New high school courses aimed at college, career - Champion Newspapers: News

New high school courses aimed at college, career

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Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:00 am

New high school courses this year are part of a push by the Chino Valley Unified School District to prepare all students for college and career, said the district’s director of secondary curriculum Julian Rodriguez. 

When discussing the variety of curriculum offered at the district’s high schools, the director said, “We are not just keeping up, we are ahead of other districts.”   

“When (our) high school graduates walk out of Citizens Business Bank Arena, they have an option for college,” he said. “If they have that option, we have done our job.”   

He said the 16 new high school courses this year reflect new standards, which are state guidelines for what students need to know in each grade level.  

The district added several new advanced placement (AP) courses. AP courses are “rigorous, college-level classes in a variety of subjects that give students an opportunity to gain the skills and experience colleges recognize,” according to The College Board which oversees the AP program.”

Chino Valley Unified high school students can now take AP Comparative Government and Politics in conjunction with the AP U.S. Government and Politics course for comparison studies of governments throughout the world.  

According to the district’s course description, AP Seminar, new for juniors and seniors, will equip students to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.   

Other new AP courses include Human Geography, a freshman course, and Studio Art: 2D Design. 

Ayala High counselor Stacy Gillespie said students are encouraged take one AP course in their freshman year. High school students should take at least two AP courses over their four years of high school, she said. Ayala offers 25 AP courses.

At Don Lugo High, 18 AP classes are offered, said counselor Cristina Domicoli.

She added they are varied and the administration team works to add new courses every year.

Chino Hills High lists 20 AP classes and Chino High lists 18 AP classes on their web pages.  

Mr. Rodriguez said AP course availability at each high school depends on teacher availability. 

“When a school starts offering a class, others say, ok let’s start offering it here,” he added.

This year, the district purchased $338,461 worth of new AP textbooks, paid with a college readiness block grant program. 

Students may take the AP exam without taking an AP course. They may also take AP exams for AP courses not offered at their high school. 

Tests are administered the first two full weeks of May and students pay $94 for each exam taken. 

AP testing is encouraged but not required, said Ayala counselor Ms. Gillespie.   

A high AP test score may count towards credit at some colleges, she added.

Students can get more information on collegeboard.org.  

Mr. Rodriguez said students should also think about taking a Career Technical Education (CTE) class to “round out their portfolio.” 

Aerospace Engineering is new for grades 10 through 12. It explores the evolution of flight, flight fundamentals, navigation and control, aerospace materials, propulsion, space travel, orbital mechanics, ergonomics, remotely operated systems and related careers.

Introduction to Digital Media, a new year-long elective course, introduces a broad spectrum of computer applications including web design, video animation, digital imaging, digital video and digital art, using current industry standards.

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