Severance High School 

Advanced Placement Program


About AP Courses:

  • The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP®) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Based on their performance on rigorous AP® Examinations, students can earn credit, advanced placement, or both, for college. 


  • Most U.S. colleges and universities, and colleges and universities around the world, have an AP® policy granting incoming students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP® Examination grades. Students will be required to sign an AP contract.



Required Textbooks for Courses 2021-2022:

AP Calculus: TBD

AP Psychology:  Myers' Psychology for AP® Third Edition, ISBN:9781319362546

AP Government: Presidential Election American Government: Stories of a Nation: For the AP® Course
 by Scott Abernathy (Author), Karen Waples (Author), ISBN:9781319344986

AP Chemistry:  Chemistry 10th Edition by Steven S. Zumdahl (Author), Susan A. Zumdahl  (Author), Donald J. DeCoste (Author), ISBN:978-1305957404

This book is not required but recommended.

AP Biology: Campbell Biology in Focus 3rd Edition by Lisa Urry (Author), Michael Cain (Author), Steven Wasserman (Author), ISBN: 978-0134710679

This book is not required but recommended.

AP US History: Advanced Placement United States History, 2020 Edition 2020th Edition by John J Newman (Author), John Schmalbach M (Author), ISBN-13: 978-1531129125

AP Human Geography: Advanced Placement Human Geography, 2020 Edition Illustrated Edition
by David Palmer (Author), ISBN-13: 978-1531153465

AP World History: Modern: Advanced Placement World History: Modern, ISBN-13: 978-1531129163


Summer Reading Assignments for Summer of 2021:

AP Calculus Summer Assignment (This is the summer review homework for AP Calc. It is NOT mandatory, but HIGHLY suggested that students complete the work before returning to school in August. Please try to complete all of the problems, EXCEPT for the final page on Limits (that will be the first chapter in Calc).


AP Government and Politics NO SUMMER READING





AP World History: Modern NO SUMMER READING




Below is the AP contract that is required to complete prior to starting an AP course at SHS. 


Contracts are due May 19, 2021.



DOWNLOAD A COPY HERE or Pick one up in the Counseling Office.

Potential Course Offerings:

English Department:

AP® Literature and Composition 

Designed to be a college level introductory course in literature and writing, AP® English Literature and Composition is a rigorous course which will challenge, inspire, and enrich the eager literature student. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement English Literature exam. This course will engage students in careful and critical reading of literary works ranging from the sixteenth through twenty-first century. Such study will sharpen student awareness of language as well as understanding of writer’s craft. Accordingly, students will focus on writing through avenues such as reader response, literary analysis, process papers, and various dialectical forms. Students will develop critical standards for independent appreciation and understanding of any literary work, in order to conceptualize what literature can mean in the larger context of their lives. 

AP® Language and Composition

AP® Language and Composition is a rigorous course that will provide students with the reading and writing skills they need to be readily prepared for college, and assist them in communicating skillfully on a personal and/or professional level through writing. Students will be asked to respond, primarily, to nonfiction readings that represent a wide variety of styles, genres, and topics. Students will develop the ability to succeed and excel in a college level composition class as cogent writers and critical thinkers. Students are encouraged to subsequently sign up to take the Advanced Placement examination for college credit in composition. This course is one of the advanced offerings intended to prepare students for upper-level senior year coursework. 


Contact for additional questions: Anne Sutton,

Math Department:

AP® Statistics

Advanced Placement Statistics acquaints students with the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students will frequently work on projects involving hands-on gathering and analysis of real world data. Topics include: exploring data; observing patterns and departures from patterns; planning a study; deciding what and how to measure; anticipating patterns; producing models using probability, simulations, and statistical inference; and confirming models. Students are encouraged to subsequently sign up to take the Advanced Placement examination for college credit in statistics.

AP® Calculus AB

In this course, students will study functions, limits, continuity, and differentiation, applications of the derivative, and integration and its applications. Some of the specific topics will include the following: application of the formal definition of derivative, using rates of change to find velocity and acceleration, and finding the volumes of solids of revolution.


Contact for additional questions: Melissa Knutson,

Science Department:

AP® Biology

AP® Biology is a course designed for students that have a strong interest in pursuing the sciences. AP® Biology is designed to offer students topics that are covered in freshman Biology at the University level. Students accepting the challenge of AP® will be required to actively participate in all lectures, lab activities and field trips. The student may earn college credit by successfully passing the AP® Biology exam. Students should have had prior success in Science and Math classes and be prepared for the rigor. This course is suggested for students planning on a science or health major in college. 

AP® Chemistry

AP® Chemistry is designed for students who have a strong interest in a deep understanding of Chemistry as the central science and pursuing the science and medical studies.. Students accepting the challenge of AP® will actively participate in all lectures, lab activities, and learning. This course is designed to enrich, extend, and apply topics covered in Advanced Chemistry. AP® Chemistry will cover topics that correspond to those offered in a University level freshman chemistry course. The student may earn college credit by successfully passing the AP® Chemistry exam. Students should have had prior success in Science and Math classes and be prepared for the rigor.

AP® Physics 1

This is a rigorous non-calculus based college-level course in physics. Students should have had prior success in previous classes in both Science and Algebra II. No prior knowledge of physics is needed. Students will complete the AP® Physics 1 curriculum as set forth by the College Board. The course covers: one and two dimensional kinematics, dynamics, energy, circular motion and gravitation, impulse and momentum, simple harmonic motion, rotational motion and angular momentum, waves and sound, electrostatics, and DC circuits. The student may earn college credit by successfully passing the AP® Physics 1 exam. Lab work is a significant portion of this course. 


Contact for additional questions: Daniel Quinn,

Social Studies Department:

AP® United States Government and Politics

This class is the equivalent to a one-semester college course in United States government. This course is designed to prepare the student to challenge the Advanced Placement Examination in United States Government and Politics. Students will gain an understanding of the foundation of U.S. government, political beliefs, the role of parties and interest groups, the institutions of the national government, public policy, and civil rights and civil liberties. Students can expect the material to be intellectually challenging. This course meets the United States Government and Civics requirement for graduation.

AP® Human Geography

The purpose of the AP® Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Human geography is the study of where humans and their activities and institutions, such as ethnic groups, cities, and industries are located, and why they are there. Human geographers also study the interactions of humans with their environment and draw on some basic elements of physical geography.

AP® Psychology

This course is designed to be as challenging as a college introductory psychology class. This class will introduce students to systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. As prescribed by the College Board, the course traces the emergence of scientific psychology and covers the development of the major schools of psychology. Students will be exposed to psychological facts, theories, and phenomena within psychology including personality development, behavior, learning and memory. Students will learn, evaluate, and employ various research methods that psychologists use in practice. Students will be expected to think critically of the ethical issues within psychology. The pace of this class will be intense, the reading and assignments will be challenging, and we will cover a substantial amount of material in preparation for the AP® exam.

AP® Modern World History

AP® World History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 1200 CE to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five items of equal importance – focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures – provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. AP® World History encompasses the history of the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with special focus on historical developments and processes that cross multiple regions. 

AP® United States History

This course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in the world. In line with college and university, U.S. History survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas. The AP® U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491 to 1607 and from 1980 to the present. It also allows teachers flexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics of their choice in depth.  AP® U.S. History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university U.S. History course.


Contact for additional questions: Anthony Charterina, 


Music Department: 

AP® Music Theory

This course is designed to give insight into music theory through music composition. Each semester will be devoted to learning and understanding diatonic harmony and melody by actually composing music. The course emphasizes learning to write music: notes, rhythms, scales, intervals, triads, and harmonic organization. Ear training and melodic and rhythmic dictation will also be taught. Students will compose music in the Music Lab using “MuseScore” Completion of the AP® Music Theory exam is highly encouraged. This course covers more than the first semester of music theory at any college.


Contact for additional questions: Richard Grotzky , 

Visual Arts Department:

AP® Studio Art

Students in this course will create a portfolio of quality artworks to be submitted to an AP® board for evaluation. Students will engage in self-driven projects with guidance for prompts, timelines, collaboration, portfolio development, digital collections and artist statements. Students will have the option to create artworks for one of three portfolio options. Students will need to display a level of mastery in their chosen media through a variety of art styles and concentrations, as well as, an advanced visual understanding of the elements and principles of design. 

Portfolio options are: 

3 Dimensional Design 

2 Dimensional Design 



Contact for additional questions: Katie Brokish , 

Information Technology: 

AP® Computer Science Principles

AP Computer Science Principles is an introductory college-level computing course. Students cultivate their understanding of computer science through working with data, collaborating to solve problems, and developing computer programs as they explore concepts like creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the internet, and the global impact of computing.


Contact for additional questions: David Haining, 

World Language Department:

AP® Spanish Language and Culture

The AP® Spanish Language and Culture Curriculum framework presents six primary learning objective areas within the three modes of communication described by the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century; Interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. The course content is structured around six specific themes to promote exploration of the language in context and develop students’ understanding of the target culture. AP® requires that students demonstrate knowledge of the target culture and be able to use the language in real-life settings. The themes are: 

  1. Global Challenges 
  2. Science and Technology 
  3. Contemporary Life 
  4. Personal and Public Identities 
  5. Families and Communities 
  6. Beauty and Aesthetics


Contact for additional questions: Samuel Dare 




Additional Contacts


Eric Lind, Severance High School AP Coordinator & Assistant Principal,


Shallane Mullison, Severance High School Counselor,


Michele Ferguson, Severance High School Counselor,


Erika Houtchens, Severance High School Counselor,