Honors courses are courses that prepare students for advanced placement courses. AP courses give students a grade bump of 1.0 to their GPA for that class. (Example: B = 3.0, in AP courses it is 4.0. An A in an AP class counts as a 5.0) Honors courses do not have the grade bump, but are necessary to get into an AP course in some departments. Also, colleges and universities want to see honors and AP courses as they look at admissions and scholarships. Click here for more information on honors & AP courses.
No. However, colleges and universities would rather see a student take honors courses over regular courses when available.
Over the past few years, we have asked students what language they would like to see offered. Unfortunately, we have struggled with having enough students interested in one language to make a section. Also, our Spanish department does an amazing job with their program and students. This makes the competition this much more difficult to bring in another language. Finally, staffing is another aspect to this to get the right certified staff for another language. We are open to exploring another language in the future, but we will need a strong student interest to pursue this direction.
College Board offers another way for students to get college credit, and is especially helpful for foreign language. This other direction is taking a CLEP test which allows students to earn more than 3 college credits such as AP courses. For more information, see the the CLEP page under the college board website.
Testing out is available, but is not the option we recommend. When students do well in a particular area, we suggest that they take the honors and AP route to push themselves. Our history of testing out has shown that the majority of students do not pass the test. PE is a question that has come up in the past. We prefer students take the summer school PE course instead of testing out, as the test out process is extremely difficult.
A personal curriculum is designed for students to advance beyond the Michigan Merit Curriculum or for modification of a curriculum for students with an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan - Special Education.) For more information, click here. For information beyond this, see the MDE website for personal curriculum .
Every student is different in what they can handle. The best way to determine this is to talk with a guidance counselor as there are different warning signs that can help with what a student can handle. For contact information, click here.
Any student can sign up for an AP course, but we do screen to make sure that students will be successful, and if there is not room in a course, we will limit by those students who struggle most.
If it is a required course, the student must make up that course by either retaking the course, taking the course in summer school, or take a course called success lab that helps students with learning strategies as well as make up the course they failed online. For more information, visit the academic support page .
Students can request a meeting with a counselor at any time to discuss problems with emotional or academic issues. For scheduling, counselors meet with students in small groups of less than 8 students at a time and connect with each student individually before submitting class requests. For details on the scheduling process, visit the scheduling page .
Each year, counselors work with classes of students through a software program called Career Cruising . Each student will answer a series of questions looking at strengths, weaknesses, lifestyle desired, and interest. Through this process, students are guided into different career pathways to look into for future study. Through this and discussion with a counselor, decisions begin to develop. Keep in mind that the majority of students will need to focus on an area of study post high school, not a specific career. The career focus will come the first years of college.
21st century high school learning is about a student being able to problem solve, analyze situations, and think critically. High school is no longer about regurgitation of facts, but rather the abilty to apply knowledge to new situations. The new common core curriculum is about understanding more about how things work, and so our curriculum is built on that system.
Each year, we have a "new to district meeting" in March that includes a tour of the school. For incoming 9th grade students, we take all freshman on a tour during our August orientation. If you are new to the area and considering Byron Center as a school, please call the main office to set up a time to tour at 878-6600.