• Advanced Placement (AP) ​Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP)

    Advanced Academics Advanced Placement (AP) and
    Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP)

    Preparing Every Student for College and Beyond

    What are Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) courses? 

    Pre-AP courses are on-grade level academically advanced courses designed to challenge motivated students to understand rigorous content.  Pre-AP is based on the expectation that all students can perform well at rigorous academic levels.  The coursework requires students to engage in independent and analytical assignments and to complete a substantial amount of work outside of class. The curricula for the courses are built on the core academic curriculum following the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) expectations for each course. The curriculum and instruction challenge students to expand their knowledge, concepts, and skills to prepare for the next level. Pre-AP middle school courses are designed to prepare students for high school Pre-AP and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. 

    What are Advanced Placement (AP) courses? 

    ​AP is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment, passion, and hard work of students and educators from both secondary and higher education. AP courses are college-level courses taught in a high school setting. AP courses help students acquire the skills and habits needed to be successful in college.  Students in AP courses are taught writing skills, problem-solving abilities, time management skills, discipline, and study habits. In the AP classroom, students engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.  At the end of each AP course an AP Exam is administered. Qualifying scores (3, 4, or 5) on the AP exams can enable students to receive college credit.

    Why should a student enroll in Pre-AP classes? 

    ​Enrolling in Pre-AP classes is based on the belief that every student is prepared for higher intellectual engagement by starting the development of skills and acquisition of knowledge as early as possible. Pre-AP strategies and tools engage the students in active, high-level learning, thereby ensuring that every middle and high school student develops the skills, habits of mind, and concepts needed to succeed in college. 

    Are there any special qualifications for taking a Pre-AP course?

    Galena Park ISD offers open enrollment for Pre-AP/AP courses. Any student with the guidance of a parent, teacher, and counselor can enter a Pre-AP/AP course. Open enrollment refers to courses open to any student who wishes to take on the additional challenge of the rigorous curriculum. This statement is based on the profound hope that all students can perform at rigorous academic levels.

    Please be aware that GPISD abides by the open enrollment policy.  However, in order to be eligible to open enroll in a Pre-AP or AP course, a student must pass STAAR.  A student may enroll in a Pre-AP or AP course with a parent request as long as he/she has passed STAAR and STAAR EOC, and has earned a passing grade in the previous course.

    Can ELL students enroll in Pre-AP courses?

    The Pre-AP/AP program offers open enrollment for all students. Students are advised to seek counselor and parental input before enrolling.

    May students with disabilities enroll in Pre-AP?

    Careful guidance should be used in course selection. The IEP committee recommendations for accommodations are permissible, but shall not change course expectations or course content.

    What are some of the personal and academic characteristics of Pre-AP/AP students?

    Students who exhibit the following personal and academic characteristics are strongly encouraged to enroll into Pre-AP/AP courses.
    Personal Characteristics:
    • Excellent study and organizational skills
    • Ability to work well with others
    • Persistence in pursuing goals
    • A strong sense of responsibility
    • Ability to become an independent learner
    • A desire to be academically successful
    • Reading on or above grade level
    • Proficient oral and written communication skills

    Academic Characteristics:
    • Grade of 85 or higher in an on-grade level related academic content area course
    • Scores at the Advanced Academic Performance level (Meets/Masters) on the most recent STAAR/EOC test closely related to the Pre-AP course being considered.

    Can a student make a schedule change if he/she determines that a Pre-AP course is too difficult?

    A student and his/her parent/guardian may request removal from a Pre-AP/AP class between the 7th and 8th week of the school year as long as:
    • the student does not have any zeroes,
    • the student has attended tutorials,
    • the teacher has made direct parent contact, and
    • the teacher agrees that the student is struggling.
    Students and parents must carefully review the requirements and procedures for schedule changes prior to enrolling in a Pre-AP class.

    Can a student turn in work late in Pre-AP/AP classes?

    Any assignment that is not turned in on the due date will be assessed a 10-point penalty, per day, for up to five days.  After that time, any assignment may be turned in prior to the last week of the marking period for a maximum grade of 50%.

    How are grades calculated in advanced classes?

    Grading Categories
    Pre-AP Middle School – 50% major assignments and 50% daily assignments
    Pre-AP High School – 60% major assignments and 40% daily assignments
    AP High School – 70% major assignments and 30% daily assignments
    Homework assignments cannot account for more than 10% of the daily category.

    Grading Point System

    Each high school course is subject to the Grade Point System, per district board policy, which weights classes based upon the level of the course.  The chart below provides that information.

    What qualifications will a teacher need to teach Pre-AP/AP courses?

    Teachers will be trained in subject specific Pre-AP/AP workshops to provide strategies and tools to engage their students in high-level learning. The Pre-AP training is required prior to teaching the courses.  Teachers must also complete 30-hours of Gifted and Talented training.  

    What classes are offered in each grade level?

     Advanced/AP Courses by grade level
    9th Grade                                                                                                                           11th Grade
    Pre-AP English I                                                                                                                  AP English III – English Language
    Pre-AP Geometry                                                                                                               Pre-AP Pre-Calculus
    Pre-AP Biology                                                                                                                   AP Statistics
    AP Human Geography                                                                                                     AP Biology
    Pre-AP Art I                                                                                                                         AP Chemistry
                                                                                                                                                  AP Environmental Science
    10th Grade                                                                                                                         AP Physics I
    Pre-AP English II                                                                                                                AP Physics II
    Pre-AP Algebra II                                                                                                               AP U.S. History
    Pre-AP Chemistry                                                                                                              AP Computer Science A
    AP World History                                                                                                                AP Art History
    Pre-AP Art I                                                                                                                          AP Studio Art: Drawing - 2D/3D Design
    Pre-AP Art II                                                                                                                         AP Psychology
    AP Art History                                                                                                                      Pre-AP Music Theory
    AP Psychology                                                                                                                    AP Spanish Language (Spanish IV)
    Pre-AP Spanish III
    Pre-AP French III                                                                                                                  12th Grade
                                                                                                                                                    AP English IV – English Literature
                                                                                                                                                    AP Calculus
                                                                                                                                                    AP Statistics
                                                                                                                                                    AP Biology
                                                                                                                                                    AP Chemistry
                                                                                                                                                    AP Environmental Science
                                                                                                                                                    AP Physics I
                                                                                                                                                    AP Physics II
                                                                                                                                                    AP U.S. Government and Politics
                                                                                                                                                    AP Macroeconomics
                                                                                                                                                    AP Psychology
                                                                                                                                                    AP U.S. History
                                                                                                                                                    AP Computer Science A
                                                                                                                                                    AP Art History
                                                                                                                                                    AP Music Theory
                                                                                                                                                    AP Studio Art
                                                                                                                                                    AP Spanish Literature (Spanish V)

    Is there any limit to the number of Pre-AP/AP courses a student may take?

    A student may take as many Pre-AP/AP courses as can fit his/her schedule. Careful consideration should be given to the instructional needs of the individual student. Students are encouraged to take Pre-AP/AP courses that are appropriate to their interests and academic strengths. The number of Pre-AP/AP courses also varies with students’ motivation, self-discipline, and available time outside of class. Students are not expected to enroll in Pre-AP/AP courses in all core subject areas.

    Do advanced classes have more homework than standard academic classes?

    Pre-AP and AP classes may have more homework than standard courses. They typically require more reading, more writing, and more independent practice with the goal of developing advanced skills in those courses. Pre-AP and AP courses have similar amounts of homework.

    How does Pre-AP differ from AP?

    Pre-AP courses are grade level courses embedded with strategies that specifically target middle and high school students providing knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to engage in a higher level of learning that prepares them for the rigor of college level work. These classes prepare a student for the rigorous coursework of AP. The AP program offers college level instruction to the academically successful student while in high school with the option of taking the advanced placement examination to possibly qualify for college credit.

    Who chooses a student’s courses for Pre-AP/AP?

    A decision about placement ultimately rests with the student and their parent. The school can provide powerful input through teacher recommendation, counselor input, communication regarding the challenges of the Pre-AP/AP curriculum, and information about indicators of student success.

    Does enrollment in Pre-AP/AP courses affect the UIL “No Pass No Play” rule?

    There are special “No Pass, No Play” rules designed to encourage participation in Pre-AP/AP courses.  Students are required to maintain a passing grade (70) in each Pre-AP/AP course at the end of each grading period in order to stay in the course.
    A waiver can only be used once for a specific course. If a student fails the same course a second time then he/she will be removed from the Pre-AP/AP course.
    Students are exempt from the rule under the following conditions:
    • A student may be exempt for more than one course during a regular grading period.
    • A student may use an exemption only one time for each course during a school year.

    How might taking advanced academic courses affect my student’s grades?

    Advanced courses may have an effect on grades because the standards of excellence are set very high in these courses. However, remember that participation in advanced courses has been a better predictor of future success than grades or even high school GPA. Parents are encouraged to focus on what students are learning rather than the occasional B or C grades he/she may encounter on the journey.

    If a student fails a Pre-AP/AP course will that student automatically be exited from the course?

    If at any time a student’s performance is not satisfactory, the teacher will conference with the student and his/her parents to develop a plan for improvement.
    A student and his/her parent/guardian may request removal from a Pre-AP/AP class between the 7th and 8th week of the school year as long as:
    • the student does not have any zeroes,
    • the student has attended tutorials,
    • the teacher has made direct parent contact, and
    • the teacher agrees that the student is struggling.
    Students and parents must carefully review the requirements and procedures for schedule changes prior to enrolling in a Pre-AP/AP class.

    Will a student have time for after school activities if enrolled in Pre-AP/AP courses?

    As in any coursework where there will be additional challenge, students who choose to enroll in Pre-AP/AP courses should be prepared for the added academic rigor.

    What do colleges think of Pre-AP/AP?

    Research has found that an intermediate and secondary school curriculum of high intensity and quality, such as that found in Pre-AP and AP courses has the strongest correlation to bachelor's degree completion. 

    How will your AP Scores translate at your future college?

    Must a student take Pre-AP/AP courses in order to be prepared for college?

    Academic courses in Galena Park ISD offer appropriate instruction to prepare students for college or university work. Many students without prior Pre-AP and AP coursework successfully complete college educations.

    What is the difference between AP and Dual Credit? 

    1. Advanced Placement courses are part of the College Board organization that requires students to take a rigorous test at the end of the course to potentially earn college credit.  A dual credit course on the other hand is an official course offered by San Jacinto College.
    2. AP exams require a passing score of a 3, 4, or 5 on the exam to earn the college credit. In dual credit classes, students are graded on their coursework over a semester. The students must earn a passing grade in order to receive the college credit.  
    3. Most ivy league colleges/universities prefer AP exam scores over college credits earned through the dual credit program. 
    4. In Galena Park ISD, students are recommended by their teachers to take the AP exams. However, students who are not recommended my pay for the exams without the recommendation.