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Advanced Studies Courses

108325 Themes in Literature I (Weight – 1.2)         0.5 credits


Topic: Happiness - Impacts of Positive Psychology  The purpose of this course is to consider the impact of positive psychology techniques and characteristics as we examine the work of experts who have examined happiness from various perspectives. Through our analysis of the methods of practicing professionals, encouraging discussion and discourse among class members, and allowing each student the time and focus to reflect upon happiness within themselves, their families, their communities and cultures, and recognize the connections between the universal desire for happiness and the incredibly vague and personal definition in which it lies.  Students will be encouraged to accept and apply the universal theme that creative productivity is a key component recognized by educators, philosophers, psychologists and spiritual leaders for enrichment and personal fulfillment. This course includes independent time for Talent Development (TDO), and metacognitive reflection writing and discussion, and is intended for Gifted and Talented students approved by their guidance counselors.



108425 Themes in Literature II (Weight – 1.2)         0.5 credits


Topic: Talking the Talk - How Communicating Effectively with Friends and Strangers can Change the World Are you being scammed?  Sometimes it's difficult to know, as we often base our sense of trust solely on the communication skills of the individual providing information to us.  In this course, we will examine personality style, body language, "love languages," and more effective ways to talk to others to keep interactions from going wrong.  Malcolm Gladwell's book, Talking to Strangers, TED Talks, and other resources will be used in the exploration and discovery of the secrets to effective communication as both a means of providing and receiving information.  Students will be encouraged to accept and apply the universal theme that effective communication techniques and skills are key components in the success recognized by educators, philosophers, psychologists and society. This course was outlined by former Donegal students Andrew Erb and Jamie Walmer, and includes independent time for Talent Development (TDO), and metacognitive reflection writing and discussion, and is intended for Gifted and Talented students approved by their guidance counselors.



158121 National History Day (Weight – 1.2) (Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) 1.0 credit


This general elective course is for students who have a strong interest in history and a desire to conduct in-depth research related to a nationally selected historic theme.  Students work individually or in groups no larger than five to present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries, which are entered into competitions in the spring at regional, state and national levels. Students enrolled in this course do not receive a Social Studies credit as it is a general elective course. Students are selected for this class by the teacher and principal.  A short written application is required.







108531 AP Seminar (Weight – 1.3) (Grades 10 and 11)   1.0 credit

(This course will be scheduled to meet every other day for the full year)


AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. Students are selected for this class by an academic panel.  A short written application is required to be considered for enrollment in the course.  The course enrollment is limited to 20 students. 

108631 AP Research (Weight – 1.3) (Grades 10 and 11)   1.0 credit

(This course will be scheduled to meet every other day for the full year)


AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. In the AP Research course, students further their skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense. Students are selected for this class by an academic panel.  A short written application is required to be considered for enrollment in the course.  The course enrollment is limited to 20 students.


Prerequisite: Successful Completion of AP Seminar and a score of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar exam.

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