Scheduling: Which AP Classes to Take?

By: Sara Wolf

As scheduling occurs within the next few weeks at BHS, many students are facing the same questions: Do I take AP courses? How many should I take? Which classes would be best for me?

If you’ve found yourself wrestling with any of these questions, there are plenty of ways to make a decision that will leave you more comfortable with the schedule you are signing up for in the coming year. In the descriptions below of AP courses offered at BHS, the teacher currently instructing the class is listed. Go talk to the teacher of the class that you’re considering to hear about things like workload, prep for the AP exam, and content you will be working on throughout the year. Also be sure to talk to the teachers you have this year. They’ve seen your abilities to know in which classes you’ll find success or find yourself constantly struggling and overwhelmed. Talk to other students currently taking courses you are considering to see how they manage the classes and feel about them. Go talk to your counselor about the schedule you’re considering and about any concerns you may have — they are more than willing to help you reach a decision that will be the most beneficial for you.

All class summaries are from BHS course selection guide that covers all classes offered at BHS, not only those that are AP. There are also more specific links to scheduling resources on the BHS Guidance Page.

 

AP English Language – Juniors Only

Currently instructed by: Ms. Bills-Tenney

Students in this introductory college-level course read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of nonfiction prose selections from the American literary tradition, deepening their understanding of rhetoric and how language works.  Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening their own composing abilities.  Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from American works.

 

AP English Literature – Seniors Only

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Klepacz

A critical thinking class which seeks to give students analytical tools as well as transferable skills for college and career readiness.  This senior level class is designed for students who exhibit above average ability and exceptionally high interest in English and who have demonstrated exemplary achievement and ability to work independently. It uses a chronological study of British Literature with additional pieces of American and world literature for comparison purposes. Students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as figurative language, imagery, symbolism, tone, etc. and write in a variety of formats, with special emphasis on writing for the AP Literature test. They are tested in a variety of formats, including multiple choice tests, to prepare them for that part of the AP experience and exam. Students also read a great deal of critical material and study history, art, and cultural materials from each time period.

 

AP Calc AB/BC

Currently instructed by: Mr. Breese

This course is for advanced students in preparation for college. The course covers Differential and Integral Calculus. This course requires students to take the AP Calculus AB exam. This course is designed to lead to the Advancement Placement Calculus BC class.  A graphing calculator in the TI- Family (i.e. TI-83+, TI-84 color) is required.  A B- or higher in Scholarship Pre-calculus is required, along with teacher recommendation.

BC: This course is designed for students who want an overview of calculus and/or students who want to prepare for AP Calculus AB or college calculus.  Students will review algebra and trigonometry concepts and study limits, derivatives, and basic integration.  A graphing calculator in the TI- Family (i.e. TI-83+, TI-84 color) is required.  A B- or higher in Pre-calculus is required, along with teacher recommendation.

 

AP Statistics

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Rivero

This course will introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There is a heavy emphasis on reading and writing in this course.  Students who complete this course may take the Statistics AP exam. A B- or higher in Algebra 2 CP is recommended, along with teacher recommendation.  A graphing calculator in the TI- Family (i.e. TI-83+, TI-84 color) is required.

 

AP Computer Science

Currently instructed by: Mr. Schultz

The AP Computer Science A course is designed to be comparable to a college/university level, entry year computer science class using the JAVA programming language and will prepare students for the AP Computer Science A Exam.  Specific topics being covered include Class Design, Advanced Control Statements, Searching and Sorting Algorithms, Inheritance and Polymorphism, and Recursive Algorithms.   Students must begin this class with a moderate understanding of logical program design, elements of logical program structure, and should be able to write Java programs using numeric and string variables, Boolean logic, conditional branching, and looping statements. Therefore, completion of one of the following prerequisite options is REQUIRED for enrollment in this course!  
PreRequisite Options:
– Intro to Java Programming (semester course or 6-week summer workshop)
– AP Computer Science Principles
– Engineering or Computer Science course combined with a Java summer assignment
– Completion of a comparable course  OR 70% or above on a Java placement test

 

AP Music Theory

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Siler

Students in AP Theory will be challenged in all areas of music theory including advanced harmonic analysis, composition, orchestration, and arranging as well as ear training and other auditory skills.  Students will take the collegiate advanced placement examination in May.  This course is recommended for students who wish to continue in musical study past graduation from high school, or for students who wish to learn the construction and composition of music.  *May be offered only every other year, dependent upon enrollment.*  AP Theory is also a CC+ accredited class.

 

AP Biology

Currently instructed by: Mr. Reinhart

This course follows the curriculum for the Advanced Placement Biology exam as stated by the College Board. Emphasis will be placed on eight themes of biology: Science as a Process, Evolution, Energy Transfer, Continuity and Change, Relationship of Structure to Function, Regulation, Interdependence in Nature, and Science, Technology, and Society.

 

AP Chemistry

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Eggleton
Board. Topics covered include: atomic structure, stoichiometrics, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, and equilibrium.  Laboratory experience is a significant part of the course, stressing analytical methods, titration techniques, and collection of data.  Additional time during the school day will be scheduled to satisfy AP curriculum lab requirement.

 

AP Environmental Science

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Dyer

The course treats environmental science as an interdisciplinary study, combining ideas and information from the natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, and geology, and from the social sciences such as economics, politics, and ethics to present a general idea of how nature works and how things are interconnected.  This course requires participation in field activities that are done outside of the school day.

 

AP U.S. History

Currently instructed by: Mr. Parks

This course is intended for qualified students who wish to complete studies, in high school, equivalent to the college introductory course in U.S. History and prepare for the AP test given in May.  Enrollment is limited and there is a fee for the class.  (Prerequisite:  teacher recommendation – grades 11+12.)

 

AP Government – Seniors Only

Currently instructed by: Mrs. Snowden

This course is intended for qualified students who wish to complete studies, in high school, equivalent to a college introductory course in Government and Politics.  Topics similar to those addressed in American Government and Economics will be addressed but the course is intended to prepare students for the AP exam to be taken in May.  Six hours of community service are required to be in compliance with state graduation requirements.  Enrollment is limited and there is a book fee for the course. (Prerequisite:  Successful completion of AP US History OR a minimum of one other AP course prior to the senior year.)

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