Advanced Placement Courses
Open Access Policy
The Olathe Public Schools support an Open Access philosophy. Open Access allows students desiring to take an advanced course offering, honors or Advanced Placement class, admission into that class. The Olathe district encourages each student to take the most challenging courses for which the student is capable. Student interests, abilities, goals, and past record of achievement should guide course selection.
Advanced Placement (AP) is an internationally recognized standard of academic excellence that provides the following benefits to students:
- AP can enance a student's opportunities for scholarships, and career possibilities.
- AP can enhance the student's opportunities to receive admission into recognized universities and post-secondary programs.
- AP can provide credits for courses and examinations completed successfully in high school. AP exams are given in May and scored by the Educational Testing Service. Students are encouraged to take AP exams to demonstrate successful AP course completion. Each college or university determines which AP examination/score will be accepted.
- AP can reduce college costs and the time required to obtain a degree.
- AP curricula have been successfully mastered by students who are hardworking and dedicated to excellence and typically rank in the upper 25 percent of their class.
Courses that may be taken for Advanced Placement are:
- AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition
- AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B
- AP Calculus AB and BC, AP Statistics
- AP United States History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP European History, AP Psychology, AP Comparative Government
- AP Studio Art
- AP French, AP Spanish
- AP Music Theory
Olathe high schools' grading system is reflective of two weighted grade systems. One system is in place for students graduating in 2012 and a revised system that went into effect with the Class of 2013. The implementation dates by graduation class are used to ensure that students have equal access to the opportunity for grade weighting. The weighted grade system is used to determine all Olathe student honors and distinctions.
Students should see their counselor for specific information regarding computation of weighted grades.
Tenth-, 11th- and 12th-grade students have the opportunity to take academic courses which have been identified by the school district and Johnson County Community College as college-equivalent courses (College Now). All College Now students must have appropriate ACT or Compass test scores. (See your school counselor for more information.) Upon payment of specified tuition and fees and successful completion of the courses, college credit can be earned. Only students admitted to designated college equivalency courses can apply for this college credit option.
JCCC will charge an amount not to exceed that charged to any student as tuition for enrolling in similar campus-based courses. No additional charge beyond those authorized for high school rental fees and materials used for classroom activities will be made.
Enrollment information will be distributed in all high school courses designated as college credit classes. Note: Kansas Regents colleges will accept no more than 24 credits earned in a high school setting. Contact your school counselor for more information.
Founded in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship program is a privately financed academic competition for recognition and scholarships. High school students qualify by scoring in the exceptional range on the PSAT / NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). Each year more than 1.3 million students take the qualifying exam. Of the 1.3 million, the upper half of the top 1 percent (only 8,000 students) become National Merit Scholars. National Merit Scholars represent the most academically talented students in the nation.
A secondary distinction is that of Commended Scholar. Although the qualifying test scores of Commended Scholars are outstanding, the scores are slightly below the level required for that of National Merit Scholars. The Commended Scholar designation is awarded to students who score in the upper 5 percent (approximately 35,000 students) on the PSAT / NMSQT test. These students are also recognized for their exceptional academic promise.