High School Curriculum

Purpose & Overview

The resource has been developed to provide students and parents/guardians with valuable information and tools to assist in the planning of their SHS academic career.

Academic Planning, Programming and Scheduling

Springfield High School is committed to preparing graduates for life after high school – “Commencement is the beginning . . .” Many of our graduates further their education by pursuing a post-secondary education at two and four year colleges and universities. Others enter military service, trade or technical schools or the work force, maybe even with certifications they have received from DCTS programs. Recognizing that the majority of our graduates will seek further education and/or training of some kind, we recommend that students develop their High School Plan around a sequence of courses that will maximize the potential to pursue rigorous and challenging post-secondary education opportunities. This plan can begin in 9th or 10th grade with specialized classes but most students focus in on a career path in 11th grade.

Course Selection Guidelines

The course selection process is extremely important and plays a vital role in preparing students for their post-secondary endeavors. Course selection involves careful thought and planning and this process is a collaborative effort between counselors, teachers, students and parents. Parent conferences are also very helpful and welcomed by counselors. Call 610-938-6130, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for appointments during the school year or by email. The High School Guidance Counselors are:

Kelly Pedrotty - A - De Ext. 6136
Hilary Campbell - Df - Ke Ext. 6137
Jamie Weaver - Kf - Ph Ext. 6134
Jessica Houser - Pi - Z Ext. 6139
Kendra Campbell – College & Career Counselor Ext. 6138

Springfield High School takes pride in a wide variety of academic and special area offerings. Students can pursue college preparatory along with highly rigorous honors and advanced placement courses in addition to exploring and experiencing many courses in the arts and technology application areas. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of these options. Throughout the course selection and scheduling process, please carefully read the course descriptions and expectations associated with each course. Working with your counselor, make sure the courses you select are in line with your academic plan. Choosing the right courses is one of the most significant tasks a student completes each year. Courses should be selected with these questions in mind:

  • Will this course allow me to meet graduation requirements?
  • Will this course help me to meet college entrance requirements?
  • Will this course help me develop a skill to become employable after high school?
  • Will this course introduce me to a new subject or experience?
  • Is this course appropriate for my ability? Will it be a challenge?
  • Do I have the prerequisite for this course?

Note: Students must be sure they have all required courses each year. Every effort will be made to schedule all students with seven (7) credits comprised of scheduled courses, school service opportunities, internship/externship opportunities or independent studies. Senior students have additional scheduling opportunities.

Considerations When Completing the Course Request Process

Preparing Course Requests

  • A “Credit Tracker Form” will be distributed to students and is also available on the SHS web page under the Scheduling tab. Use HAC Transcript feature to view completed course and courses you are currently enrolled in this school year.
  • A Grade Level “Course Selection Sheet” will also be distributed to students and is also available at the SHS web page under the Scheduling tab. These forms need to be completed with a high degree of accuracy because they will be used to enter course requests into the scheduling program. Students will be instructed on how to complete this process at our grade level scheduling meetings.

Course Sequencing

  • Course sequencing must be adhered to when planning your program of study.
  • Planning charts are presented at the beginning of each core content area in this guide
  • It is important to review prerequisite course before requesting a course.

Prerequisites

  • Prerequisites for courses should be carefully considered and adhered to when planning a program of study. Questions regarding appropriate placement related to prerequisites and qualifications should be directed to the student’s current teacher in that area or guidance counselor.
  • Most courses in the Academic Programming and Scheduling Guide (APSG) have percentage based pre-requisites and some require teacher recommendation. Please keep in mind that these percentages are the initial screener in determining if a student has demonstrated the academic rigor to be successful in these more rigorous courses.
  • Where appropriate, performance requirements above and beyond College Preparatory courses are identified. Please consider these requirements when making your requests.
  • Before students complete the course selection process, teachers will make recommendations based on demonstrated academic ability and performance.
  • In some instances, a student does not meet the course pre-requisites, or display the recommended standards of academic performance, and as such is not recommended by a teacher. If a student still desires to take the course under these circumstances, the student and parent must complete a Course Recommendation Waiver Form available through guidance.

Course Offering Requirements

  • Course may not be offered during the school year if an insufficient (fewer than 15) number of students request the course or if an insufficient number of students (fewer than 15) are able to be scheduled into the course.
  • Students selecting rigorous academic course work, including Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses, must be aware of the commitment that the administration and Board of School Directors make to staff AP and Honors courses. Students are expected to honor their commitment to take these challenging courses. Please make sure that you are fully committed to these challenges because the withdrawing from an Honors or AP level course can have a significant impact on the college application and college acceptance process. Teachers will make recommendations for Honors and AP courses based on student ability and performance. Counselors will guide you through the selection and commitment process so that you are confident in your decision to pursue these courses.

Note: AP course offerings in particular may be eliminated if not requested by a sufficient number of students. Additionally, when scheduling is completed, an AP course can be removed from the schedule if an insufficient number of students are enrolled in the course.

The Master Schedule

Students are given opportunities to choose from a wide variety of courses beyond the required courses listed in this guide. Every effort is made to fulfill these requests; however, it is difficult to provide every course that every individual student requests. The development of a master schedule takes into consideration many factors when determining which courses can be offered. Staffing, the number of students requesting a particular course, unique combinations of course requests, and school resources are among many factors that influence the course offerings courses in a given year. HS administration and guidance will work diligently and methodically to provide a rich and varied academic experience, but there may be some instances where, for scheduling purposes, the administration and guidance staff may need to enroll students in courses they did not request. If this occurs, every effort will be made to place the student in a similar course at a similar level. That is why it is important for students to list an adequate number of electives and alternatives to insure they are scheduled into courses aligned with their academic goals and interests.

Acceleration and Course Exemption

Periodically students wish to accelerate through a course sequence to advance to the next level for a variety of reasons. The guidelines for these opportunities are as follows:

  1. A request to exempt a course by exam is to be initiated by parent and student, in writing, to the principal; the letter must clearly state reason for the exemption request. Exemption by exam must be requested prior to the start of the course. Permission to exempt a course by exam is granted at the principal's discretion.
  2. Any costs are to be funded by the student and/or parents, which may include the costs of assembling materials, and administering and scoring the exams.
  3. The student must take the district mid-term and final examinations for the course and achieve a score of 85% or better. These examinations need to be taken and evaluated at least 2 weeks before the start of the course.
  4. No grade will be assigned or included in the GPA.
  5. No credit will be awarded for the course.
  6. If the criteria in Step 3 are met, the course will be listed on the transcript as “Course by Exemption” and will be awarded a passing mark of “P”.
  7. The scheduling of the mid-year and final examinations dates and administration/scoring will be arranged by the building principal or his/her designee.

Guidelines for Changing Scheduled Courses

Student schedules will be reviewed and revised by counselors and students. Schedules will be available to students before the start of the School Year. These changes should be completed before the end of the current school year or during the summer. Students requiring or requesting a schedule change must do so by accessing the On-Line Course Change Request form at  https://apps.ssdcougars.org/public.php?app=courseSelection. This form will be the primary means by which counselors will review and make schedule changes. If you cannot access this form, contact the Guidance Office at 610-938-6130. Parents/guardians and students should know that counselors may not check or reply to emails and phone messages during summer break. However, they do monitor the change request entries frequently and may possibly reply and make changes before the start of the school year. With that in mind, students and parents are required to enter all course request changes on-line. This system has proven to be very efficient and effective. It is not necessary or recommended that an email and/or phone message are left in addition to the on-line request. This creates redundant work for the counselors and may slow the process of making changes which impacts all students. 

Initial Drop/Add Period

Once school is in session, students desiring to drop a course will need to submit a change request, as outlined above, within the first three (3) days of the course. Students will remain rostered and are expected to attend the course until they receive notification from the guidance office of a successful course change. Change will requests will be processed by priority. It is important for students to understand that requests may not be fulfilled if other courses are not available.

Students recommended for and meeting the prerequisite academic standards to be enrolled in Advanced Placement courses must notify their counselor before August 1 if they no longer wish to remain in the AP course. Students enrolled in AP courses after this date will be maintained on the AP class list and must complete the course.

Procedures for Dropping/Adding Courses – After Initial Drop/Add Period

Periodically students request to drop a course after the initial add/drop period in the beginning of the school year or 2nd semester.

When these situations arise, the following steps must be taken prior to an administrator’s consideration of a course change:

Once the teacher and counselor have received and reviewed the request, the following will occur:
  • The counselor will issue the student and the parent the Course Drop Procedure Form to insure they are aware of the request to drop the class unless the request was initiated by the parent
  • The counselor will arrange a meeting with the student and the teacher to review the request and determine if the student is:

          -Attending regularly and actively engaging in classwork

          -Completing in-class work and HW assignments

          -Maintaining an organized notebook and planner

          -Exhibiting good study habits

  • The teacher, counselor and student will develop a plan of action that must include at least a minimum of 5 documented before/after school sessions with the teacher or tutor over a 3 week period
  • The teacher must contact the parent to discuss the situation

          -The parent will be asked to share information about home study habits and efforts that will be made at             home to address the issue

          -Teacher will share efforts that have been made in the classroom with regards to instruction &                           assessment strategies, and interventions (Use SHS Student Feedback Checklist)

  • If all of these steps have been followed, the student is still not making adequate academic progress, and the drop request is still being proposed, then a meeting with the counselor and administrator must be arranged to review the situation. Once all information is reviewed, the counselor and administrator will arrange a meeting with the student, parent and teacher to present their recommendation. If the decision is made to drop the course, a withdrawal code “WF” will appear on the students transcripts based on the final recommendation.

*** Note: Additional measures will be taken for seniors and will include contacting a potential college or one for which acceptance has been granted.

Promotion Requirements

To be promoted to the 11th grade, students must have earned a minimum of 11 credits by the end of the 10th grade. Six (6) of these credits must be in the core academic areas of LA, SS, Math and Science. Students who do not meet the promotion requirement will remain with their guidance counselor and advisory and will be designated as a sophomore.

Repeating Courses and Summer School

If a student fails a core course, they have the option to repeat the course(s) the following school year or attend Summer School. Counselors will assess these situations and make a recommendation that is in the student’s best interest academically. Repeating courses can be beneficial, especially with courses that build on prior knowledge. Sometimes scheduling constraints are such that repeating a course creates difficulty in scheduling. In these cases the student is encouraged to attend Summer School. Please contact the Guidance Office for specifics regarding qualifications for summer school, grading procedures, available courses, dates, and tuition.

Failing any course may impede or jeopardize a student graduating within four (4) years. Students and parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to make necessary and appropriate arrangements in the event of a course failure.

Weighted Courses

A student can be enrolled in College Preparatory, Honors or Advanced Placement courses. Due to the higher academic rigor of Honors and AP courses, a heavier weight is assigned to these courses when calculating a student’s GPA. College Prep courses carry a weight of 1.00, Honors a weight of 1.125 and AP a weight of 1.25.

Students enrolled in an AP course must sit for the AP Exam to receive AP weight (1.25) at the conclusion of the course. If a student does not sit for the AP Exam, the student will be awarded Honors weight (1.125) at the conclusion of the course and must take the final examination in that course.

GPA Calculation

All MP and Final grades will be recorded and reported as a numerical value. Students can use the following method to calculate GPA:

Determine Total Quality Points - sum of all points for each course attempted as determined by the following formula:

Quality Points per Course = % Grade earned in course x Credit x Weighted Value

Overall GPA = Total Quality Points / Credits Attempted


Class Rank

Class rank is calculated at the end of the school year and is based on the overall weighted GPA. Student MP Report Cards include class rank but this is an un-weighted calculation and is not a true indication of the student’s class rank.

National Honor Society

Requirements for consideration for elections in the NHS include:

  • Junior or Senior
  • 95.0000 weighted Cumulative GPA or higher the summer before Junior or Senior Year
  • Enrolled in 3 or more Honors/AP courses during the school year in which application is made (invitations are mailed in August and applications are submitted in September)

More details will be shared in the invitation/application materials.

Delaware County Technical Schools Programs

A complete list of the courses offered by Delaware County Technical Schools is provided beginning on page 62. The Delaware County Technical Schools program is offered to 11th and 12th grade students at the Intermediate Unit Vocational Technical Schools. The training at the schools is extensive and demanding and provides a graduate with an excellent background for technical careers. The Technical Schools Program is offered as a half-day AM or PM program and the school district provides transportation to and from the Technical School. To enroll, students should meet with their guidance counselor to complete the Technical Schools application. Students and their parents are encouraged to visit the Delaware County Technical Schools. Call for an appointment: Folcroft (610) 583-7620 or Aston (610) 459-3050.

Delaware County Community College Credit Options

Updates in progress.

Options for Academically Talented / Gifted Students

HONORS & ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES

Springfield High School offers intensive studies that require extensive independent preparation and a strong commitment to meeting high demands for critical, creative, and analytical work.

 

Language Arts:

Honors Language Arts courses are offered at all grade levels to students interested in developing skills necessary to prepare for Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition and/or AP English Literature and Composition.

 

Mathematics:

The accelerated student enrolls sequentially in the Honors Mathematics program which provides the necessary foundation to prepare students for enrollment in our Advanced Placement Statistics and Calculus courses.

 

Science:

Students interested in pursuing an intensive science program requiring extensive independent learning and preparations are encouraged to participate in the Science Academy. Students enter in to an accelerated science program that culminates with the completion of multiple AP level courses.

 

Social Studies:

Honors Social Studies courses are offered at all grade levels to students interested in developing skills necessary to prepare for AP American History, AP European History, AP American Government and/or AP Psychology.

World Language:

Students with the appropriate level of exposure to a foreign language at the middle school level will be allowed to enroll in upper level language courses at the high school level and accelerate their progression through our course offerings.

 

 

 

Advanced Placement Courses:

Springfield High School offers a wide variety of AP classes across various departments.

These are rigorous, first-year college level courses whose descriptions and examinations are prepared and approved by the College Board. Through completion of the courses and the Advanced Placement Examinations offered in May, students have the opportunity to earn college credits or advanced standing in a college curriculum.

Enrollment in an Advanced Placement course requires evidence of superior skills in reading comprehension, writing, listening, logic, and problem solving. Evidence of academic success, teacher recommendations, and in some cases preliminary assignments is required for placement in these courses. The pacing and workload in Advanced Placement courses requires a high level of commitment from students

AP Potential

College Board data indicates that hundreds of thousands of high school students have the potential to succeed in Advanced Placement courses but never take AP courses.

AP Potential is a free web-based tool used by schools to help identify students with the potential to achieve success in AP. Research indicates that PSAT scores predict performance on specific AP exams more accurately than more traditional methods.

There are many benefits to taking Advanced Placement courses while in high school. Students who take AP courses, regardless of exam score, are more likely to be successful their first year of college than students who have never taken an AP course. In addition, students who earn a 3 or higher on their AP exams are more likely to achieve success in college and graduate with a college degree. Advanced Placement courses give high school students a college course experience while they are still in high school and offer the rigor that is desired by colleges in the college admissions process. There is also the benefit of potentially earning college credit at a fraction of the cost of taking a college course in college.

Because we believe in the many benefits of the Advanced Placement program, students identified through their PSAT scores to be likely to achieve success in one or more Advanced Placement Programs will receive a letter from the College Board indicating this.

PSAT scores are only one indicator of success. Not receiving an AP Potential letter from the College Board does not mean a student will not be successful. We encourage all students to challenge themselves and take courses that will enrich their learning experience.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Divisions I & II Initial Eligibility Requirements

DIVISION I

16 Core Courses:

4 years of English.

3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).

2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab)

1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.

2 years of social science.

4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).

DIVISION II

16 Core Courses

3 years of English

2 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher)

2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab)

years of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science

2 years of social science.

years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).

* Beginning August 1, 2016, NCAA Division I will require 10 core courses to be completed prior to the seventh semester (seven of the 10 must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science that meet the distribution requirements).  These 10 courses become "locked in" at the start of the seventh semester and cannot be retaken for grade improvement.

For NCAA eligibility purposes, only NCAA designated “core courses” are used in the calculation of the NCAA GPA. This is an NCAA policy and is not related to Springfield High School Grading Policy. Be sure to look at your high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses at www.eligibilitycenter.org to make certain that you know which of your courses will be counted toward your NCAA GPA.

Division I GPA and SAT/ACT test score requirements are based on a sliding scale determined by the NCAA and can be found at www.eligibilitycenter.org. The Division II core GPA requirement is a minimum of 2.00. Division II requires a minimum SAT score of 820 (Math & Critical Reading only) or an ACT sum score of 68. Remember, the NCAA GPA is calculated using NCAA core courses only. Please refer to www.eligibilitycenter.org for complete and updated information.

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