Advanced Placement Overview

  • Why Advanced Placement?

    The Advanced Placement® program at McClure Health Science High School provides a unique learning experience in which students learn an elevated curriculum. Our staff is committed to expanding your depth of knowledge and develop learning opportunities to further your college experience after high school. Administered by the College Board to promote college readiness, Advanced Placement® courses and exam scores are objective measures to assess our students and gain credit for introductory college courses. AP® exams are a recognized standard across the world and an integral part of the admissions decisions for many colleges and universities.

    Awaken the Wonder, is Dr. McClure’s vision to prepare the new generation to be both competent and compassionate healthcare professionals. "AwakenTheWonder." at McClure Health Science means that we as educators instill in our students the drive to wonder and to be curious, the drive to create a promising future, and the drive to make their impact on the world around us. At McClure Health Science High School, students have the opportunity to compare and contrast, synthesize data; becoming critical thinkers, problem solvers, and researchers for their future. 
     

    Who Takes an AP Course?

    It is the expectation that ALL students at McClure Health Science High School take an AP course during this high school experience. All students at McClure Health Science High School are encouraged to "Reach Ahead" for the challenge. The AP Experience provides students a unique opportunity to be exposed to both the passion and rigor of a college-level course.

    The AP Experience commits to:

    • Provide exposure to college-level assignments while developing the academic skills needed for college success.
    • Provide an edge in your college/university courses.
    • Develop independent and collaborative social skills.
    • Assist you as a standout with college applications.
    • Reduce financial cost and time when earning your degree.
    • Establish time management and adaptability in and out of the classroom.

    What's Next?

    Our Advanced Placement faculty will assist every step of the way with resources and tools to further develop your academic knowledge and skills in the classroom; which translates to the development of your overall character as a McClure Health Science graduate. 

    Courses will require a commitment to practice and skills outside of the classroom to ensure adequate success in the classroom that will translate into success on the AP Exam. There will be an opportunity to gain college credit through the AP exam which is administered each spring.

    Please review the course offerings and select the courses in which you would like to be enrolled. 

    • Create short-term and long-term goals to ensure success around time management and the understanding of expectations. Make 6-month plans as well as annual goals as checkpoints.
    • Some courses may suggest a pre-requisite and/or an application. Please see Mr. Medina for more details. 
    • AP courses and workload require specific time demands throughout the course. Please discuss as a family prior to signing the AP contract.
  • AP Biology

    Description: Advancement Placement Biology is the equivalent of an introductory college biology course taken by biology majors. This course aids in the development of the process of scientific inquiry and thinking. It provides students with a conceptual foundation in the major biological themes: science as a process, evolution, energy transfer, continuity, and change. This, coupled with in-depth lectures and extensive laboratory investigations, provides students with access to exciting, hands-on experiences. AP Biology will also help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and gain an appreciation of science as a process. 

    Skills for Success: Biology is largely vocabulary based, so self-motivation and organization are key to success. The ability to read and interpret large amounts of material and apply understanding to different scenarios is frequently used. Also, the ability to deduce information and make inferences regarding concepts is a valuable skill.

    Academic Suitability: Successful completion of Biology is required.

    Out of Class Commitments: There are extensive periodic assignments throughout the semester. The AP College Board recommended labs are completed outside of regular class time at teacher direction. Lab evaluations of data collected in the lab environment are done independently in report form. Reading of the textbook is necessary.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Dr. Lijuan Shang

  • AP Calculus AB

    Description: AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. The AP course covers topics in these areas, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections amongst these representations. Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions (College Board, AP Calculus AB).

    Note: AB Calculus covers 2/3 of the material covered in A.P Calculus BC.

    Skills for Success: Students should have a strong background in Algebra, Geometry, and Precalculus and a commitment to complete all assigned work, even if it is not graded. Students should have the ability to work independently. Intrinsic motivation to work hard and willingness to seek help when needed as well as problem-solving skills are necessary.

    Academic Suitability: Students must have passed Accelerated Precalculus or PreCalculus (must-completed modules in eClass by end of school year to learn content missed in Accelerated PreCalculus).

    Out of Class Commitments: Daily: 0-45 minutes for work not completed during class time. Additional time may be required if in need of tutoring before or after school. Outside of class preparation will be required for quizzes (1 hour), unit tests (2 hours), final exam (4-6 hours), and AP Exam in May (12-18 hours).

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Gagan Mahal

  • AP Computer Science Principles

    Description: AP Computer Science Principles is designed to be equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course. Students will develop computational thinking skills, analyze and study data, and work with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. They will create a computer program and demonstrate employability skills working with digital artifacts, digital abstractions, and the operation of the Internet.

    Skills for Success: Students should have a strong foundation in basic linear functions and composition of functions, and problem-solving strategies that require multiple approaches and collaborative efforts. Students should be able to use a Cartesian coordinate system to represent points on a plane and possess a strong work ethic due to the pace and rigor of the course.

    Academic Suitability: Successful completion of Algebra I and Geometry along with a strong foundation of mathematical reasoning are required.

    Out of Class Commitments: Homework is assigned frequently, and includes readings and videos, exercises, and quiz and test preparation.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Ashlyn Bennett

  • AP English Language and Composition

    Description: The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help high school students become skilled readers of a variety of texts, as well as become skilled writers. Students achieve this through awareness of the interactions among a writer’s purpose, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the ways that writing rules and language-use contribute to effective writing. The course is designed for students who love reading, writing, and discussion, or are at least willing to apply themselves to the task.

    Skills for Success: Students should have a strong work ethic coupled with a fundamental understanding of writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills.

    Academic Suitability: Students who have excelled in their gifted/honors Language Arts course. Regardless of previous courses, however, students must attend class regularly, practice purposeful engagement during class, and complete all assignments to the best of their ability.

    Out of Class Commitments: Students should plan to devote about 30 minutes every day to AP English Language and Composition.

    Summer Work: Click here to view summer reading information for 2020-2021.

    Contact: Jessie Zaretsky

    AP English Language & Composition can be taken in place of Senior Language Arts (a 12th grade graduation requirement).

  • AP English Literature and Composition

    Description: This Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition course is designed to develop your ability to read and understand literature, communicate in writing and in speech, and polish skills you will need in your academic and professional future. The course follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description, and, unlike other levels of language arts, the “Advanced Placement” designation indicates that this is a college-level literature course with increased academic rigor and intellectual demands.

    Skills for Success: The most important skills for AP English Literature and Composition are reading and writing. You will need to plan time in your schedule for more reading than most courses require. Novels and plays in particular require planning. The writing assignments in this course are varied, but include writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate. All critical writing asks that you evaluate the effectiveness of a literary piece, but being an effective evaluator requires you to understand and explain. You will write critical papers of varying lengths, explicate poetry, short fiction, and drama, and perform a close reading of novels. Each paper will use specific and well-chosen evidence to communicate an argument about poems, drama, and fiction. These critical essays are based on close textual analysis of structure, style, and social/historical values.

    Academic Suitability: Gifted and honors language arts courses provide the best foundation for success in AP English Literature and Composition. Regardless of previous courses, however, students must attend class regularly, practice purposeful engagement during class, and complete all assignments to the best of their ability.

    Out of Class Commitments: Through the course of the year, students will read at least five novels. Students complete all reading at home, and all reading assignments include written work that focuses on character development and thematic ideas. Culminating assignments for novels include major work reviews and preparation of Socratic seminars. Students should plan to devote about 30 minutes every day to AP English Literature and Composition.

    Summer Work: Click here to view summer reading information for 2020-2021. 

    Contact: Jessie Zaretsky

    AP English Literature and Composition can be taken in place of Senior Language Arts (a 12 grade graduation requirement).

  • AP Environmental Science

    Description: This multidisciplinary course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester introductory college course in environmental science. It is designed 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 man-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them (College Board, AP Environmental Science).

    Skills for Success: Self-motivation and analytical thinking (or willingness to learn) are needed. Math is incorporated into almost every unit so basic math skills are necessary. Students should have an interest in understanding Earth’s interconnectivity.

    Academic Suitability: Successful completion of Biology is required, and Chemistry is recommended.

    Out of Class Commitments: An average of 30 minutes per class to complete assignments, read, prepare for labs, write reports, take quizzes, and/or study for tests.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Dr. Leslie Dunham

  • AP Human Geography

    Description: AP Human Geography is a year-long course that focuses on the distribution, processes, and effects of the human population on this planet. Units of study include population, migration, culture, language, religion, ethnicity, politics, economic development, industry, agriculture, and urban geography. Emphasis is placed on geographic models and their applications, including case studies from around the globe.

    Skills for Success: Students need to be avid readers and notetakers. They need to be able to discuss the topics and be able to make abstract connections within the context of the class and the real world.

    Academic Suitability: Students need to have an “A” in both Language Arts and their current social studies course. This course is a recommended AP entry course for 9th grade students and 8th grade LA/SS teachers may recommend.

    Out of Class Commitments: Students are required to read and complete terms every day. They will also have other assignments that are started in class and completed at home. There are mini projects and one major project each semester. These are mostly completed in class.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Michelle Fowler and Shannon Zangas

  • AP Macroeconomics

    Description: AP Macroeconomics examines the principles of economics, which apply to economic systems as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price determination as well as performance measures, economic growth, and international economics.

    Skills for Success: Organizational skills, basic math skills, and analytical thinking are a must.

    Academic Suitability: There are no prerequisites for this class.

    Out of Class Commitments: 30-45 minutes per night

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Presley Spicer

    This is a one-semester course combined with AP US Government for the other semester.

    AP Macroeconomics can be taken in place of Economics (a 12-grade graduation requirement).

  • AP Physics I

    Description: This course is an introductory course teaching laws of motion through a balance of lecture with guided discussion and hands-on lab activities. Students in this course do not need any prior physical courses.

    Skills for Success: Self-motivation and analytical thinking (or willingness to learn) are needed. Math is incorporated into almost every unit so basic math skills are necessary. Students should have an interest in understanding Earth’s interconnectivity.

    Academic Suitability: Successful completion of Honors/Gifted Chemistry is required for rising Juniors. Successful completion of Honors Physics is required of rising Seniors.

    Out of Class Commitments: An average of 30 minutes per class to complete assignments, read, prepare for labs, write reports, take quizzes, and/ or study for tests.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Dr. Leslie Dunham

    AP Physics I can be taken in place of Physics (graduation requirement) or can be taken after the successful completion of Physics (as an elective).

  • AP Psychology

    Description: This course is the scientific study of the brain and human behavior

    Skills for Success: Students must have the ability to read and write with strong reading and vocabulary skills. You must have good study skills and the ability to organize and apply your time. The ability to learn new vocabulary is a must.

    Academic Suitability: There are no prerequisites, but a student should be entering 11th or 12th grade.

    Out of Class Commitments: Approximately 45 minutes each night of reading or studying.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Deborah Rubin

  • AP Seminar

    Description: This class builds and tests students’ research and synthesis skills by having students look at real-world issues and arguments through a variety of different lenses, and present/defend their findings through both written reports and live multimedia presentations. This class is taught in conjunction with 10th Grade Language Arts.

    Skills for Success: Although reading, writing, and public speaking skills are all important for this class, so are time management and self-discipline, as the work is challenging and often self-directive.

    Academic Suitability: AP Seminar is a class offered to incoming sophomores with a 4.0 GPA who will have completed at least one AP course in their freshman year. Qualified candidates will receive an invitation to apply for the course and be selected based on an application and teacher recommendation(s).

    Out of Class Commitments: Students should expect to spend, on average, about 30-45 minutes a night reading literary materials, taking short, weekly online quizzes, and completing major assignments such as speeches and research papers. This 30 minutes will fluctuate depending on upcoming assessments and activities.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Dr. James Glenn

  • AP Spanish Language

    Description: The Advanced Placement Spanish Language course adheres to the College Board AP Central course description and is comparable to fifth and sixth semester college and university courses that focus on speaking and writing in the target language at an advanced level. The course is taught entirely in Spanish.

    Skills for Success: The emphasis of the course is on strengthening communicative abilities in Spanish in order to demonstrate strong interactive communicative ability in Spanish in the interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive modes; a strong command of Spanish linguistic skills. These include accuracy and fluency that support communicative ability; comprehension of Spanish intended for native speakers in a variety of settings, types of disclosure, topics, styles, and board regional variations; ability to produce Spanish comprehensible to native speakers in a variety of settings, types of discourse, and topics.

    Academic Suitability: Students who have completed Spanish 3, Spanish 4, Spanish for Natives 2, or have completed a placement exam.

    Out of Class Commitments: Most of what is learned in the course is accomplished with intensive work in the class. Outside work includes studying for quizzes and exams, correcting exams or essays, and finishing work not completed during class time.

    Summer Work: The summer assignment is designed to keep Spanish skills fresh. It will take approximately an hour per week to complete.

    Contact: Jeimy Soto-Leon

  • AP Statistics

    Description: Students will learn how to make sense of categorical and quantitative data using graphs and summary statistics. Students will also learn how to select a random sample, reduce bias and variability when conducting surveys, and set up a valid controlled experiment. They will explore probability theory, compute and interpret confidence intervals, and conduct tests of significance. Emphasis of this course is an interpretation rather than calculations.

    Skills for Success: The most successful students are good logical thinkers and good writers. Algebra II is the math prerequisite.

    Academic Suitability: Algebra II is the suggested prerequisite due to the use of logarithms and solving radical equations. A strong 9th grade student who is successful in gifted accelerated math would probably be successful with a teacher recommendation. It is suggested that AP Statistics should not replace the experience of precaluculus or trigonometry. However, a very strong 9th or 10th grade student could double up with AP Statistics and Accelerated Geometry or Accelerated Precaluculus if his/her schedule allows.

    Out of Class Commitments: Student will spend about 30 minutes on homework each night

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Katie Kangas

  • AP U.S. Government and Politics

    Description: AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts ideas, institutions, politics, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional systems and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret date, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments.

    Skills for Success: Self-motivation, analytical thinking, good reading and writing skills, good study skills, and organizational habits are a must

    Academic Suitability: There are no prerequisites for this class.

    Out of Class Commitments: Students should spend approximately 30-45 minutes each night and outside of class commitments include class readings, review of course materials, and online assignments.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Presley Spicer

    This is a one-semester course combined with AP Macroeconomics for the other semester.

    AP US Government & Politics can be taken in place of Political Systems (a 12-grade graduation requirement).

  • AP United States History

    Description: AP United States History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about U.S. History from development of Native American society to present while applying historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. AP Students will explore American & National Identity, Migration and Settlement, Politics and Power, Work, Exchange, and Technology, America in the World, Geography and Environment, and Society and Culture while experiencing historical inquiry for investigation through the course. These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time, causation, and comparisons among various historical development in different times and places.  

    Skills for Success: Students are expected to be engaged in class with regard to the following: actively taking notes, participating in class discussions, posing questions about course material, and keeping pace with course readings. Students should also have highly developed reading and writing skills, which are essential to success in the course.

    Academic Suitability: AP World History is not a prerequisite for AP United States History. However, students wishing to move to AP US History from Honors World History should have earned an A average in each semester. In addition, have developing writing skills as this will be vital for success in the AP Exam.

    Out of Class Commitments: Students should expect to dedicate 30-40 minutes each night reviewing key concept importance and connection to the “larger” impact on their lives, America, and the world.

    Summer Work: Writing skill developments over SAQs, LEQs, and DBQs.

    Contact: Marcus Medina

  • AP World History

    Description: The focus of AP World History is to develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their course and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies.

    Skills for Success: Students must have a high level of reading comprehension, be comfortable analyzing documents, and be a skilled essay writer.

    Academic Suitability: There are no prerequisites for AP World History; students who have taken AP Human Geography or Honors Geography in previous years should consider the course. The course possesses a high comfort level with the content and rigor. Students who currently have no social studies class can seek a recommendation from their language arts teacher.

    Out of Class Commitments: Students are expected to read assigned pages of the textbook or notes each night. Furthermore, students will be assigned scholarly articles, lecture notes, historical skills practice, eClass assessments, and/or reading questions in addition to reading and studying some evening.

    Summer Work: NONE

    Contact: Dr. James Glenn

    AP World History can be taken in place of World History (a 10th grade graduation requirement).

AP Coordinator

  • Students throwing graduation caps in air.