Course Descriptions and Numbers

The information on this page has been updated for the 2018-19 school year. Please see the 2017-18 course description catalog for this school year.

AP Studio Art (Blended Instruction)
ART903 or ART904

(Elective 11-12) Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Four art courses. A minimum of two courses (one foundation-level and one application-level) must be related to the portfolio you choose to develop.

This course was designed for students who want to develop a portfolio for further study of art at the college level. Some students may not choose to study art beyond high school, but may want to take the course for their own artistic growth. Students may take the course for a full year as a junior or senior. This allows students to take the College Board exam (portfolio submission) for AP credit and a weighted grade from Valley.

The portfolio consists of 24 examples of work in the areas of Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, or Drawing (a drawing portfolio includes painting mediums). The portfolio is separated into two sections: Breadth and Concentration. Breadth consists of 12 pieces created in the medium and/or style of your chosen portfolio. Concentration consists of 12 pieces created in the medium and style of your chosen portfolio, but the art pieces will follow a specific “theme” chosen by the student. Juniors usually take the class to develop their Breadth section. Seniors, if they have not taken AP Studio Art as a junior, will take previously created art pieces from the prerequisite courses to use as their Breadth section.

With each student working on a different concentration and different medium, the instructor will act as a facilitator to student learning. Students will be required to research and explore new ideas and techniques for each piece and create documentation in a sketchbook.

Other requirements in this course include:

  • Pre-AP summer sketchbook assignments (Students will meet in the spring for details.)
  • Independent art exhibit
  • Career exploration
  • Final AP Art show

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum. Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Studio Art” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.

Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student. If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

Current Issues (NCAA) (Blended Instruction)
SOC903 or SOC904

(Elective 10-11-12) First OR Second Semester

This is a one-semester course targeting all students in grades 10-12 seeking to fulfill elective work in a social studies area other than history or the behavioral sciences. Students will investigate important national and international problems, events, and controversies that effect the modern world. The treatment of each topic will include its origin, historical development and present status. Attention will be given to vocabulary, personalities, and geography as they apply to each issue. Possible solutions to problems will be a focus of the course. Students will be expected to complete research outside of class to reinforce their understanding of the issues.

Evolution of American Popular Music (Blended Instruction)
MUS403 or MUS404

(Elective 10-11-12) First or Second Semester

Evolution of American Popular Music is a one-semester course that will trace the development of popular music in America from the mid-1800s to current day. Students will enhance their abilities to describe music and evaluate musical performances while learning of the cultural and technological influences on the development of popular music styles. This class is not for students expecting to only listen to music of the current day. Analysis of music styles, performances, and research into the development of music will be the major focus of the class.

This course is offered as a hybrid with two periods per week of traditional classroom meeting times and two hours per week in online research and discussion groups. The online portion of the course requires student access to computers but can be completed during the school day or in the evenings and weekends. Attendance and participation in the online portion of the course are required for a successful grade. Online experiences will include chat discussions and reading assignments, listening lists, and research through Library of Congress and/or specific music collections in University libraries.

Fundamentals of Writing (Blended Instruction) (NCAA)
ENG901 or ENG902

(Required 10-11-12) First OR Second Semester
Prerequisites: Both semesters of Language and Literature. Students who score in the 98th percentile (National Percentile Rank) of the Iowa Assessment on Reading Comprehension and who earn an “A” in their first semester of Language and Literature may opt out of this course. Students opting out of this course should take Advanced Composition, Intermediate Writing, or Creative Writing.

This is a one-semester course designed to teach basic composition. Fundamentals of Writing includes expository, persuasive, and literary analysis essays with enrichment in grammar, vocabulary and writing process skills. To earn credit, students must demonstrate proficiency on three district assessments: 1) Reading for Information, 2) Literary Analysis, and 3) Reading Response. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media.

Geometry B (Blended Instruction) (NCAA)
MTH901 and MTH902

(Elective 10-11-12) Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Algebra B

Geometry B is a two-semester course, which involves the development and study of a mathematical system. This course is designed to review and strengthen algebraic skills, develop deductive and inductive reasoning ability, and increase spatial perception. The topics include principles of logic, parallelism, congruence, similarity, circles, spheres, constructions and loci, areas, volumes, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Changes from this course to Geometry A may be made with teacher recommendation, and must be completed during the first ten weeks of the semester. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media.

Human Anatomy and Physiology (Blended Instruction) (NCAA)
SCI901 and SCI902

(Elective 11-12) Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Biology

This is an advanced two-semester course designed for the student interested in an in-depth study of the human body. The structure and function of all body systems is covered through text reading, class discussion, computer simulations, teacher explanation, and laboratory experiences which will include dissection of mammalian organs. It is expected that all students participate fully in all activities including dissection. Introduction to the course will include the chemical basis of life, the cell and its metabolism as well as a tissue unit. The body systems taught will be: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, urinary, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine and respiratory. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media.

Lifeguarding (Blended Instruction)

(Elective 11-12) First Semester

To enroll in the Lifeguard Training Course, you must be at least 15 years of age before the last scheduled class session. There will also be a pre-course session, in which you will be required to pass a swimming skills test. The skills you will perform are as follows:

  1. Swim 300 yards continuously, demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.
  2. Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
  3. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
    – Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.
    – Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.

In the Lifeguard training course, you will learn about the duties and responsibilities of a lifeguard and how to carry them out in a professional manner. You will also learn a number of lifeguarding techniques, such as surveillance; how to use rescue equipment for a distressed swimmer, active drowning victim, and a passive drowning victim; and how to care for someone who may have a head, neck, or back injury.
To successfully complete the Lifeguarding course, the participant must:

  1. Attend and participate in all class sessions.
  2. Complete all eLearning units.
  3. Demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities.
  4. Demonstrate competency in all required final rescue skill scenarios.
  5. Pass Section 1—Lifeguarding Skills and Lifeguarding Skills final written exams with minimum grades of 80 percent.

Due to the nature of the skills in this course, you will be participating in strenuous activities, such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the floor and removing someone from the water. Upon successful completion of Lifeguarding course, each participant will receive an American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED, which is valid for 2 years. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media

Photo II: Principles of Digital Photography (DMACC) (Blended)
ART901 or ART902

(Elective 10-11-12) First OR Second Semester
Prerequisite: Photographic Foundations or Photo I: Principles of Photography

Principles of Digital Photography is a course where students will learn the basic principles of digital photography. Topics will include basic camera operation, composition, metering, and computer tips and tricks, as well as shooting tips and tricks. A digital SLR camera in conjunction with the computer will become instruments to explore visual communication effectively. The training will provide the student with entry-level skills to meet current photographic industry standards. No camera is required. This course must be taken for DMACC credit.

United States History (Blended Instruction) (NCAA)
SOC901 and SOC902

(Required 10*-11) Full-Year Course

This one-year course will give students a good foundation in United States History. Students will complete a brief survey of the forming of our government to the Civil War. The course will then emphasize the Reconstruction era to the present. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media.

*To take U.S. History as a sophomore, a student must have a 323 National Standard Score (NSS) in social studies on the Iowa Assessments and an A in Geographic Cultural Studies or a B in Global Understanding and a 3.5 GPA.