High SchoolCurriculum & GraduationRequirements Guide2023-2024Updated October 18, 2022
HIGH SCHOOL ACCREDITATIONAccreditation for Ann Arbor Christian School comes from Christian Schools International(CSI), which offers school improvement, teacher support, leadership training, and otherservices to nearly 400 member schools in the United States and abroad. AACS iscurrently accredited through Grade 8 with CSI. As the school adds high school grades,CSI stands ready with eagerness and support to accredit each grade as it is added. CSIis extremely supportive of our expansion of Christian education in our community.As part of our CSI accreditation, CSI expects its member schools to meet generalgraduation requirements as established by each state’s department of education whilerecognizing that its member schools have needs and requirements outside of what statedepartments of education consider (e.g., Bible or theology curriculum).Our aim is to teach with excellence while incorporating a Christian worldview in everycourse and subject area. We will keep our mission and School-Wide Learner Goals inmind across our entire high school curriculum.GRADUATION REQUIREMENTSDefinition of credit:One credit is defined as a year-long course. A semester-long course would beconsidered 0.5 credit. In other words: a semester course counts as 0.5 credit a two-semester (year-long course) course counts as 1.0 credit.Graduation requirements:A student must earn a minimum of 22 credits as a full-time student over the eightsemesters in Grades 9 through 12 in order to graduate. Most AACS graduates will earn28 credits. Unless there is a documented learning need or approved exemption, astudent will earn 7 credits per year.As defined by the Michigan Department of Education, these graduation requirementsshould include the following: Mathematics: 4 credits at least through Algebra 2. A math course must also betaken during senior year. English: 4 credits
Science: 3 credits, including one life science course (biology or anatomy &physiology) and one physical science course (chemistry or physics). Takingbiology, chemistry, and physics is generally seen as having taken a core,foundational high school science education and recommended for those pursuinga STEM-related field or degree in college. Social Studies: 3 credits, including one credit of U.S. history & geography, onecredit of world history & geography, a half credit of economics, and a half credit ofgovernment/civics. World Language: 2 credits in one language. A student with specificlanguage-based learning needs identified in an IEP or 504 plan may be allowedto take only 1 credit of a world language with the second credit being in the arts. Physical Education: 1 credit in health and physical education. A half credit ofphysical education may be met if the student participates in a school athleticteam for one season. Arts (visual, performing, or applied): 1 credit Theology: 4 credits. Theology is not required by the Michigan Department ofEducation, but it is a high school graduation requirement of AACS. We believe inthe importance of using the mind not only to win others to Christ but also toexperience personal spiritual growth.Special notes: Credit from outside AACS: If pre-approved ahead of time, certain online, dualenrollment, or summer courses might qualify to meet a credit requirement. SeeDual-Enrollment below. Learning accommodations: Students with approved learning plans may haveaccommodations made to help address their learning needs and to foster theiracademic success. The school remains committed to its vision to help allstudents successfully learn. Program/Degree-Specific Criteria for College Admissions: For studentsinterested in specific undergraduate programs or degrees, it is the responsibilityof the student and family to understand the admission requirements for thoseprograms or degrees and to fulfill those requirements as they are selecting theircourses during their eight semesters at the AACS high school. For instance,students interested in engineering or computer science for college should takecourses that align with admissions criteria for those programs. They may alsoconsult with their guidance counselor. AP: AP refers to courses endorsed by the College Board as meeting theirAdvanced Placement requirements. Generally, these are consideredcollege-level courses and conclude the year with an optional AP exam
administered by the College Board. Typically, out of a scale of 1-5, a studentneeds to earn at least a 3 or 4 (usually 4) for some colleges to give them collegecredit. However, there has been a developing trend in which colleges are moreselective and less likely to give credit, so families should inquire with collegesthat their children are considering. Due to the intensive nature of these courses,AP courses require students to demonstrate a strong work ethic, strongorganization, and consistent time management skills to have a successful andmeaningful experience.Dual-Enrollment: Generally, dual-enrollment courses are college-level coursesoffered by an accredited college or university to high school students. Successfulcompletion of the course means that the student has earned the credit for thatcourse and can request that the credits be transferred to the college they attend.Typically, dual-enrollment credits are accepted, but families should inquire withthe colleges that their students are considering, especially for degree-specificundergraduate coursework. For instance, for a student interested in a nursingdegree, taking an introductory nursing course through a dual-enrollment programmay or may not fully meet all the elements that some colleges have for their ownintroductory nursing course if the latter has some specific or uniquerequirements. Due to the nature of these courses, dual-enrollment coursesrequire students to demonstrate a strong work ethic, strong organization, andconsistent time management skills to have a successful and meaningfulexperience. The school is actively in dialogue with Concordia University AnnArbor. Due to their geographic proximity and faith-based mission, Concordia willlikely be our primary option for creating additional course options for students,including the possibility of their professors traveling to the AACS Upper Campusto teach a course. Generally, courses at Concordia will be about 200- 500.Course prerequisites: When prerequisites are stated, the intention is to ensurebetter success for students by having the proper background knowledge and skillsets to do well.Failure (below 60%): Failure of a course will result in no credit being issued and anegative impact on the student’s GPA. The course will need to be retaken or anappropriate alternative taken.NCAA Division I eligibility: For students interested in NCAA Division I sports, theywill need to meet the 16 core course requirements (see below) established by theNCAA. Fortunately, most required courses for high school graduation will meetvirtually all of the requirements. Interested students should make their intentionsknown to their AACS guidance counselor as soon as possible. A GPA of 2.3 orhigher in these core courses is also required. 4 credits of English
3 credits of Mathematics (Algebra 1 or higher)2 credits of natural and physical science2 credits of social studies1 additional credit of English, math, or natural/physical science4 additional credits of English, mathematics, natural/physicalscience, world language, comparative religion or philosophy.GPA, HONOR ROLL & CLASS RANKGPAGrade Point Average will be calculated based on tables similar to the ones below. Thetables below (from FGRHS) are samples of what we are considering (e.g., AP classeswill be weighed differently due to the level of work involved), but do not represent thefinal scales. While often similar, there is no standardized or universal scale for GPAcalculation, so the school is looking at several scales and considering which model bestfits our goal of a healthier high school. GPAs are often used by colleges for admissionand scholarship purposes.General Grading ScaleAP Grading Scale
Honor RollBelow is a sample model of how we would determine honor roll. While often similar,there is no standardized or universal formula for honor roll determination, so the schoolis looking at models and considering which model best fits our goal of a healthier highschool.Summa Cum Laude 3.80 – 4.00 Magna Cum Laude 3.60 – 3.79Cum Laude 3.30 – 3.59In light of our school’s philosophy around recognizing the whole student and differentgifting, the school will also seek to find other opportunities to acknowledge differentways in which students showcase their God-given talents.Class RankThe school will not calculate class rank in alignment with our goal to be a healthier highschool.
COURSE OFFERINGS BY SUBJECT* means a required course. It does not represent all required courses needed withineach subject area to graduate, but simply courses within a subject that all students needto take at some point in their high school years. For instance, in science, all studentsneed to take biology and chemistry, so those courses have an asterisk, but everystudent still needs to take a third credit of science to graduate.Short descriptions are provided for courses in which the course name may not besufficiently descriptive.Mathematics: 4 credits at least through Algebra 2. A math course must also betaken during senior year.Course nameGrade(s)NotesAlgebra 1*1 credit9AACS students whosuccessfully completeAlgebra 1 in Grade 8 cangenerally take GeometryAccelerated in Grade 9.After Geometry, thesestudents still need to takethree more years of math.Geometry (standard andaccelerated)*1 credit9, 10AACS students whosuccessfully completeAlgebra 1 in Grade 8 cangenerally take GeometryAccelerated in Grade 9.After Geometry, thesestudents still need to takethree more years of math.Algebra 2 (standard andaccelerated)*1 credit10, 11This course can becompleted across twoyears and considered as 2credits.Precalculus (standardand accelerated)11, 12
1 creditAP Calculus AB1 credit12Electives:Personal Finance,Accounting, Statistics0.5 credit each12Semester-long electivesComputer Science1 credit9-12This may be an onlinecourse or dual-enrollmentcourse.English: 4 credits. There will be a high emphasis on high-quality literature, writing,grammar, and vocabulary, including works of exceptional Christian writers (e.g., C.S.Lewis).Course nameGrade(s)NotesEnglish 9 (Standard andAccelerated)*1 credit9English 9 is a surveycourse to provide a strongfoundation in English skillsfocusing on writingtechnique and grammarused in essay writing.World literature will beexplored and analyzed tocomplement the SocialStudies curriculum for ninthgrade.The accelerated coursefollows the same contentareas, but will have lessfocus on foundationalskills, move at a fasterpace, and allow advancedstudents to be challengedwith a deeperunderstanding of literatureand level of writing.
Accelerated students musthave a teacherrecommendation and meetspecific criteria.English 10 (Standard and 10Accelerated)*1 creditBuilding upon the skillslearned in previous years,English 10 will emphasizewriting skills with a focuson cohesion, mechanics,MLA style, and formalliterary analysis. Literatureselections will be gleanedfrom American Literature.English 111 credit11In English 11, studentsfocus on using theirknowledge of literarydevices and techniques toanalyze great works ofBritish literature and applywriting skills to craftessays. Creative writingskills will also be exploredas part of the curriculum.English 11 AP Language& Composition1 credit11See here for the differencebetween AP EnglishLanguage and AP EnglishLiterature.English 121 credit12This course will focus on20th-century literaturewhile continuing to developwriting skills. Exploration ofspeech, debate, socialmedia communication, andjournalism will also bedeveloped as studentsprepare to communicatewith a broader world aftertheir high school years.
English 12 AP Literature& Composition1 credit12See here for the differencebetween AP EnglishLanguage and AP EnglishLiterature.Science: 3 credits including one physical and one life scienceCourse nameGrade(s)NotesBiology*1 credit9Chemistry*1 credit10Algebra 1 prerequisitePhysics1 credit11Algebra 2 prerequisite orenrolled concurrently withAlgebra 2AP Physics 11 credit11Algebra 2 prerequisite orenrolled concurrently withAlgebra 2AP Biology1 credit11, 12This AP course is to betaught as a second yearcourse in biology. APBiology should havebiology and chemistry asprerequisites.AP Chemistry1 credit11, 12This AP course is to betaught as a second yearcourse in chemistry.Anatomy and Physiology1 credit10-12Environmental Science1 credit10-12
Social Studies:3 credits, including one credit of U.S. history & geography, onecredit of world history & geography (non-U.S.-based), a half credit of economics, and ahalf credit of government/civics.CourseTarget GradeWorld History andGeography*1 credit9Economics*0.5 credit10US History andGeography1 credit11AP US History1 credit11U.S. Government*0.5 credit10-12Psychology0.5 credit11-12Law0.5 creditNotesContent from this course ison the ACT, which isgenerally taken in Grade11.Meets requirement for U.S.history and geographyExamining the role of lawestablished by the coreprinciples of the U.S.Constitution and thenation’s legal system,students will study pastand current cases andissues while also growingin their understanding ofhow Christians canparticipate in shaping thelaws in our country.
AP World History andGeography1 creditWorld Languages:122 credits in one languageCourse nameGrade(s)NotesSpanish 1 - 41 credit each year9-12For students who soundlycompleted Spanish duringtheir middle school years(must be equivalent toSpanish 1 and confirmedby their middle schoolSpanish teacher), theymay take Spanish 2 inGrade 9 and AP Spanishby Grade 12.AP Spanish1 credit12For students who completeSpanish 3Mandarin Chinese 1-41 credit each year9-12This language is beingconsidered if there areenough students. Theschool views English,Spanish, and Chinese asbeing three of the most“future-oriented” worldlanguages in terms ofopportunities forevangelism and careerpathways in anincreasingly globaleconomy and internationalrelations.Latin 1-41 credit each year9-12This language is beingconsidered if there areenough students.French 1-49-12This language is being
1 credit each yearconsidered if there areenough students.Theology: 4 creditsCourse nameGrade(s)Notes Theology is not required by the Michigan Department of Education, but it is agraduation recruitment of AACS. We believe in the importance of using themind not only to win others to Christ but also to experience personal spiritualgrowth. To maximize the time we have between now and the summer, the school willbe exploring different options for a rich, engaging, and transformative theologyprogram. Recognizing the more developed minds of high schoolers, goals will include adeeper and formal understanding of the core theology of the Christian faith, itsimplication for personal decisions, and its impact on community decisions andon others. In addition, an emphasis will be placed on exposure to greatChristian thinkers, acting on our faith, applying our faith into contemporaryissues, apologetics, opportunities to practice articulating our faith, and awillingness to ask and explore hard questions. Carrying out the greatcommission will be a particular emphasis during the senior year. There will be a final year-long senior capstone project in which each senior willbe asked to deeply explore and present an area of faith. At the conclusion,each senior will present and defend their project to an invited panel of judges. The school is working on plans to have a senior class trip to Israel. This trip willbe partly funded by families, class fundraisers, and designated gifts fromsupporters. The school plans to work closely with World Vision and its Ignite Program forChristian high schools, which seeks to educate students on the needs outsideof our country and to grow as global citizens who are better aware of how tomeet those needs. Non-faith based colleges usually see Theology as a “philosophy” or“comparative religion” course.
Arts (visual, performing, or applied): 1 creditCourse nameGrade(s)NotesVisual artArt Foundations0.5 credit9, 102D Design0.5 credit9, 10Prerequisite:Art Foundations3D Design0.5 credit10, 11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D DesignDrawing0.5 credit10, 11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D DesignPainting0.5 credit11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D DesignSculpture0.5 credit11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D Design3D DesignDigital Art0.5 credit10, 11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D DesignStudio Art(independent artstudy)0.5 credit11, 12Prerequisite:Art Foundations2D Design3D Design preferredInstructor’s approval9-12Two semesters may betaken for a year-longcourseMusicChoir0.5 credit
Band0.5 credit9-12Two semesters may betaken for a year-longcourseWorship Music0.5 credit9-12Chapel music teamTheater/DramaInitially, if there isenough interest, this willbe an extracurricularactivity. The goal is tomake it a formal artcourse option in thefuture.Physical Education & Health: 1 credit, of which 0.5 credit must be in healthCourse nameGrade(s)NotesHealth and Conditioning*0.5 credit9-12Meets Health requirementSports and Recreation0.5 credit9-12Sports0.5 credit9-12Students can meet the 0.5credit PE requirement byparticipating in an AACSsports team for one fullseason
Physical Education: 1 credit in health and physical education. A half credit of physical education may be met if the student participates in a school athletic team for one season. Arts (visual, performing, or applied): 1 credit Theology : 4 credits. Theology is not required by the Michigan Department of