Thursday, March 3, 2011

9th Grade Basic CORE Information

Core classes are courses in high school that are a mandatory part of the curriculum.  They are required for graduation, and most core classes are what colleges look at when determining GPA and/or evaluating the rigor of a student's high school career.  Colleges prefer to see more than the required core classes and also put a heavy emphasis on advanced coursework, even if the final performance is not "A" work.  The thought behind this is that a student is willing to take a chance and push himself/herself outside of what is simply required.  Standard core courses in Iowa are the following:

Math: Four years with a typical sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; many schools in Iowa use the integrated mathematics format which can present evaluation challenges for colleges due to its integrated curriculum of algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, statistics, and discreet math in each couse.
English: Four years of content focusing on speaking, reading, listening, writing, and viewing; most schools in Iowa require a semester of speech as a separate component of the English curriculum
Social Sciences: Three years of content including 1 semester of government and 1 year of American History. 
Science: Three years (4 years is preferred) with courses in biology, earth and physical science; other opportunities to complete the requirements may include advanced biology, anatomy, physics.chemistry.

PE is required in Iowa but is not considered a core class.  In addition a foreign language may also be required for a district but is not considered a core class.

When entering high school, all freshmen should look at a four year plan and keep an open mind for changes over the four years in coursework.  Get off to a strong start and arrange a schedule, when possible, with additional courses in the early years.  Check in with the counselor at least twice each year to review progress and discuss possible changes to a schedule.

Be informed!  That is the key. 

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