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Advanced Placement Courses

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAREFULLY: Our Advanced Placement courses are available to all high school students, full and part time. When enrolling in an AP course with Park City Independent we will provide AP approved course curriculum and teachers. However, the students are responsible for the following items:
  1. The purchase of any required reading materials (list provided upon enrollment)
  2. Verifying the testing dates (which are generally in the spring)
  3. Verifying any deadlines for course completion to be allowed to take the test in the student’s area
  4. Paying any fees associated with the AP Exam
Written acknowledgment of student responsibilities is required for enrollment in any AP course and will be provided at the time of course application. For all AP courses, students will view lectures from experienced, highly qualified instructors, access nonfiction rhetoric (written and visual), and practice close reading and writing skills with continual feedback from instructors by means of various communication technologies, including phone, Instant Message, email, discussion thread, and live chat.

AP English Language & Composition

Students in AP English Language and Composition study how writers use language to create meaning. Students will read a variety of nonfiction prose and will analyze many styles and genres including essays, journalism, political writing, science writing, autobiographies/biographies, diaries, speeches, history writing, and criticism. They focus the majority of their practice on writing expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. In addition to writing, students also study visual rhetoric such as photographs, advertisements, and political cartoons. Students learn to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize material from these texts in their own compositions, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by the Modern Language Association. The class is structured around teaching reading and writing skills honed by close reading of and writing original student essays, many of which are products of several revisions.

AP English Literature & Composition

Literature and Composition is designed to be a college/university-level course. This course equips students to critically analyze all forms of literature in order to comment insightfully about an author or genre’s use of style or literary device. Students will also interpret meaning based on form, examine the trademark characteristics of literary genres and periods, and critique literary works through expository, analytical, and argumentative essays.  As students consider styles and devices, they will apply them to their creative writing. In addition to exposing students to college-level English coursework, this course prepares them for the AP exam.

AP Calculus AB

Calculus AB is a college-level, yearlong course designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam. The goal of this course is to provide students with new tools to solve problems. Through a combination of direct instruction, videos, and readings, students will explore limits, derivatives, and integrals and the ways to apply them to mathematical and real-world problems. Topics covered include graphs of functions, limits, differentiation, and integration. Students will demonstrate their understanding and acquisition of skills through practice problems, discussion questions, and practice AP exams.

AP Biology

This college-level, yearlong course is designed to prepare students for the AP Biology exam. The goal of the course is to discover how biological information is acquired and by whom. The four themes that organize important concepts throughout the course are science, technology, and society, evolution, the relationship between structure and function, and science as a process. Through a combination of different learning activities, students will organize and categorize important concepts relating to the four themes. Topics include cell structure and function; the gene; principles of heredity; evolutionary biology; biological diversity; the energetics of life; animal structure, reproduction, and development; circulation, body’s defenses, and nutrition; nervous system and internal controls; the form and function of plants; and ecology. Students will demonstrate their understanding and acquisition of skills through quizzes, tests, and practice AP questions.

AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is a laboratory and field-based course designed to provide students with the content and skills needed to understand the various interrelationships in the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, and to propose and examine solutions to these problems. Since this is an online course the laboratory and field-based activities will be done virtually and via experiments that students can easily perform at home with common materials. The course is intended to be the equivalent of a one-semester college ecology course, which is taught over an entire year in high school. The course encompasses human population dynamics, interrelationships in nature, energy flow, resources, environmental quality, human impact on environmental systems, and environmental law.  PLEASE NOTE: Chemistry and Biology are prerequisites for this course.

AP Human Geography

This is a college-level, yearlong course designed to prepare students for the AP Human Geography exam. The goal of the course is to provide students with a geographic perspective through which to view the world. Through a combination of direct instruction, documentary videos, and online readings, students will explore geographic concepts, theories, and models; human-environment interactions; and interactions among human systems. Topics covered include population, culture, political organization of space, agricultural land use, industrialization, and urban land use. Students will demonstrate their understanding and acquisition of skills through essays, document-based questions, student collaborative activities, and practice AP exams.

AP U.S. History

This course is a survey of American History from the Age of Exploration and Discovery to the present. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography. Major themes covered throughout the course include politics, the economy, reform, social issues, diplomacy, and culture. Students will demonstrate comprehension of a broad body of historical knowledge; express ideas clearly in writing; work with classmates to research a historical issue; interpret and apply data from original documents; identify underrepresented historical viewpoints; write to persuade with evidence; compare and contrast alternate interpretations of a historical figure, event, or trend; explain how historical events connect to or cause a larger trend or theme; develop essay responses that include a clear defensible thesis statement and supporting evidence; effectively argue a position on a historical issue; critique and respond to arguments made by others; raise and explore questions about policies, institutions, beliefs, and actions in a historical context; evaluate primary materials, such as historical documents, political cartoons, and first-person narratives; evaluate secondary materials, such as scholarly works or statistical analysis; and assess the historical significance and cultural impact of key literary works (e.g., Common Sense, Uncle Tom’s Cabin). Document-based questions, free-response essays, and timed exams throughout the course will provide students the opportunity to practice their skills in a mock AP exam environment.

AP Psychology

The AP Psychology course will introduce students to the systematic study of the behavior and mental processes of human means and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with the major fields within psychology. Students will also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. The major aim of this course is to provide each student with a learning experience to that obtained in most introductory college psychology courses. In addition, this course has been designed to help students successfully achieve a passing score on the AP exam.

AP Spanish

The AP Spanish course is a yearlong course designed to deepen the student’s comprehension of the Spanish language and prepare them for the AP Spanish exam. Conducted almost entirely in Spanish, this course builds on a strong Spanish language foundation. Students will thoroughly review the basics of Spanish grammar, learn more about Hispanic culture and civilization, acquire new vocabulary, fine-tune their skills in reading, understanding, writing, instigate and/or participate in conversations in Spanish on a wide variety of topics, and learn how to express themselves verbally with correct grammar, a rich vocabulary, and clear pronunciation. PLEASE NOTE: Spanish I, II, and III are prerequisites for this course. A microphone and speakers or headphones are also required to participate in this course.