DCIS high school students have the opportunity to pursue advanced learning through both Advanced Placement (AP) and honors coursework. Both types of coursework offer additional levels of academic challenge, support college readiness and carry a higher weight in a student’s GPA than on-level courses.
AP courses open doors by providing students with the opportunity to engage in a subject through rigorous college-level work. AP courses give students the chance to demonstrate to themselves and to colleges and universities that they are college-ready. By pursuing AP courses and passing AP tests, students can earn college credit and/or advanced standing at the college or university at which they enroll upon graduation from DCIS.
Students taking three or more AP courses should expect a workload equal to that of freshmen at the most selective colleges. For that reason, we encourage students who wish to take multiple AP courses to first carefully evaluate their total workload in relation to their other classes and activities. Because DCIS is a small school and doesn’t offer all AP classes every year, students also need to plan ahead based on which courses will be offered not only for the upcoming academic year, but for subsequent years as well.
The following AP courses are available to DCIS students:
All students who are enrolled in AP courses are required to take the AP exam for each AP course on the national test dates in May. Students take practice exams before then to help them prepare. Students must complete the entire yearlong course and take the AP test to receive AP course credit and the weighted grade. Failure to complete the exam will result in an alteration of the transcript to reflect enrollment in a regular course of study.
Because students are required to take the AP exam for each AP course in which they enroll, we want both parents and students to understand the financial commitment as well. The cost per AP exam is around $95 and is subject to change. Because financial need should not prevent students from taking college-level classes, students who have qualified for Free and Reduced Lunch can take the AP exams at a substantially lower cost. Payment for AP exams is due in mid-April, and specific payment information (including how to apply for reduced fees), as well as the AP exam schedule, goes out to families in late March/early April.
Many DCIS high school classes offer an honors option, allowing students to demonstrate the ability to take on challenging work as part of a regular course of study. Students may opt into the honors option during the first six weeks of the semester, signaling to their teacher that they are interested in pursuing advanced study through alternative work embedded in the course. The honors option is available in all high school English, science and math courses; world language classes level 3 and beyond; and in some high school electives.