High School Programs

A variety of advanced level and specialized courses beyond the regular high school curriculum are offered for our secondary gifted students. Most of these courses are available to all students, including those who have been identified as gifted. Accelerated, interdisciplinary and advanced placement courses are available at all of the Newport News high schools. Additional specialized courses are taught at the magnet schools. Students may also enroll in area college courses to earn elective or dual-enrollment credit while still in high school. Listed below are some of the options that will be of particular interest to academically gifted high school students.

Advanced Placement Classes (AP) are weighted college level classes offered in every high school. Courses are available in most major subject areas. Students generally take these classes in the eleventh and twelfth grades. In May, students take nationally administered AP examinations for the specific AP courses they have completed. Most colleges give academic credit and/or advanced placement to students who achieve qualifying scores on these exams.

Virtual Virginia Advanced Placement Online School is offered to high school students using distance learning technologies. The full-year courses are designed in conjunction with the College Board and the Advanced Placement Program. The Virtual Advanced Placement School (VAPS) provides the flexibility of scheduling an Advanced Placement course anytime during the school day and online students may be enrolled in a class with students from other high schools or other school divisions. Mentors are assigned to work with students in the VAPS program.

Dual Enrollment classes are offered to high school students in conjunction with Christopher Newport University and Thomas Nelson University. Students are eligible to take college level courses in high school as part of the advanced diploma.

New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology is a regional program for advanced study beyond the level of regular high school courses. Located in Hampton, the regional program serves Newport News and other local school divisions. Classes in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and computer science include laboratory experiences not available at the local schools as well as mentor relationships with scientists and professionals in the community. Students attend their home school for part of each day and travel to the Governor's School for one to three hours of instruction daily. Students are selected for this program based on previous math and science grades and teacher recommendations. College credit may be earned for these weighted high school classes.

The International Baccalaureate Program at Warwick High School in grades eleven and twelve - is an internationally recognized course of study. Students apply to the IB Program in eighth grade and take Pre-IB classes, offered only at Warwick High School, during the ninth and tenth grades. Students who are not in the Warwick High School zone may apply and attend Warwick for all four years. Beginning in the junior year, IB students take weighted, college-level courses leading to IB exams. Other requirements of the IB Diploma include a 4,000-word essay and participation in extra-curricular and community service activities. Many colleges recognize the IB Program and offer academic credit for those who score well on the IB examinations.

The Early Scholars Program is intended to encourage eligible high school students to complete requirements for a high school diploma and concurrently earn at least fifteen hours of transferable credits toward a college degree. This program can potentially result in a more productive senior year and reduce the amount of college tuition for families.

Service Learning is a community-based program in which students and teachers cooperate with local leaders to address problems and issues, resulting in service to the community and in academic, career, citizenship, and personal development for students. Service learning for high school credit focuses on the real needs within the community in which services provided by students support the learning goals of a course through the Career Pathways Program. Students engage in critical, reflective thinking and examine the relationship of theory and practice.