The AACS Upper School challenges students to reach their potential as scholars, artists, athletes, and, most importantly, as followers of Christ. Students learn to think critically, solve problems, communicate, and collaborate as they discover and appreciate their God-given gifts and talents. A wide variety of courses are offered, from introductory through AP® and honors, to help students explore, discover, learn, and understand the world around them.
Typical Four-Year Scheduling Plan
Grade 9 through Grade 12
6.5 or more credits
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Senior Bible: Apologetics
Language Craft & Fluency Foundations I
Foundations I Foundations II
Upper Level English (one-semester options)
AP® English Literature AP® English Language
Upper Level English (one-semester options)
AP® English Literature AP® English Language
Algebra I Geometry
Geometry Algebra II
Algebra II Precalculus
Precalculus College Prep Algebra AP® Calculus AP® Statistics
one-semester science course(s)
AP® science Chemistry
one-semester science course(s)
one-semester science course(s)
Origins of Western Civilization
+ Foundations of Technology or Introduction to Engineering
U. S. History
+ Elective (more social studies?)
(more World Language?)
(more World Language?)
Health and Fitness Fine Art
Physical Education Fine Art Technology
Directed Studies Academic Studies
Directed Studies Academic Studies
- Graduation Requirements
- Honors and Advanced Placement Courses
- Course Selection Procedure
- Schedule Change Policies
- Course Selection Guides
- Course Catalog PDF
Students earn credits for graduation in grades 9 to 12 only, with the exception of Algebra I and Spanish 1 from grade 8 at the AACS Middle School. Each student must earn a minimum of 27.5 credits for graduation from AACS, including successful completion of senior practicum. Students must enroll in at least seven courses each semester; at least four of those must be core academic courses. One study hall per semester is allowed; study hall does not earn credit.
Status by Credits Earned
Sophomore: 6.5 credits
Junior: 13 credits
Senior: 20 credits
Honors and Advanced Placement Courses
AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.
Honors and Advanced Placement® Courses* meet the needs of students who have high aptitude, appetite, grit, and bandwidth for learning in a particular academic subject. Honors/AP® courses are distinguished by a high level of academic rigor and a high degree of independence in students’ learning. In general, an Honors/AP® student has these qualities:
Aptitude: particular strengths in the subject area, typically demonstrated by past course grades, standardized test scores, independently pursued projects, and teachers’ recommendations.
Appetite: the desire to study the subject at a higher level, a readiness for more challenges, and the self-confidence to rise to the challenge.
Grit: the tenacity to pursue a concept or a problem even when it may be confusing initially and even if extra help is required.
Bandwidth: space to dedicate time and attention to difficult learning experiences When one of these qualities is missing, success in an Honors or AP® course is elusive and the student’s struggles are compounded.
*Advanced Placement® courses are college-level courses that culminate in taking the standardized Advanced Placement® (AP®) exam in May. Many colleges accept high scores in place of freshman-level courses; this varies greatly by college. These AP® courses present significant content, skills, and depth at a fast pace. Many of these courses require an application process and/or teacher recommendation. All AP® courses listed in this catalog have been authorized by the College Board.
Commitment: Please understand that an Honors or AP® course, once it has been scheduled with teacher approval, should be viewed as a commitment your student will make for the entire year. All students in our AP® courses are expected to take the AP® exam in May.
GPA Weighting for Honors and AP® courses will be calculated with a 1.0 increase for grades of 80% (B-) or higher (no extra weighting will occur for an earned grade lower than 80%):
|Grade||Standard||Honors & AP|
Course Selection Procedure
1. Review the graduation requirements and typical four-year scheduling plan.
2. Read the course offerings outlined in this Course Catalog.
3. Review your previous courses and credits earned. Draft a course selection plan for the upcoming school year (including back-up options where appropriate).
4. By late February, complete auditions/applications for honors-level fine arts courses (and Yearbook). Also begin any online applications for any Honors or AP® courses you plan to request (department teachers will notify students if applications are required for any courses). Students who are not approved for a requested course will be scheduled for an alternate course or elective. Applications are not required if the student’s current teacher has pre-approved them for an Honors or AP® course, and in these cases their teacher will inform them.
5. By March 15, have a parent/guardian review your course request plan and then complete course requests online through Veracross. For semester-long elective courses and upper-level English courses, you must include first, second, and third choices to ensure the best chance of placement in a preferred course.
6. Once all course requests are received, they will be reviewed by administrators, department heads, and other upper school support staff.
7. Student schedules for 2023-24 will be released in the spring to allow for the purchase of books. Course change requests based on a preference in teacher or period order will not be considered. Errors on a schedule can be addressed following the policy for schedule changes and course transfers described on the next page.
Schedule Change Policies
Our desire is for scheduling to be done once, in the spring of the previous year, and to be done well, with every family thinking through choices carefully. To help minimize mistakes in scheduling and requests for changes, please critically review the course selection form to check for completion and to ensure that the classes listed are ones your student wishes to take.
Occasionally there are errors in the process which necessitate a schedule change. We expect to resolve these during the summer, before the school year starts. Some course selections are dependent on the final grade in current courses (particularly courses in Mathematics and World Languages); therefore, in mid-June we may require or recommend changes to students’ course selections.
During the summer, if you suspect there has been a scheduling error, contact the upper school office (email@example.com). Include your daytime and evening phone number in your email and details concerning the error. We will reply to your inquiry as soon as possible.
At the start of a semester, if a legitimate schedule problem arises, a student may appeal for a change to determine if an error has been made. Such changes can only be processed before a course begins or within the first two weeks of the course.
In general, a student’s course choices are not changed once they have been scheduled. This is particularly true for core courses and for special electives, which have selective enrollment. If your student was scheduled for an Honors, AP® or other selective enrollment course, other students may not have been selected, and therefore withdrawal from such a course is normally not allowed.
Please know that a course that is dropped after Quarter 1 may receive a grade of “Withdrawn Passing” (WP) or “Withdrawn Failing” (WF), and the student’s transcript will indicate that grade.
Course Selection Guides
Course Catalog PDF
Minimum Credit Requirements by Department
must include Biology
must include U.S. History and American Government
of the same language*
must include Health & Fitness
|Senior Practicum Research Writing||0.5|
- English Courses
- Mathematics Courses
- Science Courses
- Social Studies
- World Languages
- Technology Courses
- Fine Arts Courses
- Physical Education Courses
- General Electives Courses
- Educational Support
- Online Courses
- College/Duel Credit Courses
Students must complete 4.0 credits of Bible courses. Students who transfer to AACS from a school that doesn’t offer Bible courses must complete Bible credits proportionate to the time they are enrolled at AACS.
Old Testament Survey (Grade 9)
In this course students will explore the nature of God and what the Bible is all about. The course introduces students to Scripture and builds familiarity with the Bible, what it says, and how to read it. Students will be led through a survey of the Old Testament with a focus on the Kingdom of God and the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.
New Testament Survey (Grades 10-11)
In this course students will explore the nature of God and what the Bible is all about. The course introduces students to Scripture and builds familiarity with the Bible, what it says, and how to read it. Students will be led through a survey of the New Testament with a focus on the life of Jesus Christ and life in the Kingdom of God.
Senior Bible: Apologetics (Grade 12)
In this course students learn how to be intelligent, thoughtful Christians living in today’s world. They will explore some of the most difficult issues of our day and apply to them an understanding of God, His revelation, and insights into other worldviews.
Students must complete 4.0 credits of core English courses plus 0.5 credits of Senior Practicum Research Writing.
Language Craft and Fluency (Grade 9)
This course provides language basics to help students acquire the necessary reading, speaking, writing, and study skills necessary to succeed in high school. Reading selections are chosen to help students comprehend various types of reading material, from textbooks to Shakespeare. Underlying skills such as vocabulary, drawing conclusions, making inferences, and active reading are intentionally taught and practiced. Writing lessons focus on clarity of expression, sentence structure, paragraph organization, and language conventions. Teacher recommendation and scores on standardized tests are used to guide placement in the class. Parent or student requests for the class are welcome.
Foundations I: Rhetoric and Writing (Grades 9-10)
This introductory course focuses on developing students’ abilities to read deeply, write clearly, and think well. The first semester introduces students to a foundational understanding of rhetoric, which will shape their ability to see reading as an act of engagement with the ideas and arguments of the author. The second semester introduces the language and skills required for reading more challenging types of literature, with a focus on gaining insight into the human condition. Throughout the year, students engage in literary analysis and explore their own worldviews in the contexts of the works studied. This course also introduces students to advanced academic writing, with emphasis on paragraph structure, clarity of expression, research, mechanics, and MLA format.
Honors Foundations I: Rhetoric and Writing (Grade 9)
Prerequisite: Placement testing, teacher recommendation.
This introductory course prepares students to understand and participate in mature conversations about literature and writing. The Honors course differs from Foundations I in the amount and pace of reading (both of which are increased for this advanced-level course), the depth of discussion, and the frequency and focus of writing assignments. Like Foundations I, this course helps students develop an understanding of rhetoric in order to engage with the ideas and arguments presented in the texts they read. Writing instruction emphasizes form, structure, and clarity of argument, along with an introduction to research.
Foundations II: Literature and Writing (Grades 10-11)
This course builds on students' understanding of rhetoric and argument, but delves into literary tradition to provide a trajectory for the major concerns of literature from the Classical era, through the medieval period, to the Enlightenment, and into the modern world. The course begins with readings from various ancient cultures and then examines how contemporary and subsequent texts address the ethical claims of the classical mode. The students will learn to evaluate and compare arguments of multiple texts as they read selections from each major era.
Honors Foundations II: Literature and Writing (Grade 10)
Prerequisite: 85% or above in English 9 and teacher recommendation; or 80% or above in Honors English 9 and teacher recommendation.
This sophomore honors course is for advanced students with a strong foundation in literary analysis, writing, and grammar. This course examines recurrent themes in works ranging from ancient and classical to contemporary literature. A highlight of inquiry is the study of ethics--what makes life good--and how the worldview of authors impacts the text. While Honors Foundations II studies many of the same texts as Foundations II, this course includes more reading, more student-led discussion, and more frequent writing assignments. Students study novels, short stories, nonfiction and poetry from around the world.
Research Methods and Writing (Grade 11)
Note: Juniors taking AP® English Literature may be exempted from this requirement, at the discretion of their English 10 or Honors English 10 teacher.
This one-semester course, required for all Juniors, provides students with the content knowledge and writing practice to master academic research skills. Students will learn important research tactics and methods as they investigate topics in different academic disciplines. Because students will be required to use specific citation styles and requirements, they will quickly master these important skills. Efficient and productive use of available local libraries and how to choose quality academic sources will be vital parts of this course.
African American Literature (Grades 11-12)
An understanding of American literature and culture is incomplete without considering the enormous impact of the African diaspora that resulted from the Atlantic slave trade. This one-semester course will explore the literary contributions of African Americans, including memoirs, poetry, and fiction. Assignments will include literary and historical analysis; independent reading projects, and creative writing.
Creative Writing (Grades 11-12)
This one-semester course gives students the opportunity to practice several forms of creative writing. Students practice a variety of forms and voices, in fiction, drama, and poetry, and have opportunities for reflecting on the creative act as Christians through the reading of a play and a number of essays. While this class focuses on creative writing, students also continue to practice the skills of literary analysis, expository writing, and research.
An Introduction to C. S. Lewis (Grades 11-12)
In this one-semester course, students will be introduced to the work of C.S. Lewis, one of the greatest Christian apologists and storytellers of the 20th century. Students will examine various literary and non-fiction writings and their significant impact on contemporary culture. Lewis will challenge students to think clearly with their minds, to engage rightly with their hearts, and to enlarge their world with their imaginations. Writing assignments for this course will include creative writing, literary analysis, and research.
Language of Protest: Poetry, Prose and Politics (Grades 11-12)
This one-semester course focuses on texts that argue for social change, beginning in the early 19th century and moving through the 20th. Readings will include historically marginalized communities such as women, Native Americans, Africans Americans (pre- and post-Emancipation), Holocaust survivors, veterans, and others. By examining political writing among various genres and historical eras, students will observe common themes and techniques of effective persuasion. Writing assignments for this course will include literary and rhetorical analysis, expository writing, and research.
Twentieth Century American Family Drama (Grades 11-12)
This one-semester course explores concepts and experiences of family as depicted in American Drama written and produced during the 20th century. Students will read, watch, and study plays that present diverse examples of family dynamics, relationships, and dysfunctions. Writing assignments for this course will include literary analysis, scene study, criticism, and research.
AP® English Language and Composition (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 85% or above in English 10 or English 11 and teacher recommendation; or 80% or above in Honors English 10 or AP English 11 and teacher recommendation.
Note: Not offered 2023-2024; returning 2024-2025
This course is designed to help students become effective readers and writers of non-fiction at the college level. Course time and materials are organized around 3 distinct objectives: 1) to offer students a classroom experience in high school that is similar in form, expectations, and discipline to what they will experience at the college level; and 2) to prepare students for the AP® Language and Composition Exam. While this course studies some of the same texts as Honors English 11, it focuses more explicitly on rhetorical analysis of contemporary and historical texts and ideas in order to align with the AP® curriculum. Assessments will consist of timed essays, class discussions, practice AP® exams, and a research paper.
AP® English Literature and Composition (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 85% or above in English 10 or English 11 and teacher recommendation; or 80% or above in Honors English 10 or AP English 11 and teacher recommendation.
Students in this course will interpret and evaluate novels, poems, and plays from a range of European authors including Shakespeare, Shelley, Bronte, Joyce, and Ellison in preparation for the AP® Exam. The course is aligned with the description offered by the College Board: “An AP® English Literature and Composition course focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods. Students engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, and symbolism.” The distinct focus on literary analysis in this course helps students to build the skills that are evaluated by the AP® exam.
Research Writing (Grade 12)
This one-semester course is designed to help students improve the fluency and organization of their writing. Through in-class and out-of-class writing assignments, students will practice formulating, developing, and supporting ideas through clearly structured arguments. This process will reinforce both grammar and research skills, while giving students strategies for planning, drafting, and revising academic writing. Students will demonstrate their acquired skills by producing the senior practicum paper. While students are usually recommended for this class by their teachers, parent or student requests are welcome.
Senior Practicum Research Writing (Grade 12)
Note: Rising seniors do not need to request this course. It will be built into your schedule for you.
This full-year, half-credit course is required for all seniors. It is a year-long research and service project in which seniors practice impacting the world through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ as adults. Students identify a problem in our world, seek to understand this problem, research how God calls people to respond to the problem, and propose a specific course of action to bring restoration where there is brokenness. Throughout the year, seniors write a research paper, plan and implement a service project, and give a final presentation of their learning. The Senior Practicum serves both as the culmination of an AACS education and as a launching point for seniors as they go out into various areas of work and study.
Students must complete 4.0 credits of core mathematics courses. All courses require a TI-83 or TI-84 series graphing calculator.
Click here for Suggested Mathematics Course Pathways
Algebra I (Grade 9)
Prerequisite: 75% or above in Intro to Algebra or another pre-Algebra-level course.
Algebra concepts, reasoning, tenacity and problem-solving skills are developed. Topics include algebraic expressions, solving single variable equations and inequalities, rational expressions and polynomials, factoring, graphing linear equations, solving linear equations and inequalities (algebraically and graphically), solving systems of equations and inequalities (two-variables), proportions and percents, exponents and radicals, functions, linear functions (slope, various forms of equations, parallel and perpendicular lines), polynomials and factoring, quadratic functions (including graphing, transformations, and solving equations), modeling, and statistical concepts. This course is a critical foundation to future math courses.
Geometry Concepts (Grade 10)*
Prerequisite: 70% or above in Algebra I Concepts or Algebra I.
This course presents the essential components of Geometry, including properties and relationships among points, lines, planes, parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, similarity, right triangles, circles, and two- and three-dimensional objects. Algebra applications complement the geometry concepts throughout the course. This course is designed to provide an avenue for success for those students finding success in Algebra I Concepts, or for those finding significant challenges in Algebra I.
Geometry (Grades 9-11)
Prerequisite: 75% or above in Algebra I or 92% or above in Algebra I Concepts.
This course presents the standard components of Euclidean geometry, including properties and relationships among points, lines, planes, reasoning and proofs, parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, similarity, transformations, coordinate geometry, right triangles and trigonometry, circles, and two- and three-dimensional objects. Algebra applications complement the geometry concepts throughout the course. Emphasis in this course is placed on more detailed and complex problems than the concepts level course.
Honors Geometry (Grades 9-10)
Prerequisite: 90% or above in Algebra I and teacher recommendation.
This course covers the same content as the standard Geometry course with an emphasis on developing an argument through writing proofs within the axiomatic system of Euclidean geometry. Also highlighted are evaluating geometric relationships, trigonometry, constructions, transformations, circles, and applications. Algebra applications complement the geometry concepts throughout the course. Emphasis in this course is placed on reasoning, logic, and more detailed and complex problems requiring critical thinking and synthesis of concepts taught.
Algebra II Concepts (Grade 11)*
Prerequisite: 70% or above in Geometry Concepts or Geometry.
This course presents expressions, linear equations, inequalities, compound inequalities, functions, graphing, 2-variable linear systems, quadratic functions and equations, polynomial functions, radical functions and rational exponents, and probability & statistics. This course consolidates and extends algebraic skills and applies these to a variety of challenging problems.
Algebra II (Grades 10-11)
Prerequisite: 75% or above in Geometry or 92% or above in Geometry Concepts
Algebra II consolidates and extends algebraic skills and develops an understanding of how to handle a variety of complex problems with algebra. Topics include expressions, linear equations, linear and absolute value inequalities, functions (including absolute value functions), graphing, modeling, transformations of graphs, 2 variable linear systems, quadratic functions and equations, polynomial functions and equations, radical functions and equations, rational exponents, exponential and logarithmic functions and equations, rational functions and equations, and probability. Algebra II is an important course for college-oriented students.
Honors Algebra II (Grades 9-10)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in Honors Geometry and teacher recommendation, or 90% or above in Geometry and teacher recommendation.
Honors Algebra II consolidates and extends algebraic skills and develops an understanding of how to handle a variety of complex problems with algebra. Included are all the topics covered in Algebra II, as well as conic sections, matrices, and sequences and series.
College Prep Algebra (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: 70% or above in Algebra II Concepts or Algebra II.
This course is for rising seniors ONLY and focuses on first year college math, including the content of numerous college math placement tests, the SAT, and ACT standardized tests. The course serves to strengthen and extend algebra and geometry skills, as well as sequences and series; polynomial and rational functions; exponential and logarithmic functions; systems of equations; and matrices and determinants. Strategies and practice related to the college placement, SAT, and ACT tests are included.
Precalculus (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 90% or above in Algebra II and teacher recommendation, or 80% or above in Algebra 3. The fast pace of the course and the need to prepare/review during the prior summer are key considerations.
This fast-paced course is designed to prepare students for college calculus or an introductory calculus course. With an emphasis on graphing and the connection between numeric/verbal/mathematical/graphical representations, the course explores properties of functions and their graphs, polynomial and rational functions, common and natural logarithms and functions, exponential functions, sequences & series, probability, and extensive coverage of trigonometry, including periodic functions/graphs/transformations, radian measure, trig identities, trig ratios, trig equations and the Laws of Sines and Cosines.
Honors Precalculus (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in Honors Algebra II and teacher recommendation, or 93% or above in Algebra II and teacher recommendation. The fast pace of the course and the need to prepare/review during the prior summer are key considerations (additional summer work is mandatory for students desiring to transition from Algebra II to Honors Precalculus).
This course is designed to prepare students for college calculus or AP Calculus AB. With an emphasis on graphing and the connection between numeric/verbal/mathematical/graphical representations, the course explores properties of functions and their graphs, polynomial and rational functions, common and natural logarithms and functions, exponential functions, sequences & series, polar graphs, vectors, and extensive coverage of trigonometry, including periodic functions/graphs/transformations, radian measure, trig identities, trig ratios, trig equations and the Laws of Sines and Cosines.
Introduction to Calculus (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: 75% or above in Precalculus.
This course is designed for rising seniors that have completed Precalculus or Honors Precalculus to serve as an alternative to AP® Calculus AB. The course includes an introduction to the calculus concepts of limits, integration, and differentiation, with applications.
AP® Calculus AB (Grade 11-12)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in Honors Precalculus and teacher recommendation, or 93% or above in standard Precalculus and teacher recommendation.
This course presents the concepts of limits, differentiation and integration; these are presented graphically, numerically, analytically and verbally. The course focuses on the basic concrete and abstract aspects of the mathematical processes used in a first level college calculus class. Derivatives and integrals are applied to real life settings such as science and economics. All students are required to take the College Board AP® Calculus AB exam in May.
AP® Calculus BC (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in AP® Calc AB and teacher recommendation.
Note: Not offered 2023-2024
The AP® Calculus BC course is an extension of and a follow-on to AP® Calculus AB that covers all of the topics taught in two semesters of typical college calculus courses, and prepares students to take the AP® Calculus BC exam. In addition to reviewing all of the topics from AP® Calculus AB, students learn additional applications of integration, advanced methods of integration, power series representations of functions, and the calculus of parametric, polar, and vector-valued functions.
AP® Statistics (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in Algebra II or 72% or above in Honors Algebra II and current math teacher’s recommendation; should also have earned 80% or higher in English 11.
AP® Statistics is a non-calculus based course that introduces students to the fundamental concepts in probability and statistics. Topics covered in the course include sampling techniques, data display, sampling theory, probability distributions, and regression and correlation analysis. Reliability analysis through hypothesis testing and confidence intervals is introduced in the course through applications to real life problems in economics, business and industrial contexts. All students are required to take the College Board AP® Statistics exam in May.
*Concepts courses are robust courses that allow students to reach the goals and learning outcomes of the standard course via a different path. Concepts courses employ differences primarily in format and instruction to provide an opportunity for success. These differences include smaller class size, differentiated instruction, frequent hands-on in-class activities, regular presence of an educational support teacher to facilitate frequent group work and activities, removal of memorization requirements, and shorter and more focused homework assignments to “chunk” the information. Due to differences in pace, there is a slight difference in course content between standard and concepts courses.
Students must complete at least 3.0 credits of science, including Biology.
Biology (Grades 9-10)
This class is a survey of introductory biological concepts such as scientific inquiry, cells, cell metabolism and functions, Mendelian and molecular genetics, creation and evolution, biological kingdoms, comparative plant and animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Throughout the year, Christian worldviews will be applied to the concepts. Laboratory investigations with laboratory reports are an integral part of this course, including dissections.
Honors Biology (Grades 9-10)
Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra I; recommendation from previous science teacher
A fast-paced class with in-depth reading assignments and laboratory exercises, Honors Biology covers the same order and general information as General Biology with more thought-provoking applications and more difficult material. Inquiry based discussions and material will be the foundations of this class. This class provides good foundations for Honors and Advanced Placement® classes.
Environmental and Earth Science (Grades 10-12)
Note: Not offered 2023-2024
Being good stewards over the earth fulfills the first command in scripture. This course is designed to help students become good stewards over the creatures, plants, and the resources of this earth. Using field data, in-class laboratory assignments, and projects along with information presented in the class, the students will learn to appreciate God’s creation and to manage it wisely. Topics include the ecosystems, biomes, biodiversity, populations, plate tectonics, atmosphere, minerals and renewable and nonrenewable resources.
Prerequisite: Biology; completion of or enrollment in Algebra II, or Geometry with teacher recommendation. Chemistry is a lab-based course designed to give students a solid foundation in chemistry and help them to see and experience the intricacy, detail and order of God’s creation.
Honors Chemistry (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Completion of Honors Biology with 80% or above or Biology with 90%; completion of or enrollment in Honors Algebra II, or Algebra II with teacher recommendation.
Honors Chemistry is an advanced course designed to meet the needs of students who have shown both a proficiency, and enthusiasm for understanding the details of God’s creation. This course will focus on an atomic and molecular level study of the world as we explore the vital role that chemistry plays in students’ daily lives. We will discuss topics such as atomic structure, states of matter, the periodic table, solutions, chemical reactions, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, chemical gas laws, acid-base chemistry and chemical kinetics. Quantitative calculations using balanced chemical equations are a major emphasis in both the lecture and laboratory portion of the course, so students ought to have a proficient knowledge of algebra, as well as strong writing and problem solving skills. The laboratory portion of the class will provide hands-on experience to help students become confident with the tools and techniques commonly used in the lab environment. Through both laboratory work and additional outside independent reading, students will be challenged to learn how to more effectively analyze and interpret data, communicate scientific conclusions, and connect those conclusions to the larger context of the world of chemistry all around them.
Weather and Climate Science (Grades 10-12)
A one-semester introduction to the basics of atmospheric science and its applications on local and global weather patterns. Students will explore the characteristics of the atmosphere, cloud formation, wind patterns, water cycle, extreme weather events, and patterns of long and short-term changes in weather and climate. This is a lab-based course where students will build on their understanding of the scientific method to analyze data and draw conclusions.
Introduction to Physics (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Biology; completion of or enrollment in Algebra II
This is a one-semester course that serves as an introduction to classical physics, including Newton’s laws of motion, force, inertia, momentum, gravity, and energy. This course is mathematics based and seeks to develop conceptual and problem solving skills enriched through a variety of laboratory experiences. Students are expected to be proficient in algebra. The course is designed for any student interested in the physical sciences or simply curious about the explanations behind the natural phenomena of everyday life.
Forensics (Grades 10-12)
This is a one-semester course that will introduce students to the science of forensics and its applications to crime scene investigation. Topics will include fingerprinting, DNA analysis, drugs and toxicology, ballistics, and the collection and analysis of evidence. Content will be covered through lecture, hands-on laboratory experiments, exploration of case studies, and practical crime scene scenarios.
Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (Grades 10-12)
This class is a one-semester introduction to the structure and function of the human body. Topics include the organization of the human body, human tissues, skin, the skeletal system, human musculature, the nervous system, special senses, the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Dissections are essential to this class and are required for completion of the course.
AP® Chemistry (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Completion of Honors Chemistry with 80% or above or Chemistry with 90%; teacher recommendation
AP® Chemistry is equivalent to a college level general chemistry course that provides rigorous study in four major areas: structure of matter, states of matter, reaction and descriptive chemistry. Students must be highly motivated to tackle this rigorous course. At the end of the year, students will take the Advanced Placement® Examination for potential college credit. Students taking this course may be required to complete laboratory work outside of the regular class time. The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of, and the ability to apply, mathematical solutions to problems involving atomic theory and structures, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, kinetic theory, solutions, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetic, thermodynamics, and descriptive chemistry. Evaluation is based on homework, lab reports, and tests. Much of the class is “out of class homework” and in class lab based work.
AP® Physics 1 (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Completion of or enrollment in Precalculus; completion of a chemistry course with 80% or higher; teacher recommendation
This course is designed for the strong math/science student interested in physics at a deeper level. AP® Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores topics such as kinematics, Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion, work, energy, power and momentum); rotational equilibrium and dynamics. Through inquiry-based learning, including approximately 25% of time dedicated to labs, students will develop scientific critical thinking and problem solving skills.The course is structured around six “big ideas” of physics, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that emphasize enduring understandings, essential knowledge and science practices to cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad and connected way of thinking about the physical world.
AP® Biology (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Completion of a Chemistry course with 80% or higher; teacher recommendation
An intensive course equivalent to an introductory college biology course, AP® Biology offers students an in-depth examination into main biological concepts that build upon those learned in Introductory Biology. A minimum of 12 laboratory investigations must be completed in preparation for the AP® exam in May. Students taking AP® Biology must be prepared for outside reading and laboratory work that requires time outside of class (mornings, afternoon, or possibly weekends). Students must have a good work ethic.
Students must complete 3.0 credits of core social studies courses. These credits must include 1.0 credit in a United States History course and 0.5 credit in an American Government course.
Origins of Western Civilization (Grade 9)
This fall semester course will provide a historical introduction to and trace the development of Western Civilization from Creation to the Early Middle Ages; will focus on the implementation of God’s sovereign plan for humankind and emphasize the major events, people, and societies that impacted the evolution of Western ideas and societal structure; course incorporates tests, quizzes, research projects, classroom activities, and homework assignments as its basis of assessment. Whenever possible, other enrichment opportunities will be included to further student’s understanding of the subject matter.
World History (Grade 10)
The course focuses on the emergence of modern nations, exploration, expansion, and revolution. The course deals with reform, nationalism and imperialism in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, pursuing a chronological and regional emphasis. Moving into the 20th century, the course discusses the causes and effects of major events – World War I, the Great Depression, the rise of totalitarianism, World War II, the Cold War and the issues of the postmodernist. The historical impact of religion, especially Christianity, is emphasized throughout the course.
Prerequisite: 90% or above in Origins of Western Civilization; 80% and above with teacher recommendation.
United States History (Grade 11)
A short overview of U.S. history from exploration/colonization through the Civil War introduces this course. The greater concentration, however, is on U.S. history after 1865. The units of study include the periods of the Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, new issues in American society, Vietnam, conservation and conservatism, and the U.S. movement into the 21st century. The study includes literature studies as well as fine arts (music, film, and art) reflections throughout the year. Written assignments involve critical thinking skills and interpretation and analysis of primary source documents.
Honors United States History (Grade 11)
Prerequisite: 80% and above in Honors European History and teacher recommendation; 90% and above in World History and teacher recommendation.
Designed for the college-bound or the student who seeks a challenging academic curriculum in United States history. The year-long study covers American History from the earliest Americans into the 21st Century emphasizing study according to the social, cultural, ethnic, intellectual, economic, political, military, technological, and diplomatic themes with major emphasis on the development of American ideals and institutions. This one-year course is designed for highly motivated students and provides the opportunity for the development of critical thinking skills and concepts. The emphasis will be placed on research and writing to prepare the students for a successful college experience in U.S. History.
AP® United States History (Grade 11)
Prerequisite: 90% and above in Honors European History and teacher recommendation.
Advanced Placement® United States History is a two-semester examination of American history from the paleo-American era to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to reading and study, are essential to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical, analytical, and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of primary sources, and historiography. The course also includes literature studies as well as fine arts (music, film, and art) reflections throughout the year. Students take the Advanced Placement® United States History exam in May. A summer reading project, supplemental readings throughout the year, and research projects are required.
American Government (Grade 12)
This course is designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the political life in the United States. This course, or AP® American Government and Politics, is required for graduation.
AP® American Government and Politics (Grade 12)
Prerequisite: 80% or above in Honors or AP® US History and teacher recommendation; 92% or above in standard US History and teacher recommendation.
The course will give the students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. The course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. Students become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Topics covered include constitutional underpinnings of the U.S. government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, and civil liberties and civil rights. The acquisition of a thorough and systematic comprehension of U.S. government and politics requires that students learn facts and concepts and understand typical political processes. Students are also required to interpret basic data relevant to government and politics in sustained written arguments.
Ethnic Studies (Grades 10-12)
This course will help our students understand God’s loving care for all the families of the earth and of all persons, each of whom He has made in His image. Students will learn about the origin of the human race (Acts 17:24-28), the peculiarity of our Christian “ethnos” (I Peter 2:9), and of the Lord’s desire to bless all nations (Gen. 12:1-3, Matthew 28:19-20). The course will give particular attention to the culture and beauty of ethnicities represented in our AACS community, and will foster cultural humility and an equal respect for all others.
Criminal Justice (Grades 10-12)
This one-semester course presents an overview of the American justice system and how it attempts to deal with crime, and the justice system’s goals, strengths, and weaknesses. The course will explore topics such as legal definitions of criminal acts, police on the job, criminal investigations, legal limitations on police conduct, and the functions of the criminal court system. The course will include debates over relevant topics, a unit simulating an active crime scene investigation, a jury deliberation simulation, and other activities designed to focus attention on the social and legal aspects of criminal justice.
Students must complete 2.0 credits of core world languages courses in the same language. Many colleges expect students to have 3.0 credits of the same world language.
American Sign Language I (Grades 9-11)
This course provides an introduction to American Sign Language (ASL). Students will learn to communicate and comprehend using basic vocabulary, sentence construction and common phrases. In addition, students enrolled in ASL can expect to gain a better understanding of the deaf culture.
American Sign Language II (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of C- in ASL I from AACS or recommendation of teacher
ASL 2 is designed to build upon the language skills learned in ASL I and continue the development of ASL expressive and receptive skills, grammar, and cultural awareness. Students can expect to increase vocabulary, use ASL in a variety of settings, increase their knowledge of Deaf history and converse easily within the Deaf community.
Honors American Sign Language III (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of B in ASL 2 from AACS or recommendation of teacher.
ASL 3 continues to build upon the skills in ASL I & II. Students at this level will demonstrate interpretive, interpersonal and presentational communication skills used to communicate within the Deaf community.
Spanish I (Grades 9-10)
Spanish I offers an introduction into Spanish communication and culture, with practice in the four elements of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Spanish I encourages cultural awareness through information on the geography and people of Spain and Latin America. At this level the student will begin to understand the importance of speaking a second language.
Spanish II (Grades 9-11)
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of C- in Spanish I from AACS or recommendation of teacher.
Spanish II continues the study of Spanish through the intermediate stages of interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication. The skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are practiced through situational exercises and activities. Cultural emphasis continues through glimpses into the life and surroundings of young people in the Spanish-speaking world. At this level the student will begin to develop an awareness and empathy for other cultures.
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of C- in Spanish II from AACS or recommendation of the teacher.
Honors Spanish III (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of B in Span. II from AACS or recommendation of the teacher.
Honor Spanish III continues the study of Spanish through the advanced stages of communication and grammar, emphasizing the subjunctive mood. Intense focus on communication skills allows students to incorporate grammar concepts in context. Cultural comparisons, conversations and oral and written presentations allow students to communicate more effectively in Spanish.
Honors Spanish IV (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of B in Spanish III or Honors Spanish III from AACS or recommendation of the teacher.
Further language study includes building on advanced interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication skills. Contemporary reading selections are used to strengthen vocabulary and syntax. This is a course designed to prepare students for AP® Spanish Language and Culture and includes preparatory AP® activities. Students considering AP® Spanish must take this course.
Prerequisite: A minimum final grade of B in Honors Spanish III or Honors Spanish IV from AACS.
Students must complete 1.0 credits of technology courses.
Foundations of Technology (Grade 9)
This course presents a multi-faceted collection of skills and information for both understanding and applying technology. The course begins with an overview of technology – its history, benefits, and shortcomings, along with assessing technology and its implications to global society. This is followed by hands-on practice with measurements, unit conversions, and applications to math and science. Subsequent project-based units include: use of Excel for formulas, calculations, etc.; use of PowerPoint; video making (various software used); bridge design (using West Point Bridge Designer); lab experiments in mechanical engineering (e.g., stress/ strain) and applying the data to an engineering design concept; computer-aided design (CAD) drafting using Google Sketch Up in which the students design a house. These problem-solving units provide students with an introduction to the world of STEM careers.
Introduction to Engineering (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: No prerequisite for Grades 10-12; For Grade 9, concurrent enrollment in Honors Geometry, Algebra II, or Honors Algebra II
This is a one-semester elective course designed for students exploring the world of engineering and technical careers. Students learn about the major areas of engineering (aeronautical, mechanical, automotive, electrical, robotics, along with chemical, civil/environmental, nuclear) through hands-on design projects and guest speakers from industry. The projects include airplane design, mechanical drawing, vehicle design, “simple machines” construction, electrical engineering applications, and robotics controls introduction. These students support the Engineering II students with their capstone project in hosting, designing and executing a “STEM Day” for the AACS Severn and Annapolis Lower Schools’ students.
Honors Engineering II (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Engineering
This advanced elective course dives deeper into aspects and components of engineering, including AutoCAD; biomechanical, aeronautical and electrical engineering; and video game production. The content is more math-intensive; the general approach is one of open-ended problem-solving via hands-on projects. Projects include designing a human prosthetic device, a more advanced airplane design, and design of a “green” house. 3-D printing capabilities enhance the students’ design experience. This course culminates in the design and execution of a “STEM Day” for the AACS Severn and Annapolis Lower Schools’ students.
Honors Engineering III (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Honors Engineering II
This course builds upon the skills and content of Engineering II. The course consists of three units presented alongside a semester-long design & build project that solves a real world problem. The project requires students to research, plan for costs, materials acquisition, logistics, regulatory compliance, etc. while establishing and working through a timeline, developing the charts necessary to track this information, and proceeds through design, construction, and installation. A final presentation to the organizations involved in the project is included. The three units augment information from Engineering II, and expand into areas including drones and flight simulation, and may include areas such as statics, dynamics, materials science, and/or home wiring, particularly as they apply to the project.
Introduction to Computer Science (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: Algebra I
This introductory course is a lab-oriented course designed to teach students the fundamentals of programming and larger concepts of computer science. Topics and concepts covered include introduction to computer systems, variables, methods, decision-making, looping, and event-driven programming. Programming languages explored may include Scratch and Python.
AP® Computer Science Principles (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Science or department approval
This course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. This course will give students the opportunity to use technology to address real-world problems and build relevant solutions. Together these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum. This course teaches the foundational concepts of computer science as it aims to broaden participation in the study of computer science.
AP® Computer Science A (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Completion of AP® Computer Science Principles or department approval
AP Computer Science A introduces students to computer science through programming. Fundamental topics in this course include the design of solutions to problems, the use of data structures to organize large sets of data, the development and implementation of algorithms to process data and discover new information, the analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. The course emphasizes object-oriented programming and design using the Java programming language.
Fine Arts Courses
Students must complete 1.0 credit of fine arts courses.
Drama (Grades 9-12)
This semester course introduces students to the art of acting. Through a variety of acting exercises, improvisations, and scenes, students develop the skills of sense of memory, pantomime, improvisation, vocal projection, stage movement, and characterization. Students will work individually and in groups to create a variety of performances throughout the semester, culminating in a public performance near the end of the semester.
Honors Dramatis (Grades 10-12)*
Prerequisite: Drama, placement audition, teacher recommendation
This is an auditioned, 10-member dramatic ensemble, known as Dramatis, that explores advanced theatrical material. Each ensemble member further develops techniques for acting, vocal projection, and character development. An emphasis is placed on building the ensemble into a cohesive unit, and the group performs regularly throughout the school year in a variety of contexts.
2D Design (Grades 9-12)
This is a one-semester art foundation course that is a prerequisite for all other visual art courses. Projects will focus on the elements and principles of design and their application in the design process. Projects will include working with different mediums including drawing, pencil, colored pencil, marker, chalk and oil pastels, and printmaking.
3D Design (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design
This is a one semester art course for the student with a high level of interest in three dimensional design and sculpture. Projects will include 3D fiber art, ceramic sculpture, as well as additive and subtractive sculptural processes. Students will build off of knowledge gained in 2D Design in regards to translating the elements of art and principles of design into use with three-dimensional pieces.
Photography (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design
This is an introductory class for the study of photographic processes. Use of the digital camera and the manipulation of student-generated images on the computer will serve as a basis for exploring various media. Students will be challenged to solve art problems by studying the work of master photographers and digital artists. A sketchbook will serve as a resource for technical information, processes, idea generation and written commentary. The goal is to have students develop and demonstrate knowledge of vocabulary and themes of photographic media.
Graphic Design (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design
This one-semester course will focus on the Elements and Principles of Design. Students will use the Elements to understand the building blocks of Graphic Design which will help them to create posters, flyers, and logos that incorporate images and text. Students will use Photoshop to design projects.
Drawing (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design
This is a one semester course for serious art students. This class will focus on using the Elements and Principles of design to draw still lifes, landscapes and portraits. Each project will help develop skills in craftsmanship, observation and develop conceptual ideas. Students will explore using different mediums such as charcoal, oil pastel, pen, pencil and mix media.
Painting (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design
This is a one semester course for serious art students. This course focuses on the application of paint and the technique in brushwork. All projects have an emphasis on Color Theory and are designed to focus on how we see and use color, as well as incorporating Art History to understand cultural context. Students will use both acrylic and watercolor paint for projects.
Honors Studio Art (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: 2D Design and at least two additional visual art courses; portfolio and application review; teacher recommendation
This is a full-year course for dedicated art students in grades 11-12 who want to advance their skills and techniques in various drawing and painting subjects and media. Emphasis is placed on problem solving, critical thinking, and conceptual development. Students will build artistic breadth by working with a variety of media, including ink, graphite, charcoal, pastels, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and acrylics. Students will develop a concentration in an artistic medium, and will prepare a portfolio to submit to colleges or to an independent advisor.
Gospel Choir (Grades 9-12)*
This is a performing ensemble that will explore repertoire from the Gospel music genre. Students will learn about the history of Gospel music, discuss the essential components of Gospel music, develop ensemble skills, and learn music primarily through rote teaching. Singers will explore repertoire from the Gospel music tradition including spirituals, anthems, and contemporary and traditional Gospel music. This group will perform regularly in chapel, in two annual school concerts, and possibly other community events. This class is non-auditioned and open to all students who would like to register.
Chorus (Grades 9-12)*
This is a performing ensemble that will explore standard vocal literature for the adolescent voice. Each singer will learn the skills of good choral tone, rehearsal and performance etiquette, and vocal technique. This group will perform for two annual school concerts and possible additional community and school events. This class is non-auditioned and open to all students who would like to register.
Honors Madrigal Singers (Grades 10-12)*
Prerequisite: Music Theory (concurrent or completed), placement audition, teacher recommendation
This performing ensemble explores a variety of advanced a cappella repertoire for mixed voices. They perform in annual school concerts and may represent the school in many local and regional events throughout the year. Each singer also studies music theory, melodic and rhythmic sight reading, and vocal technique. (Enrollment in Honors Madrigal Singers does not exclude a musician from also enrolling in Gospel Choir or Chorus.)
Music Theory (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: Algebra I; ability to read music in at least one clef (e.g. treble or bass).
The goal of this one-semester course is to develop skills necessary to listen to and analyze music well. The course explores the fundamentals of music. Students learn the primary concepts of music theory, including notation, rhythm, meter, pitch, dictation, sight, singing, tonality, and basic chord structure.
Honors Music Theory (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Music theory; teacher recommendation
Note: Students enrolled in Honors Music Theory may choose to take the AP® Music Theory test. In these cases, supplemental materials will be provided for the student to prepare independently.
In this advanced one-semester music course, students develop a deeper understanding of the various fundamentals of music: melody, harmony, texture, and form. Students will develop music composition skills through analysis, notation, context study, and original compositions. The student’s ability to read and write musical notation is fundamental to this course, and the student must be able to sight sing in major and minor keys, dictate simple melodies in major and minor keys and possess adequate performance skills in either voice or on an instrument.
Symphonic Band (Grades 9-12)*
Prerequisite: Ability to read music in at least one clef (e.g. treble or bass); basic performance abilities on a concert band (or string) instrument
Students in this instrumental music ensemble will learn selections from the standard concert band repertoire, foster technique on their instrument, develop sight-reading skills, analyze music from all genres, identify musical arguments, and perform in concert, in Assembly, in Chapel, and at festivals. Symphonic Band is open to student musicians who play one of the following instruments: percussion, flute/piccolo, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone), French horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone/euphonium, or tuba. Students who play a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or double bass) may also register for this ensemble at the discretion of the director.
Honors Symphonic Band (Grades 10-12)*
Prerequisite: Symphonic Band (or similar ensemble experience for transfer students); placement audition; teacher recommendation
Honors Symphonic Band will meet concurrently with Symphonic Band, and students in Honors Symphonic Band will serve in leadership roles in that instrumental ensemble. Honors Symphonic Band is a full-year course for dedicated instrumental music students who want to advance their skills. Students will work on advanced etudes and advanced solo repertoire specific for their instrument. Students will prepare for all-state auditions and solo competition. Students will work on extended major scales and minor scales. Students will take bi-weekly lessons with the instrumental music teacher or from a private instructor.
Percussion Ensemble (Grades 9-12)*
Prerequisite: Ability to read music in at least one clef (e.g. treble or bass)
Note: This course will only be offered dependent upon scheduling and staffing constraints. Student course requests for Percussion Ensemble will be transferred to Symphonic Band if the course is not offered.
This is a performing ensemble that will explore the literature written for percussion ensemble. Students will participate in concerts and festivals throughout the year and may collaborate with the other instrumental groups during the year. Students learn proper percussion technique and study music of a wide variety of styles and genres. This ensemble class is non-auditioned and open to all students.
Honors Percussion Ensemble (Grades 10-12)*
Prerequisite: Minimum of one semester of Percussion Ensemble (or similar experience for transfer students); placement audition; teacher recommendation
Note: This course will only be offered dependent upon scheduling and staffing constraints. Student course requests for Percussion Ensemble will be transferred to Symphonic Band if the course is not offered.
Honors Percussion Ensemble will meet concurrently with Percussion Ensemble, and students in Honors Percussion Ensemble will serve in leadership roles in that ensemble. Honors Percussion Ensemble is a full-year course for dedicated percussion students who want to advance their musical skills. Students will work on advanced etudes and advanced solo repertoire over a variety of percussion instruments (snare, mallets, timpani, etc.). Students will prepare for all-state auditions and solo competition. Students will take bi-weekly lessons with the instrumental music teacher or from a private instructor.
*Participation in this ensemble may involve additional expenses: obtaining appropriate performance attire (usually $65-120) and/or participating in a mandatory trip during the school year (usually $400-$800). We do not want ensemble expenses to be a reason a student chooses not to take the course, so please know that we will work with families for whom these expenses would cause hardship.
Physical Education Courses
Students must complete 1.0 credits of physical education courses, including Health and Fitness.
Health and Fitness (Grades 9-12)
Students will have a combination of classroom learning and fitness workouts. Classroom time would cover topics such as nutrition, components and principles of fitness, and developing a fitness program. Workouts serve as the lab for classroom learning. This coed class may split into gender-specific discussion groups occasionally. This course is a graduation requirement, so students are encouraged to complete in grade 9 or 10.
Female Strength and Conditioning (Grades 9-12)
This one-semester course will provide instruction and guidance in weight training for any student interested in maintaining or improving her general fitness, wellness and strength. The instructor will emphasize safety, variety, and balance in workout regimens, as well as nutrition and other concepts.
Male Strength and Conditioning (Grades 9-12)
This one-semester course will provide instruction and guidance in weight training for any student interested in maintaining or improving his general fitness, wellness and strength. The instructor will emphasize safety, variety, and balance in workout regimens, as well as nutrition and other concepts.
Female Aerobic Fitness (Grades 9-12)
Students will participate in a variety of aerobic workout activities that include components of dance, flexibility, balance, coordination and fitness. Workout sites include the weight room, the gyms and/or field house, and on some days the outdoors.
Lifelong Fitness (Grades 9-12)
Students will be taught lifelong habits of staying active and enjoying healthy movement. Daily activities will often involve fun team-oriented activities with a mutually supportive atmosphere, not a highly competitive one. This class has coeducational enrollment.
General Electives Courses
Students must complete 4.0 elective credits. Courses taken in other departments beyond graduation requirements can count toward these 4.0 elective credits.
Yearbook (Grades 10-12)
Prerequisite: Application; teacher recommendation
Note: This course may be taken for Technology credit with administrator approval.
This full-year course functions as an introduction to publishing. Students will design, organize, and produce content for the AACS Yearbook. Students will create and implement the theme for the yearbook, take and arrange pictures, gather and write interviews and articles, and design individual pages. Skills taught include writing, interviewing, layout design, and copy editing. Staff members must be willing to talk to different members of the AACS community, propose and evaluate designs and articles, and collaborate freely on a large, public project. The successful use of these skills, as well as ability to meet strict deadlines forms the basis for the student's grades. Students will also learn general functions of Adobe InDesign and may use Adobe Photoshop.
Speech (Grades 10-12)
This one-semester elective helps students develop the speaking and listening skills necessary to become clear, thoughtful, and confident communicators. Students will plan, prepare, and deliver to the class a variety of speeches, ranging from two to ten minutes in length. These include autobiographical, informative, persuasive, impromptu, and inspirational speeches, demonstrations, and oral interpretations of literature.
Worldviews in Film (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Parent approval: Parent/Guardian Permission Form.
Note: The curriculum for this course includes some R, PG-13, and PG -rated films (no graphic nudity or sexuality). In this one-semester course, students develop the ability to discern and evaluate worldviews as presented in film. Students will become better watchers of film by developing film analysis skills, appreciating excellent filmmaking, identifying objectionable content, discerning the function of content elements, recognizing themes, considering diverse perspectives, identifying arguments, discussing films, and comparing/contrasting the worldviews being presented in contemporary films with a biblical worldview. Students will also reflect on the films they watch to help them grow in their relationships with Jesus Christ. The films viewed in this course will accurately reflect the culture in which we currently live. For that reason, the film resources used for this course will include some R-rated films (no graphic nudity or sexuality). For more information about the content of the films used in this course, see the Parent/Guardian Permission Form.
Personal Finance (Grades 11-12)
This one-semester course teaches the principles of Christian money management along with practical application.. The students will have hands-on experiences in planning a family budget, writing checks, and balancing accounts. Other topics will include depreciation and appreciation of assets, investment strategies, and support of local and international Christian activities.
Study Hall (Grades 9-12)
Note: Study Hall does not earn any credit.
Students may take a maximum of one Study Hall per semester unless that student is taking 3 or more AP® or dual credit college courses; in that case two study halls are allowed. Students enrolled in Directed Studies may not take Study Hall unless they qualify for a second Study Hall as described above.
Student Aide (Grades 11-12)
Prerequisite: Specific invitation from a faculty or staff member; administrator approval
Student aides provide assistance in various departments for students wishing to continue studies in said field. Student Aides earn 0.25 credit per semester.
Students are enrolled in Educational Support classes only after discussion with the Educational Support team.
Directed Studies (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: Parents must discuss Directed Studies placement with the Educational Support Department by contacting Megan Lamb (MLamb@acsonline.org) and receiving teacher approval; an Educational Support Plan is not necessarily required.
This full-year course is designed to equip students with school success skills. It focuses mostly on executive functioning skills such as organizing time and materials, developing study skills, and setting and achieving goals. Enrollment in this course also entitles students to a level of support that includes collaboration with teachers and coordination of the Educational Support Plan (if there is one). This includes coordination of documented accommodations. Students enrolled in Directed Studies may not take Study Hall unless that student is taking 3 or more AP® or dual credit college courses; in that case a Study Hall may be allowed in addition to Directed Studies.
Academic Studies (Grades 9-12)
Prerequisite: Parents must discuss Directed Studies placement with the Educational Support Department by contacting Megan Lamb (MLamb@acsonline.org) and receiving teacher approval; an Educational Support Plan is required.
Note: This is a fee-based course.
This is a regularly scheduled full-year small group class for students with an Educational Support Plan (ESP). This course provides academic support (targeted intervention/remediation and pre-teaching or re-teaching) for one or more content areas. It may also include modification of content as documented by the ESP. Enrollment in this course also entitles students to a level of support that includes collaboration with teachers and coordination of the SDP. This includes coordination of documented accommodations and modifications, and support for organization and task completion for academic classes.
Beyond the many course options offered on campus at Annapolis Area Christian School’s Upper School, additional courses are available online through our partnership with the Christian online school Sevenstar Academy (www.sevenstar.org). Sevenstar courses are approved for AACS transcript credit.
Cost for Online Courses
There is an additional charge for these courses—$570 for a one-semester course and $770 for a full-year course; AP® and dual credit courses have a slightly higher cost. First-time students also pay a $45 one-time registration fee.
Sevenstar Course Options (non-exhaustive)
Marine Science Forensic Science 1 & 2
French I, II
AP Art History
Registering for a Sevenstar Online Course
Students should indicate their desire for a Sevenstar course during the regular AACS course registration season (February/March), designating one of the eight periods for a named “online course” in one or both semesters. The start and end dates for these courses are flexible, so these can vary based on an individual student’s plans and schedule. However, once a course is begun, a set schedule of assignments, due dates and exams is set in motion. Note that one-semester online courses are 18 weeks long; two-semester courses take 36 weeks to complete.
College/Duel Credit Courses
Anne Arundel Community College College/Dual Credit Courses
AACS offers access to college courses (beyond the 11 courses offered in our AP® program) for qualified juniors and seniors at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) through their Early College Access Program (ECAP). Proceed with caution: college courses place high demands and expectations on the student. Do not underestimate the impact of adding a college course to your high school schedule!
In order to qualify for one of the AACC options, a student must be a rising junior or senior with a GPA of 3.0, with an SAT score of 500 or above on the English portion and 500 or above on the Math portion (or ACT score of 18 or above for English, and 21 or above for Math). Students without SAT or ACT scores must take AACC’s Accuplacer test and meet their criteria for acceptance.
Students would indicate their desire to take an AACC course during the regular registration season here at AACS (February/March), designating one of the eight periods for the college course. The start and end dates for these AACC courses correspond closely (but not exactly) with the AACS school calendar.
AACS will facilitate the enrollment and registration process for AACC courses selected by our students, as well as the Accuplacer testing, as needed. It is important to note that AACC uses their own learning management system (Canvas) rather than Veracross, and any request to drop a course must follow AACC’s rules, which are very time sensitive and far less flexible than those of AACS or Sevenstar. Failure to follow their course drop rules may result in significant cost and negative transcript implications. To adhere to our priorities, mission and accreditation, AACS will add a biblical worldview module for each AACC course.
Note: Students who enroll in an ECAP course are expected to provide the AACS academic dean a copy of their ECAP course grade report. It is the student’s responsibility also to request a copy of their AACC transcript, which colleges will want to see along with their AACS high school transcript.
entry level courses
courses not already available through AACS
courses consistent with our mission and educational goals
sections of courses that pose minimal disruption to the AACS school day (including evening, online and hybrid options)
World Languages: French I, German I, Italian I, Russian I
Humanities and Social Sciences: Interior Design, Architecture, Sociology, Social Problems
Sciences: Horticulture, Nutrition, Oceanography, Public Health, Digital Forensics
Business: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Business, Marketing, Management, Global Economy
Homeland Security; Hotel Management; Hospitality; Foundations of Education; MetalFabrication;
Paralegal Studies; International Law
The ECAP Program includes the option for summer courses at AACC campuses. Registration for AACC summer courses takes place in March. See the AACS Academic Dean in March to discuss.
Registration for a school-year ECAP course at AACC begins by listing “AACC Online Course” on your AACS Course Selection form in March. Name the desired ECAP course if that is known. Students will then need to register with AACC a few weeks before the course term begins; students may receive the ECAP registration form from the AACS academic dean.
Sevenstar College/Dual Credit Courses
An option for dual credit online college courses is available through Sevenstar’s program with Gordon College and Taylor University. As with Sevenstar’s high school courses, AACS will facilitate the registration and oversight of these courses. For available courses please see this link: https://sevenstar.org/dualcredit/. Criteria for Sevenstar’s college options vary by course and college. These post-secondary institutions offer courses in English, History, Math, and Science, as well as Biblical Studies, Business, Communications, Education, Ministry, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and other Electives. Students would indicate their desire to take a Sevenstar college course during the regular course registration season at AACS (February/March), designating one of the eight periods for the college course.