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High School Highly Capable Program Services

High school girls writing during an AP class.

Overview

High school highly capable program services provide our most highly capable students the opportunity to engage in rigorous and challenging curriculum with their academic peers. Counselors work with students to advise them of opportunities for advanced learning, which may include honors programs, Advanced Placement classes, College in the High School, and Running Start. Other options, such as Career and Technical Education Programs and STEM Signature Programs, may be offered at a specific high school. Students interested in these programs should contact their school counseling office for more information.

Honors Classes

An honors class provides the opportunity for a student to examine a subject in more depth, both in content and in analysis of subject matter. Honors classes are rigorous and demanding. They challenge students to high levels of thinking and learning. Consult the course catalog for your student’s high school for details on honors classes and their prerequisites.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) classes prepare high school students for higher education with college-level curriculum and exams in various subjects. Students may also earn college credits. Consult the course catalog for your high school for details on AP class offerings.

Running Start

The Running Start program allows 11th and 12th grade students to take courses at community and technical colleges to receive college-level credits.

College in the High School

College in the High School is an opportunity for students to be concurrently enrolled in high school and college, earning high school and college credit in the same course offered on the high school campus. Costs to students vary with each institution.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Purpose of Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) is a nationwide program that is designed to prepare secondary students for higher education. AP classes provide rigorous, college-level curriculum in various subjects and the opportunity to earn college credits or advanced college standing. The AP program is made possible by the close cooperation of secondary schools, colleges, and the College Board.

AP classes are open to all high school students in Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Consult course catalogs for prerequisites for AP classes. High schools throughout the district offer a variety of AP classes, including:

  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP European History
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP United States Government and Politics
  • AP United States History
  • AP World History
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP Japanese Language and Culture
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture

Courses vary from school to school. Availability of courses is based on student interest and enrollment at each school. AP exams are administered for classes offered in our high schools.

The AP experience

Taking AP classes in high school helps students prepare for the college-level work load. Students learn to:

  • Develop effective study habits
  • Improve writing skills
  • Sharpen critical thinking skills

AP also teaches discipline and helps students grow and mature academically. Students report that they enjoy the challenge of the AP program. High school faculty report that AP courses greatly enhance student confidence and academic interest. College faculty find that AP students are far better prepared for serious academic work.

Receiving college credit for AP through AP exams

Students who meet all performance standards on AP exams may be eligible to receive college credit. Colleges determine if credit or advanced standing is granted based on their institutional policies. Thousands of colleges and universities world-wide recognize AP achievements and grant credit.

More information about AP

Contact the school to learn more about AP courses offered at that school and how to enroll. AP courses and descriptions are also listed in the school’s course catalogue, which is often posted on the school website. For general information about AP courses and exams, visit College Board.

Running Start

About Running Start

Running Start program allows 11th and 12th grade high school students to take college-level courses at community and technical colleges. Students can earn both high school and college credits through this partnership between the K-12 and community college systems.

All high schools in the district offer Running Start. Juniors and seniors can take a few classes or attend full time and take all of their courses at the college.

Program locations

Students may attend any state community or technical college (based on space availability), including the following nearby colleges:

  • Bellevue College
  • Cascadia College
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • North Seattle College
  • Seattle Central College
  • Shoreline Community College
  • South Seattle College

Visit the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges website for a complete list of community and technical colleges in the state.

Enrolling in the program

Running Start students must be enrolled in a Lake Washington School District high school. Work with the counseling staff at the school to apply for the program. The counseling office has information about eligibility, application deadlines, etc. Parents and students are encouraged to visit the college campuses before finalizing educational decisions.

Cost

Lake Washington School District pays the tuition for students to attend the college, but students must provide their own transportation, books and supplies.

More about Running Start

Contact your high school counseling office for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Running Start program.

 

Contact Accelerated Programs

Phone: 425-936-1238
Fax:
425-936-1325
Email:
quest@lwsd.org
Website:
lwsd.org/HCP

Accelerated Programs Staff
Heather Sanchez, Director
Diane Durant, Supervisor
Suzanne Hurd, Administrative Secretary
Britt Galen, Accelerated Programs Psychologist

Mailing address:
Lake Washington School District
Accelerated Programs Office
P.O. Box 97039
Redmond, WA 98073

Location:
Lake Washington School District Resource Center
16250 N.E. 74th Street
Redmond, WA 98052

For a complete list of Accelerated Programs staff, please visit the Highly Capable Programs Staff Directory.

Gifted Education Advisory Council (GEAC)
Gifted Education Advisory Council is a parent-led committee that supports the gifted education program in Lake Washington School District.