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AP Course Information

Why Take AP Courses?


AP Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The composition course will emphasize the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication, as well as the personal and reflective writing that fosters the development of writing facility in any context. The course will enable students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. Students are required to take the AP Language exam.

This course is for 12 Graders who wish to pursue college-level studies in English while still in secondary school. Students study selected works by British, world, and contemporary authors with a concentration on four genres: poetry, fiction, drama, and essays. The course provides intensive study of reading and writing as processes and is organized at the teacher’s discretion by theme, genre, or a combination of the two. Students are required to take the AP Literature exam.


This course is designed to fulfill requirements as described in the AP English Course Description. Students practice close reading and critical analysis of style and theme in literary works from the ancient Greeks to contemporary authors. As we identify universal themes and articulate our evaluation of a work’s literary merit, we will engage in a variety of writing assignments:

Writing to understand. Informal exploratory writing activities that enable students to discover what they think in the process of writing about their reading. These assignments include annotation, free-writing, reading journals, and response/reaction papers.

Writing to explain. Expository, analytical essays in which students draw upon textual details to develop an extended explanation/interpretation of the meanings of a literary text.

Writing to evaluate: Analytical, argumentative essays in which students draw upon textual details to make and explain judgments about a work’s artistry and quality, and its social and cultural values.

Thus, while students will focus on both the experience and interpretation of literature, their main objective in AP English Literature is to develop argumentative skills that are clear, convincing and stylistically sound. Students will apply the conventions of standard written English to expository discourse in which they relate a variety of works and authors to one another and to the values of the societies in which they live.

Study is organized by genre and may include the addition or substitution of specific texts as dictated by student interests and needs, current events, and literary features in local playhouses. Both core and supplemental curricular requirements focus on works from the literary canon, as represented by works which have either appeared on previously-published AP Exams or Pulitzer, National, Booker or Nobel Prize award lists.

GRADES 11-12

Prerequisite: Precalculus/Elem. Functions
Calculus, both AB and BC Calculus follow the AB and BC Advanced Placement syllabi. They are college level courses intended for students planning a career in mathematics, science, another technical field or the social sciences. Students are required to take the AP Calculus exam. AP Calculus BC is offered to students who complete PreCalculus with a B or better, whereas AP Calculus AB is for students with a C in PreCalculus or B or better in Elementary Functions. Students are required to take the AP Calculus exam.

Prerequisite: Probability and Statistics or PreCalculus or Elementary Functions or AP Calculus AB/BC

AP Statistics presents concepts and techniques for exploring data, collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and making predictions. In addition, students will explore experimental design, produce models using probability and simulation, and select appropriate models for statistical inference. Applications will be taken from a variety of disciplines ranging from the social sciences of psychology and sociology to education, allied health fields, business, economics, engineering, the humanities, the physical sciences, journalism, communications, and liberal arts. Each student enrolled in AP Statistics is required to take the AP Statistics Exam.

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (What You'll Learn) (What Class is Like)
This course provides students a systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students use spatial concepts and landscape analysis to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences. Students also learn about methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Students use and think about maps and spatial data sets. They learn to recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes, define regions and evaluate the regionalization process, and characterize and analyze changing interconnections among place. This course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students are required to take the AP Human Geography exam.

This course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with issues in United States history. Students learn to assess historical materials — their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance — and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. This course also develops the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. This course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students are required to take the AP United States History exam.


This course provides students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. The course includes 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 are introduced to a variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. This course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students are required to take the AP Government and Politics exam. During the succeeding phases, the students are introduced to the origins of other selected cultural groups (i.e., Latin Americans, American Asians, American Jews, etc.) and their rich legacies. Art, literature, and music are included. Mastery of geography skills and the analysis and interpretation of demographic studies will provide students with an accurate picture of the development of the unique American political culture and landscape.

GRADES 11-12

This course examines basic principles and theories of psychology (the study of the behavior of organisms). It is offered to help individuals gain new understanding of basic problems of relationships to self and others and to become more aware of self-defeating behaviors and counter-productive choices they sometimes make. Emphasis is on learning and cognitive processes, human development and personality, defense mechanisms, mental illness, group behavior, adjustment and therapy. This course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students are required to take the AP Psychology exam. experiments completed by the students and their teacher will help the students understand more about their place in the world of living things


Prerequisite: Honors Biology and Chemistry 3 with a 2nd semester C or better average
Advanced placement biology is offered for those who wish to complete a college-level course while in high school. The course is offered to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Examination. A minimum of three hours of lecture and two hours laboratory will be required per week. All students are required to take the AP Exam.

GRADES 11-12
Prerequisite: B or better in Elementary Functions/Precalculus and Chemistry Level 3 with teacher recommendations
This is a college level offering for seniors and qualified juniors interested in obtaining college credit while in high school. The course is designed to correspond to a one year college course in non-calculus based physics and focuses on a complete spectrum of the topics appropriate to Newtonian physics. This course prepares the student to take the Advanced Placement Physics B exam sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board. Successful completion of the AP Physics B exam could be accepted as college credit in courses in which non-calculus based physics is appropriate. Calculus based physics (Physics C) is offered at the New Horizons Governor’s School. All students enrolled in AP Physics B are required to take the AP Exam.


Prerequisite: This course is open to any student who has successfully completed Spanish IV Distance Learning from Hampton High School
Students who enroll should already have a basic knowledge of the language and culture of Spanish-speaking people and should have attained a reasonable proficiency in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The course covers the equivalent of a third year college course in advanced Spanish composition and conversation. It encompasses aural/oral skills, reading comprehension, grammar and composition. This course, emphasizing the use of Spanish for active communication, has the following objectives: 1. The ability to comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish. 2. The acquisition of vocabulary and a grasp of structure to allow the easy, accurate, reading of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as modern literature in Spanish. 3. The ability to compose expository passages. 4. The ability to express ideas orally with accuracy and fluency. This course seeks to develop language skills that are useful in themselves and that can be applied to various activities and disciplines rather than the mastery of any specific subject matter. Extensive training in the organization and writing of composition is an integral part of the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Course. The instruction is student-centered, and the class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students will be required to take the AP exam.

The Advanced Placement offering in the History of Art is designed to provide the same benefits to secondary school students as those provided by an introductory college course in art history: an understanding and enjoyment of architecture, sculpture, painting and other art forms within historical and cultural contexts. The course does not require students to have prior training in art, rather a high degree of commitment to academic work and to the purposes of a program designed to meet college standards. Students will be expected to participate in field trips and will be required to take the AP Art History examination.

GRADES 11-12

Prerequisites: Drawing or Painting; Painting or Sculpture; or Teacher Recommendation
AP Studio addresses three major concerns that are constants in the teaching of art: (1) a sense of quality in a student’s work; (2) the student’s concentration on a particular visual interest or problem; and (3) the student’s need for breadth of experience in the formal, technical, and expressive means of the artist. Students should be made aware that AP work involves significantly more commitment and accomplishment than the typical high school course. Students required to submit an AP Portfolio.

The Governor’s School provides high achieving students with unique educational experiences designed to promote interest in, and develop research skills related to science, mathematics, and technology. This includes a rigorous curriculum with an extensive laboratory component; required honors research/mentorship in a profession of choice; site visits, guest lecturers, student symposia, national competitions; and interactions among serious students with common interests. The New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology (NHGS) is a shared-time program. Students attend classes at both New Horizons and at their home school. Courses are available in the morning, afternoon, or in the early evening. Certain schools are slated to attend at certain times, however, New Horizons’ registrar will work with the guidance office to address any schedule changes that might be necessary. Students attend the Governor’s School for one, two, or three hours and their home school for the remainder of the day. Students enrolled in a science course spend another five hours minimum a week in an after school honors research/mentorship program. Mentorship sites include local universities, area hospitals and clinics, veterinary offices, NASALangley Research Center, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, TJNAF and other science and technology firms. The mentorship carries one hour of weighted high school credit; therefore it is considered part of the science curriculum and not an extracurricular or club activity. All new students taking a science course are required to do a mentorship; special consideration may be given for requests to defer the honors research/mentorship for a year. For returning students who have completed the honors research/mentorship program, a second year or new placement is optional. Currently, three courses are offered during the day at New Horizons - advanced Biology/Chemistry, Advanced Physics, Environmental Science/Statistical research methods, (7:15-9:15 A.M. and 12:15-2:15 P.M.). All are year long courses. These students attend the morning session. Evening courses meet on either Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday from either 4:00-6:15 or 6:308:45 P.M.