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Academics » Curricula » Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement

South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) is committed to providing equitable access to the Advanced Placement (AP) program.
The AP program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.
Students who earn a qualifying score on an AP exam are typically eligible to receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college. 

ECHS AP Policy

Students who wish to enroll in honors courses must obtain approval from their current instructor. For example, the English 1 College Prep teacher must approve a student's request to enroll in English 2 Honors.
Students who wish to enroll in advance placement (AP) courses must attend a meeting with the assistant principal to confirm the student's understanding of course expectations and submit a signed AP contract that includes the following signatures:
  • Student's current instructor
  • Student's parent/guardian

Once the required signatures have been obtained, students may submit a course request form to their counselor to register for Honors or AP course.
Students cannot drop an AP or Honors course after enrolling.
Students are also expected to complete all summer work for AP and Honors level classes upon the first day of school.
Semester Course
Fulfills “A” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
This course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. Major units include:
  • Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government;
  • Political Beliefs and Behaviors;
  • Political Parties;
  • Interest Groups;
  • Mass Media;
  • Institutions of National Government: The Congress; The Presidency; The Bureaucracy and The Federal Courts;
  • Public Policy; and
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Students enrolled in AP Government are expected to take AP Macroeconomics (ECHS only).  
Year Course
Fulfills “D” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: “A” in Biology, “A” in Chemistry, or teacher recommendation
Advanced Placement (AP) Biology is a second-year elective class in Biology. It is a college preparatory course and fulfills one year of the CSU/UC lab requirements. Additionally, students will complete all labs and requirements mandated by the College Board. The course is highly recommended for students who will be studying a biological science in college.
Year Course
Fulfills “C” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: “B” or better grade in both semesters of Precalculus or teacher recommendation
The course is aligned with the AP Calculus AB Content Standards published by the College Board. Topics include the use of a graphing calculator, limits, the average and instantaneous rates of change, derivatives (rules for differentiation, implicit differentiation, and higher derivatives), graphical analysis using derivatives, L’Hospital’s Rule, continuity theorems (Intermediate Value Theorem, Extreme Value Theorem, Rolle’s Theorem, and the Mean Value Theorem), applications of the derivative (motion, optimization, linear approximation, and scientific contexts), antiderivatives, Riemann sums, the definite integral, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, the average value of a function, applications of the integral (area, volume, and scientific contexts), simple differential equations (including exponential growth and decay), and slope fields.
Year Course (offered bi-annually)
Fulfills “D” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: “A” in Chemistry or “B” in Chemistry Honors, concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2, or consent of instructor
The AP Chemistry course provides students with training for such knowledge and skills through guided inquiry labs, a focused curriculum on content relevant to today's problems, and an exam that assesses students' mental models of the particulate nature of matter instead of memorization of rules to understand chemistry. The AP Chemistry course is designed to be taken only after the successful completion of either Chemistry or Chemistry Honors.
Year Course: Fulfills “C” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisites: “C” or better in Exploring Computer Science or "C" in both semesters of Geometry, or approval of instructor.
Students will learn to solve problems with a computer using the Java Programming Language. In using Java, students will learn about Object-Oriented Program Design, Program Implementation, Program Analysis, Standard Data Structures, Standard Algorithms, and Computing in Context.
Year Course
Fulfills “B” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
In this college-level course, students will complete all parts of the summer assignment, write at least one essay every 1-2 weeks, read 5-6 books of fiction and nonfiction over the course of the year, and learn to compose and closely analyze a variety of nonfiction text including: exposition, narration, persuasion, speech, film, art, and advertisement. Students will examine the purposes, audience expectations and subjects of a variety of written forms. Close attention will be paid to the conventions and constructions of language as they contribute to effectiveness in writing.
Year Course
Fulfills “B” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
This college-level course includes an intensive study of British and American Literature. The course covers 9-10 novels, an average of 1-2 weekly essays, critical analysis of poetry, and a focus on literary interpretation. Students are prepared for and are expected to take the AP test in the spring. Passing the AP test makes a student eligible for college credit for this course. Critical thinking and analytical writing skills are emphasized. Extensive reading and writing are assigned throughout the year. Students are required to complete summer reading.
Year Course (ECHS only) 
Fulfills “G” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
AP Macroeconomics is a one-semester college-level course. At the end of this course, each student will be prepared to take an AP Exam in Macroeconomics. Passing the AP test may allow students to earn up to three college credits. Macroeconomics is the understanding of economic principles and how they are applied to the economy. The program is aimed at providing students with the analytical skills necessary to deal with problems in the economy. The course aims at making students ready to take more advance economic courses in college. Students enrolled in AP Macroeconomics are expected to take AP Government (ECHS only).
Year Course
Fulfills “D” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Precalculus, “B” grade in Chemistry, “B” in Algebra II
AP Physics 1 fulfills one semester of the CSU/UC lab requirement. This course is an algebra-based, introductory, college-level physics course where students use inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics in Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory electrical circuits. This class is highly recommended for students who will be studying science in college.
Year Course
Fulfills “E” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: "B" or better in Spanish 3, teacher recommendation
This course is designed for students who have built a strong foundation in all four skills of second language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The curriculum is offered to those who have an interest in continuing the study and/or use of the language beyond the high school preparation courses and are prepared for a rigorous and challenging course of study. It includes a survey of literature from various Latin American and Spanish authors and poets, cultural topics, and current events around the world. Interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational assignments and projects integrate critical thinking; require analysis and synthesis of articles and broadcasts as well as reflection on personal experiences. The course is designed to correlate with the six themes outlined and required by the College Board. This class includes a comprehensive review of previously acquired proficiency in grammar in intensive preparation for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.
Year Course
Fulfills “A” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
An advanced survey course geared towards developing an appreciation for and understanding of the process of historical inquiry; an understanding of the history of the U.S. in political, economic, social and cultural terms; and improvement of writing, research, and critical reading skills.
Year Course
Fulfills “A” of UC/CSU A-G admission requirements
AP World History is a college-level course focusing on developing students' understanding of world history from approximately 1200 CE to the present. The course has students investigate the content of world history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods, while developing and using the same thinking skills and methods employed by historians in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places encompassing the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.