in room 324 or email him at bblazer@philasd.org to schedule an interview to seek approval to take the course.  AP potential will be considered as well.  Administration has final approval over all class rosters.

 

AP Biology – (12th grade)

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations, lectures and research projects as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. All topics in the Advanced Placement Biology curriculum guide will be covered. Each student is required to take the AP Biology Exam in the spring. Self-motivation and resourcefulness are the primary characteristics of successful AP Biology students.  Students will need to commit extensive study time to master the wide range of topics level of content detail, and critical thinking-analysis for the AP exam.

AP Chemistry (11th – 12th grades)

AP Chemistry is a two year, lab based course that is taught in one academic school year.  This course is designed for those students who desire to study more quantitative aspects of Chemistry. Laboratory experiments are complex and sometimes require a great deal of time to complete.  The course is designed to prepare students to take the AP exam in May of the academic year. The topics covered are stoichiometry, gas laws, chemical reactions, atomic structure, chemical bonding, liquid state, solid state, colligative properties, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, acid‑base theory, electrochemistry, oxidation‑reduction, and descriptive chemistry based on the Periodic Table.

AP Physics 1 (10th & 11th grades)

An advanced placement course that provides an in depth look at mechanics and electricity as well as an extensive laboratory work on the topics above.  The objective of this course is to prepare students for the AP Physics 1 exam.

AP Physics 2 (11th and 12th grades)

An advanced placement course that provides an in depth look at fluids, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics, as well as a laboratory work on the topics above. The objective of this course is to prepare students for the AP Physics 2 exam.

 

AP Physics C (12th grade)

An advanced placement course that provides rigorous study of Mechanics and Electromagnetism at the second year college physics level. Calculus and Advanced Algebra are used as the major mathematics tools. The objective of this course is to prepare students for the AP Physics C exams and future studies of Physics or Engineering. Prerequisites: Students must have an A or B in AP Physics 1, 2, or Honors Physics and Mathematics, as well as a passing score on the required entrance exam. Students must also obtain a recommendation from their Physics teacher.

AP Environmental Science (11th and 12th)

The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them (College Board). Although Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, there are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that are covered in the course. The course examines how natural systems change over time and space, how technology and population growth relate to environmental challenges, and how we plan for a sustainable future. The course involves laboratory and field investigations, lecture, discussion, analysis of primary research and data, independent research, and development of applied solutions as presented at Central’s Earth Day event. This course is an alternative (not a successor) to the regular Environmental Science:  you may only take one or the other, not both.

 

AP US History (11th grade – replaces US History requirement)

The AP U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing,  crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in the world. In line with college and university U.S. history survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491 to 1607 and from 1980 to the present. It also allows teachers flexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics of their choice in depth.

 

AP US Government and Politics (12th grade – replaces Social Science requirement)

Students will engage in an intensive study of foundations and structures of US government and ways that politics affect public policy in preparation for the AP exam. At the same time, students will implement an authentic social action policy, and political positions to fulfill their senior project requirement. They will choose a issue that is important to them to focus on, and they will evaluate positions, debate from different perspectives, contact and build connections with community-based organizations, interest groups, media, and elected officials. Students will evaluate their impact of their collective action and present achievements to the community.

 

AP Microeconomics (12th grade – replaces Social Science requirement)

AP Microeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual economic decision-makers. The course also develops students’ familiarity with the operation of product and factor markets, distributions of income, market failure, and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.

 

AP World History (10th through 12th grade elective)

The purpose of this course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. The course emphasizes relevant factual knowledge deployed in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence. The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. Please contact Mr. Quinn, Social Studies Department Chair, in room 210 or at taquinn@philasd.org

AP Psychology (11th and 12th grade elective)

The course introduces students to the discipline of psychology by emphasizing the history of psychology as a science, the different theoretical approaches that underlie explanations of behavior, and the contemporary research methods used by psychologists. The emergence of scientific psychology will help students to understand the major approaches to the science: behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic, and psychodynamic. Please contact Mr. Quinn, Social Studies Department Chair, in room 210 or at taquinn@philasd.org

 

Advanced Placement World Languages

These courses are college level for the high achieving, highly motivated language learner who has the prerequisite knowledge and coursework. It is designed to sharpen listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, culminating in the May examination. Students are expected to understand and manipulate complex tenses, grammatical concepts and vocabulary. Students will discuss social and cultural issues, the arts, politics and should be able to sustain conversation at length. In addition to the rigorous course load, students will be expected to do much independent reading/work in order to be an active participant in the class. The Department Chair’s permission, the present teacher’s recommendation, and high marks are necessary to be admitted. Examinations may be required. Please contact Ms. Rodriguez, World Language Department Chair, in Room 243 at rgrimes@philasd.org

Last modified: January 26, 2018