• Heights High School
    Advanced Academics Course Descriptions
     

     

    Heights HS has a policy of open enrollment for Pre AP/AP classes. We count on parents and students to be judicious in selecting advanced classes. Students must turn in a Pre AP/AP Entrance Agreement Form to take advanced classes. Your student may take all the advanced classes for which he/she has the prerequisite and for which you feel he/she is qualified. There are certain caveats outlined on the form and some listed below that should be heeded.

     

    Parents, along with their students, should consider the following questions and implications as they review their student’s schedule and performance.

     

    • Is your child self-motivated, an independent worker, and organized?
    • Does your child have good study skills?
    • Is there a place away from the television and an internet connected computer with instant messaging where he/she does homework every night?
    • Does your child maintain a daily planner and keep up with long-term assignments?
    • As a parent, do you have time and are you willing to help your child with his/her organizational needs on a daily basis?
    • Is your child involved with one or more extra-curricular activities? How much time outside the school day is required for each activity per day / per week?
    • Does your child have a job? If so, how many hours per week are spent at work?
    • How much sleep per night does your child require to feel rested and be productive the following day?
    • For each course in which your child plans to enroll, how much study time on average will be required?
    • Is your child a fast reader with good retention?
    • Does your child make notes as he/she reads?
    • Does your child retain information from class well?
    • How well does your child handle stressful situations?
    • Is your child realistic about his/her performance expectations?
    • As a parent, are you realistic about expectations you have of your child?

     

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
     
     
    Pre-IB English 1
    Grade : 9th
    Prerequisite : 

     

    English 1-PAP is designed to challenge students who show aptitude and achievement in English, while providing an introduction to IB and AP assessments formats and skills. It serves specifically as a preparatory course for English II PAP. Special emphasis will be placed on developing more sophisticated writing, vocabulary and critical reading skills. Because the student will qualify for additional grade points in the advanced course, a superior level of performance is expected. Students are required to complete a summer reading list prior to English II-PAP. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    Pre-AP & Pre-IB English 2
    Grade: 10th
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB English 1

     

    English 2 serves as a preparatory course for English III-AP and for the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test administered at the end of the junior year. This course challenges students with high aptitude and achievement skills in writing and reading skills. A superior level of performance and outside work is expected. Students are required to complete a summer reading list. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    AP English Language & Composition 
    Grade: 11th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP or Pre-IB English 2

     

    English Language & Composition is designed for the student who is capable of doing college-level work. It serves as a preparatory course for the AP Language and Composition Test administered at the end of the junior and AP Literature Exam administered in the senior year. A strong emphasis will be placed on major writers and their works in various genres and the development of writing skills focused on the critical analysis of literature. Because students qualify for additional grade points in the course, a superior level of performance is expected. Completion of a summer reading list is required. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    AP English Literature & Composition 
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: AP English 3
     
     
    The English Literature & Composition course offers college level work to highly skilled and motivated seniors and prepares them for the AP Literature and Composition Test which are administered in May. Students in this course will read advanced literature from all genres and periods of literature, discuss the reading in depth, and evaluate those readings in composition assignments that require critical analysis using types of literary criticism. In addition, students will study advanced vocabulary. Because students in this class qualify for additional grade points, a superior level of performance and motivation is expected. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     


    MATHEMATICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

     

    Pre-IB Algebra I
    Grade: 9th
    Prerequisite: 

     

    Algebra I is course designed to stress the theory of exponents and functions, properties of the real and quadratic equations and functions, properties of the real and complex number systems, the use of coordinate geometry, application of exponential and logarithmic function, study of polynomials and properties of sequences and series. Because the students will qualify for additional grade points in the advanced course, a superior level of performance is expected as they are introduced to IB and AP assessments formats and skills.Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    Pre-IB Geometry
    Grade: 10th
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB Algebra I 

     

    In addition to the topics of geometry, the course will develop concepts in trigonometry and analysis. It is intended for students who will ultimately take Advanced Placement in Calculus. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.



    Pre-AP Algebra II 
    Grade: 11th
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB Algebra I

     

    This course is designed for students who will advance to pre-calculus and calculus. It covers the same material as Algebra II but with greater emphasis and depth on functional relationships and their graphs. Pre-AP Algebra II lays the foundation for preparing students for the Calculus Advanced Placement Exam. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    Pre-AP Pre-Calculus 
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre AP Algebra II

     

    This course is designed to prepare students to proceed to Advanced Placement Calculus-BC syllabus. It covers the same material as Pre-Calculus with greater emphasis and depth on elementary functions and their graphs, as well as considering vectors, polar coordinates and limits. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    AP Calculus AB
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP Pre-Calculus

     

    This course is designed for the student with a strong background in college preparatory mathematics that wishes to earn one semester of college credit in calculus. All students are encouraged to take the AP examination. Topics include analysis in function, graphs, limits, derivatives, and integrals. Applications for each of these topics will be explored. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.

     

     
     
    AP Statistics 
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP Alegebra II
     
    The AP Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding. 
     

     

    SCIENCE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
     
     

     

    Pre-AP Biology I
    Grade: 9th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP IPC

     

    The Biology – Pre-AP course is designed to improve process skills in biology with emphasis in current topics. In-depth lab experiments and detailed reporting of observations of integral parts of the course. Student who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
     
    AP Biology II 
    Grade: 11th
    Prerequisite: It is strongly recommended that students have taken Pre-AP Biology I

     

    The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to prepare students with strong academic backgrounds for college study in the biological sciences. It includes an advanced study of selected topics with emphasis on laboratory experience and problem solving with living research as an integral part. Students are encouraged to take the College Board Advanced Placement Examination for college credit. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
     
    AP Chemistry I
    Grade: 11th, 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP Chemistry 1

     

    Chemistry 1 AP is designed for college bound students and emphasizes problem solving and experimental design with current chemistry topics. Students are encouraged to take the College Board Advanced Placement Examination for college credit. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
     
    AP Physics I 
    Grade: 11th, 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP Algebra II

    This is an Algebra-based Physics course. The students will be able to learn the concepts of Physics theory through both conceptual and mathematical means. One goal of this class is to prepare the student for career areas such as Engineering, Medicine, and other areas needing higher math/science applications. A second goal is successful completion of the Advanced Placement examination. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
    AP Environmental Science
    Grade: 11th, 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP Biology, Pre-AP Chemistry  
     
    The AP Environmental Science course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. 
     
     
     

      
    SOCIAL STUDIES COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
     
     
     
    AP Human Geography 
    Grade: 9th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP English & Pre-AP US History 8th Grade

     

    AP Human Geography is a two semester course. The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. On successful completion of the course, students should have developed skills that enable them to: use and think about maps and spatial data, understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places, recognize and interpret at different scales, the relationships among patterns and processes, define regions and evaluate the regionalization process, and characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
     
     
     
    Pre-AP World Geography 
    Grade: 9th
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP US History 8th Grade

     

    This course is designed for those students who excel in social studies. Course work will include physical and cultural topics in World Geography and an in-depth study of those forces which have shaped modern society. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in this class for at least one semester.



    AP World History 
    Grade: 10
    Prerequisite: Pre-AP World Geography or AP Human Geography

     

    The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts in 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 global frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge, leading interpretive issues, and skills in analyzing types of historical evidence. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle to address change and continuity throughout the course. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of World History as a field of study.

     

     
    AP United States History 
    Grade: 11th 
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB World History or AP World History
     
    AP U.S. History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university U.S. history course. In AP U.S. History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; making historical comparisons; utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time; and developing historical arguments. 
     
     
    AP U.S. Government and Politics 
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB US History or AP US History

     

    Designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concept used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the American political reality. Students are encouraged to take the AP Government and Politics exam for college credit. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
     
    AP Macro Economics
    Grade: 12th
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB US History or AP US History

     

    AP Economics is designed for the student who is capable for doing college level work. Course content will include the scientific study of people and their institutions from the point of view of how they go about producing and consuming goods and services, and how they face the problem of making choices in a world of scarce resources. A study of the American Free Enterprise systems is investigated from a macro-economics point of view. Critical thinking, outside readings and research skills are integrated with the study of such topics as investment, credit, international trade and the role of government, labor, business ad the consumer in the economy. Students are encouraged to take the AP Macro Economics exam. Students who register for this course must be committed to remain in the class for at least one semester.
     
     
     

     

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
     
     
    Pre-IB German II
    Grade:
    Prerequisite:
     
     
    Pre-IB German III
    Grade:
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB German II
     
     
    Pre-IB Spanish II 
    Grade:
    Prerequisite:
      

    In pre IB Spanish, students will focus on the four major skills that will create fluency in a second language – speaking, reading, writing, and listening.  These are also the four required skills for the Spanish IB exam at the Diploma level.  My goal is to create an environment in my classroom in which everyone is comfortable to practice and participate. My goal is for students are to engage with the teacher as well as peers in Spanish as much as possible and some lessons of the class will be conducted completely in Spanish. Students will do a lot of partner speaking practice but also large class conversations as well as individual presentations.  Our online textbook, Avancemos, provides many practice activities including listening and reading. In addition, we will start with IB texts and practice reading comprehension questions early in the year as well as IB writing prompts and IB speaking practice assignments.  Through IB texts, students will increase their reading comprehension skills in Spanish as well as focus on comparing the similarities and differences between our lives here in Texas with those in other societies.  We will have mini-vocabulary quizzes each day, short grammar and listening homework assignments each night, as well as 3-4 larger homework assignments each six weeks. We will learn all the verb tenses required in the curriculum but focus on using them outside of the textbook to increase what we can say and what we can write in Spanish.  

     
     
    Pre-IB Spanish III
    Grade:
    Prerequisite: Pre-IB Spanish II
     

    In pre IB Spanish, students will focus on the four major skills that will create fluency in a second language – speaking, reading, writing, and listening.  These are also the four required skills for the Spanish IB exam at the Diploma level.  My goal is to create an environment in my classroom in which everyone is comfortable to practice and participate. Students are expected to engage with the teacher as well as peers in Spanish and a majority of the class will be conducted in Spanish. Students will do a lot of partner speaking practice but also large class conversations as well as individual presentations.  Our online textbook, Avancemos, provides many practice activities including listening and reading. In addition, we will start with IB texts and practice reading comprehension questions early in the year as well as IB writing prompts and IB speaking practice assignments.  Through IB texts, students will increase their reading comprehension skills in Spanish as well as focus on comparing the similarities and differences between our lives here in Texas with those in other societies.  We will have mini-vocabulary quizzes each day, short grammar and listening homework assignments each night, as well as 3-4 larger homework assignments each six weeks. We will learn all the verb tenses required in the curriculum but focus on using them outside of the textbook to increase what we can say and what we can write in Spanish.  

     
     
    AP German Language and Culture
    Grade:
    Prerequisite:  
     
    The AP German Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP German Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in German.
     
     
    AP Spanish Language and Culture
    Grade: 11th
    Prerequisite:

    The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes the use of Spanish for active communication in real life tasks, it focuses on developing your abilities in the three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) and strengthening your cultural competencies through theme-based instruction based on a variety of authentic resources, such as: newspapers, magazines, podcasts, blogs, advertisements, television programs, films, music, video clips, and literature.

     
     
    AP Spanish Literature and Culture
    Grade:12th 
    Prerequisite: 

    The AP Literature and Culture course introduces you to the formal study of a representative body of texts from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic literature. The course provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your proficiency in Spanish across the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities).