The Henry County School Board supports the use of best practices that research and experience have shown to be effective for high school aged students. Such practices include, but are not limited to, teacher-directed instruction, group work, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and student-directed learning. The high school offers a minimum of six and one-half hours of instruction each day, exclusive of the lunch period. Classes are arranged in a 4x4 block format schedule. All students will maintain a full day schedule of classes.
The following pages describe high school course offerings. Course selection patterns may affect course offerings. Students registered for a class with an enrollment too small or too large are notified by the school counselor and given the opportunity to make another course selection.
World History I: to 1500 A.D. – 1 credit (Prerequisite: None)
This course enables students to explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times until about 1500 A.D. Students study the origins of much of our heritage using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills.
World History II: 1500 A.D. to the Present – 1 credit (Prerequisite: World History I)
This course covers history and geography from 1500 A.D. to the present with emphasis on Western Europe. Geographic influences on history continue to be explored, but increasing attention is given to political boundaries that developed with the evolution of nation-states. Significant attention will be given to the ways in which scientific and technological revolutions created new economic conditions that in turn produced social and political changes. The people and events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be emphasized for their strong connections to contemporary issues. The course covers broad themes of history with emphasis on specific historic events, ideas, issues, persons, and documents. Using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, and a variety of chronological, inquiry/research, and technology skills, students develop competence in chronological thinking, historical comprehension, and historical analysis.
AP European History—1 credit (Prerequisite: World History to 1500 A.D.)
AP European History is equivalent to an introductory college course in European history. The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
United States and Virginia History – 1 credit (Prerequisite: None)
This course covers the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While focusing on political and economic history, the students will develop a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in United States and Virginia history.
DE/AP United States and Virginia History – 1 credit (Prerequisite: A qualifying score on the VPT)
The focus of this course is on the major themes, events, and ideas that shaped the history of the United States. Students probe, in depth, the dynamics of American political and diplomatic decision-making, national and sectional interests, and a variety of personalities and social movements related to the development of the United States. Distinguishing characteristics of cultures are examined through literature, art, architecture, music, religion, philosophy and geography. Students will be required to write thoughtful and factually supported papers on historical topics. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
United States and Virginia Government – 1 credit (Prerequisite: United States History)
The focus of this course is on the major themes, events, and ideas that shaped the history of the United States. Students probe, in depth, the dynamics of American political and diplomatic decision-making, national and sectional interests, and a variety of personalities and social movements related to the development of the United States. Distinguishing characteristics of cultures are examined through literature, art, architecture, music, religion, philosophy and geography. Students will be required to write thoughtful and factually supported papers on historical topics. In addition, students will study a unit in financial literacy.
DE/AP Virginia and United States Government – 1 credit (Prerequisite: United States History and a qualifying score on the VPT)
This course provides students with challenging assignments in reading, analysis, synthesis, writing, and speaking providing an analytical perspective on government. Students examine the principles and practices of government, particularly of American government, at national, state, and local levels. The framework for this course includes units on the development of the theories of government, law and the justice system, and current domestic and foreign policy. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students will experience how the policies created by government at the national, state, and local levels affect them on a daily basis. Students will be required to differentiate among the operations of each of the levels of the United States government. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
Twentieth-Century United States History – 1 credit (Does not count as a history credit for an Advanced Studies Diploma, Prerequisite: None)
This course focuses on the events, times, and individuals that helped shape the United States during the twentieth century. It is designed to provide an in-depth exploration of special topics that may not be covered in a United States history survey course. Students will explore United States history through independent and group research projects. Classroom projects include working collaboratively collecting data. Students use technology to research and communicate information in visual or audio format.
African American History – 1 credit (Does not count as a history credit for an Advanced Studies Diploma, Prerequisite: None)
The course is designed to provide students a broad overview of the African American experience and explore ancient Africa through modern times. This course, supported by a local curriculum and five online modules via Virtual Virginia and WHRO, addresses the introduction of Africans to the Americas and the African American experience from 1619 to the present day. In addition, the course will highlight the social, cultural and political contributions of African Americans to American society. This course is available online only through Virtual Virginia and WHRO for students in Grades 9 – 12.
Psychology – 1 elective credit (Prerequisite: None)
Providing a broad, general introduction to psychology, this course emphasizes how the basic subject matter of psychology has been attained by scientific methods. This course examines patterns and variations of human behavior and the process of human development. Students will study how psychological knowledge is applied to improve the quality of life.
DE/AP Psychology – 1 elective credit (Prerequisite: A qualifying score on the VPT)
This course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Major topics in the DE/AP course include methods, approaches and history; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; states of consciousness; learning; cognition; motivation and emotion; developmental psychology; personality; testing and individual differences; psychological disorders; treatment of psychological disorders; social psychology. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
Legal Studies– 1 credit (Prerequisite: None)
Students examine the foundations of the American legal system and learn the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Students gain practical knowledge and life skills by exploring economic and social concepts related to laws governing business and individuals. Focus areas include contracts, consumer protection, criminal law, tort law, international law, family/domestic law, employment law, cyber law, and careers in the legal profession.
Sociology – 1 elective credit (Prerequisite: None)
This course investigates human society with regards to sociological perspectives, cultural and social structures, social inequality, social institutions, and social change. Specific topics focus on culture and its components, deviance, ethnic and racial diversity and the issues involved, gender and age inequalities, groups and formal organizations, socialization and how it shapes us, sports, education, family, and religion. Students use a variety of learning methods including class discussion, research, project development, experiments, and observation.