Menchville High School

275 Menchville Road    Newport News, VA 23602    Phone: (757) 886-7722    Fax: (757) 875-0648

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Advanced Placement Program

AP

The Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations Program is a service provided by College Board. High school students may take college-level examinations each spring and, depending upon their scores, may be awarded college credit and/or advanced placement at participating colleges and universities. All NNPS students who take AP courses must take the corresponding AP test in order to earn the full weighted credit for the course.

Newport News Public Schools will pay for AP tests to be given to all students enrolled in appropriate courses. Advanced Placement Examinations are administered in May of each year.  In June, the examinations are graded on a five-point scale: 5 = extremely well qualified; 4 = well qualified; 3 = qualified; 2 = possibly qualified; and 1 = no recommendation.

In July, the scores are sent to the students, their designated colleges, and their home schools.  Colleges that participate in the Advanced Placement Examinations Program will then consider full or partial credit for scores of three or better.  Students enrolled in an AP course must work at an AP level throughout the course and put forth their best effort on the tests to be successful.

The benefits of taking Advanced Placement courses include:

  • getting a head start on college-level work
  • improving writing skills and sharpening problem-solving techniques
  • developing the study habits necessary for tackling rigorous course work
  • studying subjects in greater depth and detail
  • the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing at participating colleges and universities

Visit the College Board website for more information:

AP Science

Environmental Science:

The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one semester, introductory college course in environmental science.  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 or preventing them.  Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study.  The AP Environmental Science course is an excellent option for any interested student who has completed two years of high school math and demonstrates strong science skills. 

Physics 1:

Algebra-Based:  is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits.

Physics 2:

Algebra-Based:  is the equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; and atomic and nuclear physics.

Why AP Physics?

http://www.shmoop.com/video/ap-physics
http://www.aps.org/programs/education/whystudy.cfm

Biology:

AP Biology is the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course. The new redesigned course is the considered the “gold standard” by college biology professors. The survey course will give you a solid background in biochemistry, energetics, cellular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, biotechnology, and homeostasis. AP Biology is a lab based course and will prepare you with the lab skills to be successful in college-level biology courses.

Most colleges will give credit to non-biology majors for a qualifying score of 3 or better. AP Biology is a great way to fulfill a science general education requirement. Those desiring to major in biology can earn credit that may allow you to skip introductory biology courses and begin taking upper level courses in your major.  Whether you desire to major in biology or not, AP Biology provides an excellent opportunity to earn 4-8 college credits for free.

The course is fun, interactive, and perfect for a student who wants the rigor of a college course while your mom still does your laundry.

Chemistry:

Ever wonder how batteries work, or how acids dissolve seashells?  No? me neither, but hey you want to get into your first choice college, right?  Yeah you do.  Well, you’re going to have to stand out in the crowd, to do that, you need to show your university that you aren’t scared of a hard class.  Sign up for AP Chemistry and set yourself apart.  AP Chemistry is taught partially flipped, meaning your only homework is to watch YouTube.  In class we’ll do experiments, and test out the theories you learned.  Let’s be honest, we’re just going to throw science at the wall and see what sticks.  See you in the lab.

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AP Social Studies

Human Geography:

It is a course and exam offered to students who wish to complete studies  in high school equivalent to an introductory college course in human geography.  The course introduces students to the systematic study of the patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.

World History:

Explore key themes of world history, including interaction with the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Learn to apply historical thinking skills including the ability to craft arguments from evidence; describe, analyze and evaluate events from a chronological perspective; compare and contextualize historical developments; and analyze evidence, reasoning and context to construct and understand historical interpretations.

US History:

AP US History at Menchville combines energy and effectives with a love of the subject. No one else can touch the teaching performance of Eichenlaub and Axsom.

US Government:

AP Government is a college-level course with an emphasis on lecture and discussion. There is little homework or classwork; grades come primarily from tests and quizzes with a project about once every nine weeks.

Psychology:

The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students examine psychological research methods, ethical considerations, analyze bias, and evaluate claims and evidence to effectively communicate ideas.

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AP English

11 (English Language and Composition):

This challenging course introduces you to more independent practice exercises that are focused on writing related to analyzing nonfiction prose, persuasion and synthesizing.  While the class fulfills the rigorous expectations of a college course, the carefully scaffolded lessons provide students with ample opportunities to build and hone their skills before the AP test in May.  As this course is also aligned with the state SOL, students find that the emphasis on college level analysis of author’s craft and purpose also prepares them for the end of course exams in reading and writing.  These foci combined with the chronological study of American literature also offer support in content and skills for other courses such as AP US History and AP science and math courses that require students to articulate their thoughts through writing.    

12 (English Literature and Composition):

This course builds on the skills acquired in 11AP English, though motivated and hard-working 11 honors students catch on quickly and are successful.  The focus of the class is still on analyzing author’s craft and purpose, but we do so in connection to literature exclusively.  While the other two levels of senior English focus almost exclusively on British literature, we have a more worldly approach in AP.  Although the novels, poems, and plays we read will vary from year to year, we pull from all major genres and make sure the students have a wide range of reading experiences in preparation for the open question on the AP exam.  Student led thematic discussions and a heavy emphasis on timed writing in the class are what students find most challenging and most rewarding at the same time.  College students often offer feedback about how much the course prepares them for the rigors of writing at the university level.

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AP Math

Statistics:

The Advanced Placement Program offers a course description and exam in statistics to secondary school students who wish to complete studies equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based, college course in statistics.  Statistics and mathematics educators who serve as members of the AP Statistics Development Committee have prepared the Course Description and exam to reflect the content of a typical introductory college course in statistics.

The exam is representative of such a course and therefore is considered appropriate for the measurement of skills and knowledge in the field of introductory statistics.  In colleges and universities, the number of students who take a statistics course is almost as large as the number of students who take a calculus course.

An introductory statistics course, similar to the AP Statistics course, is typically required for majors such as social sciences, health sciences and business.  Every semester about 236,000 college and university students enroll in an introductory statistics course offered by a mathematics or statistics department.  In addition, a large number of students enroll in an introductory statistics course offered by other departments.  Science, engineering and mathematics majors usually take an upper-level calculus-based course in statistics, for which the AP Statistics course is effective preparation. 

Calculus:

AP courses in calculus consist of a full high school academic year of work and are comparable to calculus courses in colleges and universities.

It is expected that students who take an AP course in calculus will seek college credit, college placement, or both from institutions of higher learning.  The AP Program includes specifications for two calculus courses and the exam for each course.  The two courses and the two corresponding exams are designated as Calculus AB and Calculus BC.

Calculus AB can be offered as an AP course by any school that can organize a curriculum for students with mathematical ability.  This curriculum should include all the prerequisites for a year’s course in calculus listed on page 6.  Calculus AB is designed to be taught over a full high school academic year.  It is possible to spend some time on elementary functions and still teach the Calculus AB curriculum within a year.  However, if students are to be adequately prepared for the Calculus AB Exam, most of the year must be devoted to the topics in differential and integral calculus described on pages 6 to 9. 

These topics are the focus of the AP Exam questions.  Calculus BC can be offered by schools where students are able to complete all the prerequisites listed on page 6 before taking the course.  Calculus BC is a full-year course in the calculus of functions of a single variable.  It includes all topics taught in Calculus AB plus additional topics, but both courses are intended to be challenging and demanding; they require a similar depth of understanding of common topics.  The topics for Calculus BC are described on pages 9 to 12.  A Calculus AB sub-score is reported based on performance on the portion of the Calculus BC Exam devoted to Calculus AB topics.  Both courses described here represent college-level mathematics for which most colleges grant advanced placement and/or credit.

Most colleges and universities offer a sequence of several courses in calculus, and entering students are placed within this sequence according to the extent of their preparation, as measured by the results of an AP Exam or other criteria.  Appropriate credit and placement are granted by each institution in accordance with local policies.  The content of Calculus BC is designed to qualify the student for placement and credit in a course that is one course beyond that granted for Calculus AB.  Many colleges provide statements regarding their AP policies in their catalogs and on their websites.  Secondary schools have a choice of several possible actions regarding AP Calculus.  The option that is most appropriate for a particular school depends on local conditions and resources: school size, curriculum, the preparation of teachers, and the interest of students, teachers, and administrators.  Success in AP Calculus is closely tied to the preparation students have had in courses leading up to their AP courses.  Students should have demonstrated mastery of material from courses that are the equivalent of four full years of high school mathematics before attempting calculus.  These courses should include the study of algebra, geometry, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry, with the fourth year of study including advanced topics in algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and elementary functions. 

Even though schools may choose from a variety of ways to accomplish these studies — including beginning the study of high school mathematics in grade 8; encouraging the election of more than one mathematics course in grade 9, 10, or 11; or instituting a program of summer study or guided independent study — it should be emphasized that eliminating preparatory course work in order to take an AP course is not appropriate.  The AP Calculus Development Committee recommends that calculus should be taught as a college-level course.  With a solid foundation in courses taken before AP, students will be prepared to handle the rigor of a course at this level.  Students who take an AP Calculus course should do so with the intention of placing out of a comparable college calculus course.  This may be done through the AP Exam, a college placement exam, or any other method employed by the college.

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AP Fine Arts

Music Theory:

Music Theory is designed to develop musical skills that will lead to a thorough understanding of music composition and music theory.  The course will emphasize ear training and the principles of harmony.  Students are expected to write and harmonize melodies in major and minor keys.  Musical form is studied through the analysis of music scores and composition.  Discriminate listening and aural analysis will be included. 

Studio Art:

The AP Studio Art program provides high school students with the opportunity to create portfolios of college-level work, which are submitted for evaluation at the end of the school year.  Qualifying portfolio scores enable students to earn college credit and/or advanced placement.  In addition, Menchville awards 1 weighted credit for the class. The AP Program offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design and 3-D Design.  Each portfolio contains three required sections: Quality, Concentration and Breadth.  Each portfolio requires students to upload digital images and commentary, which are then submitted to the College Board AP Program in early May.  The 2-D Design and Drawing portfolios also require students to send 5 actual AP Drawing and 2-D Design students are required to attend a weekly studio work session to for the quality section that are later returned. 

AP Drawing and 2-D Design students are required to attend the weekly studio work sessions that meet one day a week after school.  It is strongly recommended that students take Portfolio Development and/or do the Summer Institute for the Arts prior to AP Studio Art.  This provides the opportunity for students to hone their skills and generate quality work, which can reduce the number of artworks that the student will need to produce in AP.

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AP World Language

French:

In this course, you will use authentic French materials and sources to develop your language skills in multiple modes of communication, including two-way interactions in both writing and speaking, interpretation of audio, audiovisual, and print materials, and oral and written presentation of information and ideas.  Topics studied include: Families and communities, Nationalism and patriotism, Environmentalism, and Technology as it pertains to the Francophone world.

Spanish:

The AP Spanish and Culture course provides students with opportunities to develop language proficiency across the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational. Students will learn about culture though the use of authentic materials that are representative of the Spanish-speaking world. Materials include a variety of different media such as journalistic and literary works, interview, movies, charts and graphs. AP Spanish Language and Culture is a language acquisition course designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where Spanish is spoken, thus this course is an immersion experience requiring almost exclusive Spanish, a requirement which class participation grades reflect.

Thematic organized materials will provide students with the skills and strategies that are vital for the Advanced Placement Examination exam. Topics studied include: Global Challenges, Beauty and Aesthetics, Families and Communities, Personal and Public Identities, Contemporary Life and Science and Technology.

German:

The AP German Language course is designed to develop an advanced level of student proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students complete a comprehensive program of vocabulary development, intensive grammar review, reading authentic passages and short stories, listening to authentic audio selections, writing in-class essays given formal and informal prompts and speaking both formally and informally given written and oral prompts. The expectation for such activities is the exclusive use of German in the classroom by both the students and the teacher.
The course incorporates interdisciplinary topics across the following thematic units: Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. The course aims to integrate interpersonal, interpretative and presentational communicative modes through authentic materials.

Upon completion of the year-long course students will demonstrate proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing at a level equivalent to a third year college course. The course is structured to prepare students for the AP German Exam administered in May of each year.

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