Science Honors/Advanced Placement Criteria

Beginning with Earth’s Chemical Systems in grade 10, the department offers honors sections of required courses. Students are directed by their 9th grade teacher into the course best suited to their skill set, as demonstrated by classroom performance and scholarship habits. In placing students for the honors section of either Earth’s Chemical Systems and the Physics of Our Universe, teachers consider the following criteria:

  • Ability to successfully master concepts in the Life on Our Planet course
  • Successful completion of prerequisite courses, outlined in the curriculum workbook
  • A demonstrated responsibility in completing all work in a timely and thorough manner
  • A demonstrated ability to manage course/assignment demands with an appropriate level of independence and self-guidance.
  • Effective engagement in classroom activities and a demonstrated willingness to commit to the demands of an honors curriculum

Students taking AP and Honors courses are expected to be able to:

  • read independently for understanding
  • communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing
  • appropriately apply mathematic models to accurately solve new and varied problems
  • accurately and appropriately synthesize and apply concepts, ideas and theories to new and varied problems on a consistent basis
  • spend roughly an amount of time working outside of class equal to that spent in class; lab reports and special projects may add on to this time


Note the following requirement with respect to adding or dropping honors courses:

Students who have been placed in Honors sections of Earth’s Chemical Systems and the Physics of Our Universe may choose to register for either the Honors or Regular class. Once the school year has begun, students who wish to move from the Honors to the regular class may change their course during the first 10 days of class (drop/add period). After the drop/add period, changes to a student’s schedule must be made with consent of the instructor, college and personal counseling, and the Head of the Upper School.