CORE INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES ELECTIVES
SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST [SAT] REVIEW: 10, 11 (2.5 credits)
An intensive review course, the SAT preparation course will provide students with nine weeks of English preparation and nine weeks of mathematics. Students will learn test-taking strategies and take practice tests. In the English section of the course, students will focus on techniques for improving reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing. In the mathematics section, students will analyze and practice sample SAT questions in algebra and geometry. Basic mathematical concepts will be reviewed. Students will be requested to take the SAT test closest to the conclusion of the course.
AP SEMINAR: 10, 11, 12 (5 credits)
AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.
AP RESEARCH: 11, 12 (5 Credits)
PREPARATION: Successful completion of AP Seminar
AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. In the AP Research course, students further their skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.
UNIQUE ELECTIVE AT WEST
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND AWARENESS PROGRAM: 9, 10, 11, 12 (2.5 credits)
The purpose of this course is to increase student involvement in community affairs and awareness of community service opportunities and public issues, and to give students an opportunity to reflect on their service-related experiences. Students must complete a minimum of fifty-three (53) hours of community service at a Board-approved service agency, Habitat for Humanity, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc. maintain a journal of service-related experiences, and attend four (4) hour-and-a-half public affairs discussions.