Understanding Course Levels
Many courses are offered at multiple levels. Your child’s current teacher is your best guide to which academic level to choose (academic, honors, high honors or AP) in particular courses. It is also important to pay particular attention to any prerequisites for a course.
In many academic areas, initial course placement is based upon: teacher recommendations, test scores, and grades. If the parent/student disagrees with a placement and requests to override the teacher’s recommendation, the student accepts responsibility for increased rigor, coursework, and pacing.
Once the next school year begins, requests for course changes must follow the established procedure, which includes written parental permission, counselor approval, teacher input and administrator approval. Keep in mind that changing a section in one course may require shuffling all courses and we may not be able to accommodate a requested change due to enrollment numbers.
- ACADEMIC (A) – These classes are for students with achievement test scores generally between the 30th and 70th percentile. Classroom work depends upon outside preparation each day with class reinforcement. These classes will afford students a solid foundation to build upon as they move through their high school experience.
- HONORS (H) – These classes are for students of high academic achievement. Students recommended to these classes typically have high grades and high scores on standardized assessments usually above the 70th percentile. Classroom instruction assumes that all students have the skills and motivation enabling them to do special reports and projects, etc., in addition to mastering the regular basic test and materials.
- ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) and HIGH HONORS (HH) – Students recommended to these classes typically have high grades and very high-test scores – usually above 95th percentile on appropriate standardized achievement tests. These students have also demonstrated a great interest in the subject with skills commensurate with enthusiastic independent work and exploration.
High Honors and AP courses are equally rigorous. A course carries the AP designation if its course content corresponds to the content of an AP test offered by the College Board. Some colleges award college credit and higher placement to students who score well on the AP test.