4 Year Course Planners
For parents seeking a tactical and strategic understanding of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, PTSA Academic Boosters committee hosts an informal parent-to-parent forum on the "what-why-how-and-whether" of these classes. Above all, "be honest about who you are" and what you love.
The following handouts may be helpful:
AP Overview and Discussion
Some selective colleges, when recalculating GPA to compare across schools, add points for AP courses but not Honors. Some may add 1 point for AP; 1/2 point for some ACP courses and 1 point for others; and some may add 1/2 point for Honors courses.
Some colleges, e.g. the University of California system, don't recalculate with 9th grade at all. Others recalculate only with grades 10-11 & first semester 12; nearly all at least look at a 4 year trend.
If you're on the fence about choosing between Honors vs. ACP vs. AP courses, one approach can be to review your student's college goals and do research to determine how it affects the admissions office's recalculation of grades. And be mindful about the 4 year plan of coursework... one course leads to another.
York High School has a robust selection of courses and figuring it all out can feel overwhelming! Freshman Orientation & Guidance (FOG) helps new freshmen learn the ropes, and you may also download this example of a 4-YEAR PLANNING TOOL that can help you map your student's course selections at York.
Sample class names and credits are filled in as an example of the different color coding and fonts used to help visualize electives, options, preferences, summer courses, etc.
The spreadsheet does a lot of work for you:
- Whatever credits you enter for each course in a department and semester are automatically totaled. Entering credits triggers a count of school periods in a semester, too.
- The number of school periods for which you are planning courses in a semester are also totaled for you. If you have planned too many courses for a semester, the total will show up in red (if you don't have a lunch period credit course and your total shows 8 school periods, you have too many courses in your semester plan!).
- Any shortage or overage in credits for any given department is highlighted in red or green, on the right.
Delete the sample course names and credits and type in your own plan. Or use this spreadsheet as a starting point to create your own version of a 4-year plan. Either way, having a plan is a great way to spot opportunities or conflicts!
NOTE: CALCULATED CELLS ARE LOCKED TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL CHANGES, BUT THERE IS NO PASSWORD. IF YOU WISH TO EDIT YOUR COPY, YOU CAN UNPROTECT THE SHEET.
This spreadsheet was created using Excel 2010.