- Advanced Placement Courses
- English Language Arts/ English Language Development:
- World Language
- Special Education
- Credit Recovery
Students are offered opportunities to enroll in several Advanced Placement (AP) courses at Vaughn. AP classes are open to any student that wishes to enroll. Advanced Placement courses allow students to earn college/university credits pending the successful completion of an End of Year AP Examination with a score of 3 or better (out of 5). Each Advanced Placement course is audited and approved by the College Board and satisfies A-G requirements. As a College Prep High School, Vaughn aims to blend high school and college into a coherent educational program, making it possible for all students to earn two years of college credit at the same time they are earning a high school diploma (within four to five years of entering ninth grade). College classes may be taken on campus, or on a local college campus. The courses are typically taught by a college instructor or in some occasions, by an employee of the school who has been qualified by a local college. Vaughn employs a college adviser whose main responsibility is to monitor and assist students in preparation of college entry. We also have two additional high school counselors that help monitor student’s academic progress and emotional needs as they transition through the culminating years and our graduation requirements.
VISA offers an integrated math pathway that consists of the following courses: Math I, Math II, Math II, and Math Analysis /AP Calculus. Mathia is used within the Carnegie curriculum to appropriately differentiate instruction. Moreover, a Math Development course at both the middle and high school levels provides an additional opportunity for targeted intervention. Dashboards that include both formative and summative assessment data, as well as other objective indicators, are compiled and reviewed frequently in order to guide course placement decisions.
Targeted support is offered through the English 3D program at the secondary (grades 9-12) for our “At-Risk” English Learners and Long Term English Learners. Students receive support in writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills through a full-year designated ELD course (English 3D) offered at both the middle and high school. Research shows students need to read within their respective zones of proximal development in order to progress in reading. At grades 2-12, the Scholastic Reading Counts Program and Inventory suite are used to test for Lexile and encourage students to read within their appropriate levels. It also provides several diagnostic tools to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in struggling readers. This data is used for appropriate intervention/support placement. Read 180 is used starting in fourth grade as an intervention program to help support students who are reading below grade-level. System 44, another component, is used with our special education students who need even more intensive reading instruction. In order to foster a culture of reading and literacy, a Sustained Silent Reading period (9-12) is implemented at least three times each week within the context of the Advisory program. Advisory teachers help to monitor and support students as they choose books appropriate to their respective lexile levels, and teachers ensure that students are making progress towards their individuals reading goals. Turnitin.com is used at the secondary level (9-12) to help provide feedback to students on their writing progress. Turnitin gives teachers the ability to use a variety of feedback tools, including voice comments, drag-and-drop com
VISA offers Mandarin and Spanish for Spanish Speakers (including AP Spanish Language and Culture) Students are highly encouraged to take 4 years of language instruction (within the same language) in grades 9-12, and the Spanish program was developed as a Spanish for Native Speakers program. Vaughn’s high school Student Advisory Council and Curriculum Committee were consulted throughout the development of each World Language program. The Mandarin Chinese program also benefits from sister school relationships in Mainland China, and students are offered the opportunity to apply for a home-stay experience in Beijing and/or Shanghai as a means of further developing their proficiency with Mandarin.
Teachers engage students in historical inquiry and investigation. Teachers incorporate both short and long term research projects that call for students to analyze primary source documents and for students to engage in historical reading and writing in line with the History-Social Science Common Core State Standards for Literacy. Project Based Learning is particularly effective in this area and the most seamless with incorporation of the Global Leadership Performance Outcomes. Vaughn’s instructional program focuses not only on teaching the story of history, but on explicit instruction in argumentative and analytical writing, research, and debate.
Secondary offers a wide variety of electives, including, but not limited to, Journalism, Robotics, Project Lead the Way courses in Technology, Engineering and Biomedical Science, Spanish, Leadership, World Arts and Culture, Computers and Exploring Computer Science, Symphony, Orchestra, and Drama. Research is considered in the planning and development of elective course offerings, such as Exploring Computer Science program. This program was developed at UCLA and targets digital literacy, programming, robotics, human computer interaction, and technology integration, all of which are 21st century skills that are in line with Vaughn’s mission and vision to prepare students for college and career.
Vaughn’s Extended School Year (ESY), scheduled for 15 days each January, affords all high school students the opportunity to engage in timely and effective credit recovery. ESY credit recovery courses are supported by credentialed teachers and engage students in coursework that will allow for reflection, remediation, and recovery. Summer session likewise follows the ESY model for high school students, and this, in turn, provides a second annual opportunity for students to recoup credits for courses that had not been completed/passed in the previous term. In addition to ESY and Summer Session, students may be provided with the opportunity to engage in an accredited online credit recovery program. The course includes an outline of topics to be covered for the entirety of the program. Progress is monitored and students and parents are informed of deadlines. Course guidelines are included. Dedicated staff members assure that students are supported throughout the program.