Science

Course Information

Course Selection Process

classFreshman placement is determined by standardized test scores, academic performance, teacher recommendations and Lauralton Hall placement tests. After freshman year course selection takes place in guidance sessions during February. Guidance counselors explain the process to students and help the students choose courses that will best prepare them for college. Objective criteria, as stated in course descriptions, are used to determine eligibility for Honors and AP level courses; students sign up for the level for which they are qualified at the time of course selection.

Curriculum Overview 

The one-page curriculum overview chart provides a quick look at all courses offered at Lauralton.

Program of Studies

The Program of Studies describes courses in all departments in detail.

Course Levels

Advanced Placement courses are taught at the level of a college course. Open to juniors and seniors, Advanced Placement courses require students to follow a prescribed and standardized curriculum that prepares them to take an externally prepared exam which may allow them to receive college credit and/or be exempt from introductory college courses. A student who is accepted into these courses should possess the skills necessary to perform college level work during high school. AP students must take the AP exam and are charged a fee for each exam taken. Students may enroll in as many as three Advanced Placement courses each year. Enrollment in some Advanced Placement courses requires that summer assignments be completed before the beginning of class.

Honors courses offer a curriculum designed to challenge the student who has demonstrated a high degree of proficiency in a particular subject. The student who is accepted into an honors course should be an independent, self-directed learner with the commitment necessary to pursue an in-depth exploration of the course content. The student should also possess the ability to develop responses to assignments which are not predetermined by a teacher.

College Prep courses require outside-of-class preparation of at least thirty minutes each night. A research paper, independent work, or project which demonstrates the application of skills and knowledge is also required in most courses. The application of previously mastered skills, techniques and the introduction of advanced skills and techniques are emphasized. The courses contain complex material and emphasize in-depth application of that material.

Course Weighting

All courses in English, Social Studies, Math, Science and World Languages are weighted according to level of difficulty. Physical Education and some Fine Arts courses are offered for non-academic credit and therefore are not weighted.

Criteria for Changing Levels

 Students must have a minimum final average of A (93) to move from CP1 to Honors.

  • To remain in an Honors level course, students must maintain at least a C+ (77) average.
  • Criteria for moving into an Advanced Placement course can be found in the individual course description.

Policy for Enrollment in Courses beyond the Campus

Juniors and seniors may submit a proposal to the Academic Dean for enrollment in a non-Lauralton Hall elective course during the school year or in the summer as part of the six credits per year requirement. Acceptable courses are those taught by a university or an accredited/approved online provider.

Courses taken during the summer become part of the student’s transcript, but are not included in the student’s GPA calculations. Courses taken during the school year become part of the student’s transcript and may be included in the student’s GPA calculations at the discretion of the Academic Dean. The Off-Campus Course Request Form should be completed and submitted to the student’s guidance counselor. 

Tuition for these courses is not covered by Lauralton Hall tuition and is the sole responsibility of the family. Approved online providers currently include Online School for Girls, Virtual Virginia, and Mercy Learning Online.

Schedule Changes

Changes in electives after May 1 are possible only if the requested elective is available within the student's schedule and if the change will not cause a significant imbalance in class sizes. Full year courses are never altered to accommodate an elective change. Elective changes at the beginning of an academic term will be considered only during the first cycle (eight days) of the class. Requests for changes in course level will be considered only during the first two cycles (16 days) of the course. After the second cycle, level changes will be granted only if a student’s grade in the course is lower than 70. After the 16-day limit, level changes will appear on a student's transcript. Under no circumstances will a level change be allowed during the last two weeks of a marking period. (Under extraordinary circumstances, the Principal reserves the right to grant an exception to this policy.) Enrollment balance is the primary consideration when schedule changes are requested.

Auditing Classes

Juniors and seniors may elect to audit a course for self-enrichment or academic exploration. Students may submit an audit request form to their counselors in May if they wish to audit a course in the following school year. The audit request form will be posted here after May 1. Audited classes appear on a student’s transcript at the conclusion of the class and are graded on a pass/fail basis. 

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