• Selecting Courses
    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. Students will extend their historical understanding of a variety of cultures as they practice skills related to chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. Topics covered include Human Origins, Early River Valley Civilizations, the Rise of Religious Traditions, Classical Civilizations, Post-Classical Civilizations, and Regional Interactions. The impact each of these topics had on the development of Western civilization will be emphasized. 

    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 the development of the modern world. 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. Noteworthy people and events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be emphasized for their strong connections to contemporary issues. Students will use texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, and a variety of chronological, inquiry/research, and technology skills to develop competence in chronological thinking, historical comprehension, and historical analysis.

    United States and Virginia History — 1 credit (Prerequisite:  3.0 overall GPA)
    This course expands upon the foundational knowledge and skills previously introduced to include the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While continuing to focus on political, geographic, and economic history, this course provides students with a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in Virginia and United States history. As a foundation to develop historical thinking skills, students will apply social science skills to understand the challenges facing the development of the United States. These skills will support the investigation and evaluation of the fundamental political principles, events, people, and ideas that developed and fostered our American identity and led to our country’s prominence in world affairs. 

    AP/DE United States and Virginia History — 1 credit (Prerequisite:  A qualifying score on the VPT)
    In this course, students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change. The course also provides eight themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: American and national identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration and settlement; politics and power; America in the world; American and regional culture; and social structures. 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)
    This course focuses on knowledge that enables citizens to participate effectively in civic and economic life. Students will apply social science skills as a foundation to examine fundamental constitutional principles, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the political culture, the policy-making process at each level of government, and the characteristics of the United States economy. This course emphasizes an understanding of the duties and responsibilities that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in the civic life of an increasingly diverse democratic society. Emphasis will also be placed on the evolving political and economic roles of Virginia and the United States in the global community.

    AP/DE Virginia and United States Government — 1 credit (Prerequisite:  3.0 overall GPA)
    AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behavior. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. 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.

    AP/DE Psychology — 1 elective credit (Prerequisite: 3.0 overall GPA)
    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.