DeWitt Clinton High School
AP Course Catelog
AP + PLTW Student Recognition
Students who complete the requirements of their chosen pathway earn the AP + PLTW student recognition, a qualification that demonstrates to colleges and employers that the student is ready for advanced course work and interested in careers in this discipline.
To earn the recognition, the student must satisfactorily complete three courses in the pathway – one AP course; one PLTW course; and a third course, either AP or PLTW – and earn a qualifying score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam(s) and a score of Proficient or higher on the PLTW End of Course (EoC) assessment(s).
Schools that bring together AP and PLTW courses in a meaningful way for students to earn recognition for their commitment to helping students get college and career ready in STEM areas. More details will be available soon.
AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes—energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.
AP Environmental Science:
The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science. Unlike most other introductory-level college science courses, environmental science is offered from a wide variety of departments, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. Depending on the department offering the course, different emphases are placed on various topics. Some courses are rigorous science courses that stress scientific principles and analysis and that often include a laboratory component; other courses emphasize the study of environmental issues from a sociological or political perspective rather than a scientific one. The AP Environmental Science course has been developed to be most like the former; as such, it is intended to enable students to undertake, as first-year college students, a more advanced study of topics in environmental science or, alternatively, to fulfill a basic requirement for a laboratory science and thus free time for taking other courses.
AP Chemistry is an advanced placement course designed to prepare the student for the AP Chemistry exam. The course covers the equivalent of one full year of college level General Chemistry. It is a rigorous math-based course, with a strong laboratory component. It is intended for students who have demonstrated a willingness to commit considerable time, on a daily basis, to studying and completing assignments outside of class, and who have successfully completed a prior course in high school chemistry.
The primary goal of the course is for students to understand the basic principles of modern chemistry--including stoichiometry, reactions, kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry and also demonstrate that understanding in the solution and meaningful communication of mathematically based laboratory and textbook problems. If you have a strong interest in chemistry, good mathematical problem solving skills and are willing and able to devote yourself to the study of this noble science, this course is for you.
AP English Language and Composition:
AP English Language is a challenging, interesting, and exciting college level course that helps students improve their skills in close reading and persuasive writing. AP English Language, which is usually offered during the junior year, is a high level English course that examines the wonderful world of non- fiction. Students will read non-fiction books, essays, articles, letters, and some of the greatest speeches of all time. The course asks two essential questions: What is the purpose of the author? And how does the author employ language to reach the audience? Because of the course’s emphasis on non-fiction and close reading, this is the perfect course to prepare students for the new Common Core NYS Regents Exam which students will take in January.
The course culminates in the AP Exam in May for which the students are rigorously prepared. Know that AP English Language is for those students who want to succeed! AP English Language is for those students who want to be engaged in their learning! AP English is for those students who want not only to be prepared for college, but for life! If you are one of these students, then AP Language and Composition is for you!
AP English Literature:
Advanced Placement Literature is an exciting, thought-provoking, rigorous and academically challenging class. By accepting a placement in A.P. Literature, you agree to engage in a college level curriculum and uphold the standards of a college student. What does this mean? Advanced Placement classes are college level courses developed with the support of the College Board. The student assumes considerable responsibility for reading, writing and reflective work, both at home and in the classroom. When this year- long course is complete and students receive a score of at least 3, 4 or 5 on the required standardized examination, they are eligible to earn college credit at most universities and U.S. colleges.
What do colleges expect? They expect students to engage in these intellectual practices*:
Experiment with new ideas
See other points of view
Challenge their own beliefs
Engage in intellectual discussions
Ask provocative questions
Exhibit respect for other points of view
Colleges understand that the following behaviors facilitate students’ learning:
Asking questions for clarification
Being attentive in class
Coming to class prepared
Completing assignments on time
Contributing to class discussions
Colleges most often ask for the following reading tasks:
Critically analyze the ideas or arguments of others
Summarize ideas and or information contained in a text
Synthesize ideas from several sources
Report facts or narrate events
Colleges expect that students will accomplish the following writing tasks to be effective:
Generate an effective thesis
Develop it convincingly with well-chosen examples, solid reasons and logical arguments
Structure their writing so that it moves beyond formulaic patterns that discourage critical examination of the topic and issues
AP World History:
AP World History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university world history course. In AP World History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; making historical comparisons; utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time; and developing historical arguments. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.
AP United States History:
The Advanced Placement U.S. History includes an in-depth study of American history in political, economic, social, and cultural terms. This course will be taught at the college level and students are expected to read, write, analyze, and research at this level. During our yearlong study we will examine the impact of historical figures and events and will attempt to synthesize the information into a defining framework. The goal is to make connections between the present and the past not only prepare for the test in May but help students develop an appreciation for our enduring vision. Not only will the curriculum explore the "what" and how, but also examine "What ifs?" and “Why?"
We will have debates if the American Revolution was truly revolutionary or if the New Deal was the appropriate response to the Great Depression. Through a variety of classroom activities students will begin to hone their skills in analysis and organization of facts and theories. Since this course is geared toward juniors, our goal is to actively prepare them for college classes. I wish anyone willing to engage at this high level of academic achievement best of luck. Enjoy yourselves and discover the beauty of thoughtful analysis.
AP European History:
AP European History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university European history course. In AP European History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods from approximately 1450 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing historical evidence; contextualization; comparison; causation; change and continuity over time; and argument development. The course also provides six themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction of Europe and the world; poverty and prosperity; objective knowledge and subjective visions; states and other institutions of power; individual and society; and national and European identity.
This course introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments.
AP Macroeconomics is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole, including national income and price determination, economic performance measures, economic growth, and international economics. The course promotes the understanding of aggregate economic activity; the utilization of resources within and across countries; and the critical evaluation of determinants of economic progress and economic decisions made by policymakers. The course teaches how to generate, interpret, label, and analyze graphs, charts, and data to describe and explain economic concepts. The AP Macroeconomics examination is approximately two hours and 10 minutes long and has two parts, namely: 60 multiple choice questions and 3 free response questions. The multiple choice section is worth two-thirds of the final exam grade and the free response section is worth one-third of the final exam grade. Section I: Multiple Choice — 1 hour.
The following areas and percentages are covered in the multiple choice questions:
Basic Economic Concepts (8%–12%)
Measurement of Economic Performance (12%–16%)
National Income and Price Determination (10%–15%)
Financial Sector (15%–20%)
Inflation, Unemployment, and Stabilization Policies (20%–30%)
Economic Growth and Productivity (5%–10%)
Open Economy: International Trade and Finance (10%–15%)
Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions. Section II: Free Response — 3 questions; 1 hour including a mandatory 10 minute reading period:
1 long essay question
2 short essay questions
This course, taught to fluent Spanish natives in their junior and senior years, has been carefully designed to help students appreciate the beauty, significance and diversity of literature. Whether it is through the reading of poetry or prose, students develop skills to explore and understand each author’s style, grammatical constructions, sentence and paragraph composition, descriptive attributes, vocabulary, and characterization. Step by step, piece by piece, students discover the intrinsic techniques famous writers use to compose their short stories, novels, plays, poems, and essays. The course is rigorous, and it requires from both teacher and students dedication and commitment. In addition, and to better grasp the importance of cultural values, traditions, and temporal fluctuations, the course entails acquaintance with a variety of activities.
In our school the AP Spanish Language course is a prerequisite for the AP Literature. Because of this mandated sequence, students who enroll in this course already know what is expected of them and the challenges they will face ahead. To register in the course, pupils have to meet several criteria. First, academic aptitude demonstrated in high-level Spanish courses and a written recommendation by a teacher (spot card) are two of the determining factors; second, students’ interest is a must; third, parents are notified and informed about the responsibilities their children are undertaking; last, contractual agreements are signed by students, parents and teachers. When these specifics are finished, the course is ready to start. Class begins in September and ends in June. Class meets 5 times a week. Each period lasts 45 minutes.
The required AP reading list is divided among the two courses. This approach is excellent because it allows the instructor to add representative works that are excluded from the approved AP list. Teachers have full autonomy to integrate whatever they deem pertinent. This school flexibility helps make the course more creative, diversified, and enjoyable. It is the personal touch everyone wants to inscribe into a course.
Finally, my school has a strong foreign language department. Many, if not most, of the assigned authors are not first time encounters for our students. When our pupils get to AP level, they already know the basic principles of Spanish language and literature.
The AP Statistics course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data.
The topics for AP Statistics are divided into four major themes:
Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses Students who successfully complete the course and exam may receive credit, advanced placement or both for a one-semester introductory college statistics course.
This course is an excellent option for any student who has successfully completed a second-year course in algebra and who possesses sufficient mathematical maturity and quantitative reasoning ability.
In addition, an introductory statistics course, similar to the AP Statistics course, is typically required for majors such as social sciences, health sciences and business; and is considered an effective preparation for many college level courses.
AP Calculus AB is a college level course designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of Calculus including the following topics: limits, derivatives, optimization using minima and maxima, curve sketching, approximation, integrals, applications using area and volume and modeling. Throughout this course we will cultivate a basic understanding of the concepts of calculus, using previously learned algebra, geometry and trigonometry topics which provide experience in the use of calculus methods, and show how calculus methods may be applied to solve practical and real-world problems. Homework is assigned regularly, as a supplement or pre-learning experience to the class.
In this course students are encouraged to explore and discover as much as possible. Additionally, learning how to communicate mathematical concepts ideas is a major part of this course. Students are expected to be able to explain problems and methods of solution using proper vocabulary and terminology. Several times throughout the year students will be required to present on a specific topic or problem. At the same time, during class students will be required to work in groups and are encouraged to help each other. In the first 2 weeks of May, the AP Calculus AB exam is administered.
AP Calculus consists of a full academic year of work and is comparable to calculus courses in colleges and universities. Calculus BC is a fast-paced, demanding, and rigorous introduction to Calculus covering the calculus of functions of a single variable. It includes all topics taught in Calculus AB plus several additional topics. The syllabus of Calculus BC includes mathematical ideas of Limits, Derivatives, Integrals, Differential Equations, Polar and Parametric functions, Infinite Series, and Taylor Polynomials. Calculus BC represents college-level mathematics It will require a significant commitment of time and effort, and may necessitate some sacrifices in extracurricular activities.
Before studying calculus, students should have completed four years of secondary mathematics designed for college-bound students, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and elementary functions. In particular, before studying calculus, students must be familiar with the properties of functions, the algebra of functions, the language of functions, and the graphs of functions. Students must also know the common values of the trigonometric functions.