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Tamalpais Union HSD |  BP  6141.4  Instruction

Honors Program   

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The Board of Trustees recognizes that the regular core curricula in mathematics, English, science, social studies, and fine arts is rigorous and designed as college preparatory. Teachers provide for the needs of individual students through differentiating instruction, providing options within assignments, and providing a variety of instructional activities allowing students to use their strengths. While such strategies meet the needs of a wide range of learners, there are still special students who warrant different learning environments. These include special education and gifted/talented students.

The Board desires to provide curricula which meets the needs of individual students, including courses designed to enable talented students to pursue subjects at an accelerated rate, with greater depth and with group interaction.

To encourage students to a) challenge themselves academically, b) pursue subjects in greater depth, c) develop special talents and interests, and d) be more competitive when applying for admission to postsecondary institutions, the Board shall provide opportunities for advanced study through a variety of means including, but not limited to, honors and Advanced Placement coursework.

Honors curricula, especially at the 9th-11th grade levels and in courses which are prerequisites for Advanced Placement courses, provide preparation for talented students to begin working at a more challenging level.

The district recognizes the validity and integrity of locally developed "Honors" courses. Honors curricula shall be clearly distinguished from the regular course by a) deeper and/or broader content, b) accelerated pace, and c) different instructional strategies appropriate for the talented or intuitive learner. Such courses may be developed and proposed in any subject for which there is a parallel regular course.

Each of the district's comprehensive high schools shall provide students with access to Honors and/or Advanced Placement curricula. Each school shall provide at least one Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) course in each core academic subject (English, fine arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and world languages). In order to ensure access at all schools, the district supports development of a variety of delivery systems in addition to regularly scheduled classes, such as seminars, interactive technology, distance learning, and evening classes.

The district also recognizes that teaching an Honors course is a rich professional opportunity for teachers. Such courses enable the teacher to expand and deepen content knowledge and broaden teaching pedagogy. Within the limitations of available funding, the district will support teachers in preparing for teaching an honors course through staff development to strengthen content knowledge and expand understanding of strategies to differentiate curriculum to meet the needs of talented students. Teachers are encouraged to take on this challenge when they feel prepared to make the added commitment. Schools are encouraged to rotate Honors teaching assignments in order to give more teachers this opportunity.

(cf. 6158 - Independent Study)


Adopted: December 7, 2004 Larkspur, California