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.
Earth Science – 1 credit (Prerequisite: None)
The Earth Science standards connect the study of the Earth’s composition, structure, processes, and history; its atmosphere, fresh water, and oceans; and its environment in space. The standards emphasize historical contributions in the development of scientific thought about the Earth and space. The standards stress the interpretation of maps, charts, tables, and profiles; the use of technology to collect, analyzes, and report data; and science skills to perform systematic investigation. Problem solving and decision-making are an integral part of the standards, especially as they relate to the costs and benefits of utilizing the Earth’s resources. Major topics of study include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, Earth history, the oceans, the atmosphere, weather and climate, and the solar system and universe.
Biology – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Earth Science unless approved by principal)
The standards of Biology are designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of living systems. Emphasis continues to be placed on the skills necessary to examine alternative scientific explanations, actively conduct controlled experiments, analyze and communicate information, and acquire and use scientific literature. The history of biological thought and the evidence that support it are explored and provide the foundation for investigating biochemical life processes, cellular organization, mechanisms of inheritance, dynamic relationships among organisms, and the changes in organisms through time. The importance of scientific research that validates or challenges ideas is emphasized at this level.
AP/DE Biology – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and two of the following – Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics, or AP Physics and must have a 3.0 overall GPA)
This course is an intensive study of modern biology, taught at the college level. Course content provides in-depth coverage of molecular biology, genetics, cellular biology, embryology, plant and animal physiology, and human anatomy and physiology. Experience will be provided in special techniques and laboratory materials and equipment used in modern biological research.
Biology II – Anatomy and Physiology- 1 credit (Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the gross and microscopic study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body by way of cells, tissues, organs and systems. This course will provide students a solid foundation of the various different structural and functional components of the human body, by studying anatomical parts and the physiological processes of each system. Topics will also include anatomical terminology, homeostasis, levels of organization, and integration of systems. Biology SOL test required, if not already taken.
Chemistry – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Successful Completion of Biology and Algebra I)
The Chemistry standards are designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of the interaction of matter and energy. This interaction is investigated through the use of laboratory techniques, manipulation of chemical quantities, and problem-solving applications. Scientific methodology will be employed in experimental and analytical investigations, and concepts will be illustrated with practical applications. Algebra II is a recommended prerequisite for this course.
AP Chemistry – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology, Chemistry, Algebra II)
In Advanced Placement Chemistry, concepts introduced in Chemistry are extended and higher levels of subject matter and scientific investigations are explored. Laboratory techniques are refined and expanded with emphasis placed on the study of descriptive chemistry and chemical principles through the use of chemical models. Importance is placed on the student’s development of a strong problem-solving orientation to chemistry. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
Physics – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Biology and Algebra ll)
The Physics standards emphasize a more complex understanding of experimentation, the analysis of data, and the use of reasoning and logic to evaluate evidence. The use of mathematics, including algebra, inferential statistics, and trigonometry, is important, but conceptual understanding of physical systems remains a primary focus. Students build on physical science principles by exploring, in depth, the nature of characteristics of energy and its dynamic interaction with matter. Key areas covered by the standards include force and motion, kinetic molecular theory, energy transformations, wave phenomena and the electromagnetic spectrum, light, electricity fields, and non-Newton physics. The standards stress the practical application of physics in other areas of science and technology and how physics affects our world.
AP Physics – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and Physics)
AP Physics is equivalent to an introductory college physics course. Students focus on reading, understanding, and interpreting physical information as well as describing and explaining the sequence of steps in the analysis of a particular physical phenomenon or problem. In addition, students use mathematical reasoning as they perform experiments and interpret results of observations. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
Ecology– 1 credit (Prerequisite: Earth Science and/or Biology)
The goal of this course is to raise students’ awareness of the need to preserve Earth’s limited resources. Through study of environmental issues associated with biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, students will develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Earth’s systems and cycles. In addition, students will further develop scientific investigation skills through laboratory exercises and field studies that target local environmental issues. Biology SOL test required, if not already taken.
Environmental Science – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry)
Environmental Science is a one-semester science course. This course provides students not seeking AP course the opportunity to learn about environmental science and increase their environmental literacy in order to become more informed citizens. Earth Science SOL test required, if not already taken.
AP Environmental Science – 1 credit (Prerequisite: Earth Science, Biology)
AP Environmental Science is equivalent to a one-semester introductory college environmental science course. This course emphasizes scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. This course includes a strong laboratory and field investigation component that focuses on local organisms and/or systems. Earth Science SOL test required, if not already taken. Upon completion of the course, students will be expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam.
Forensic Science – 1 elective credit (Prerequisites: Chemistry, and Algebra I)
This course is designed to introduce students to various aspects of science and how they relate to the law. The main focus of this course will be techniques used during crime scene investigations. Topics will include fingerprinting, collection of evidence, processing evidence, documentation of evidence and crime scenes through sketches and photography, questioned documents, trace evidence, firearms and tool marks, etc. Principles of criminal law and procedure, preparation and presentation of evidence, examination of witnesses, methods of legal research and procedural rules affecting the collection and use of physical evidence will also be discussed. Students will apply their knowledge to laboratory assignments, simulation crime scenes and mock trials.
*For courses requiring animal dissection, Henry County Schools shall provide students with alternatives to animal dissection techniques within the relevant public school curriculum or course. Students and parents have the option to decline to participate in animal dissection. Please contact the instructor for more information.