College Prep Curriculum

The vision of the IDEA secondary program is for every student at IDEA to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college.

Vision: All IDEA students are confident, capable, life-long learners who use their skills and knowledge to engage in citizenship and leadership. We will prepare ALL IDEA students to be:  

  • empowered adults who engage positively in the world around them. 
  • inquirers who are willing to take risks in their pursuit of being life-long learners. 
  • learners who are confident in their academic skills and knowledge that will allow them to be successful in their academic pursuits.

College Prep Subjects

English / Language Arts

IDEA’s English/Language Arts approach prepares all scholars for college and beyond using high-quality, equitable, and accessible literacy curriculum and intentionally designed professional development and support.  

Students in grade 6-12 will participate ELA, Pre-AP ELA, AP English Language Composition, and AP English Literature and Composition. See below for details around the curriculum utilized in each course.  

  • 6-8: IDEA students in grades 6-8 will participate in daily lessons using a knowledge-building curriculum. Students will engage in deep study of topics to build their knowledge of historical and literary topics, growing in complexity from year to year. Students will also study poetry and storytelling, while completing writing tasks that focus on extended personal narrative, Informational, procedural, correspondence, and argumentation. 
  • 9-10: IDEA students in grades 9-10 will participate in daily lessons using Springboard curriculum. Springboard embodies the interconnected nature of listening, critical thinking, speaking, reading, and writing. A special focus is on close reading, giving students strategies and structure for developing this key skill. This course provides a scaffolded approach to writing in all the major modes, emphasizing argumentative, informational, and narrative 
  • AP English Language & Composition & AP English Literature & Composition: IDEA offers two AP ELA courses. Each course covers a variety of topics & genres and utilizes Bedford curriculum. Both courses are rigorous and prepare students for success on the AP exam and in college- level courses.


IDEA’s Science curriculum is designed to teach students a variety of critical thinking skills they will use throughout their secondary and post-secondary careers. Students will master state standards in various science disciplines, including life science, earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics. While mastering these standards, students perform laboratory experiments, read, write, and solve problems. Upon graduation, students not only have a strong grasp of basic science knowledge, but also a core set of skills they can apply in college and beyond. Please see below for grade level & AP offerings.  

  • 6-8: In grades 6 through 8 Science, content is organized into recurring strands. The concepts within each grade level build on prior knowledge, prepare students for the next grade level, and establish a foundation for high school courses; including but not limited to, Pre-AP Biology, Pre-AP Chemistry, and Advanced Physics. 
  • Pre-AP Biology & Pre-AP Chemistry: Pre- AP Biology & Pre-AP Chemistry are lab-based courses and utilize College Board curriculum. Content for these courses is meant to push beyond state standards to bridge the gap from state-tested subjects to AP courses. The curriculum is intentionally designed to make students grapple with rigorous content and build endurance in solving complex, multi-step processes 
  • AP Physics I, AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry: There are four AP Science course offerings at IDEA. Each AP Course is lab-based and utilizes both the College Board and IDEA Science Curriculum. Each course is rigorous in nature and prepares students for success on the AP exam and in college-level courses.

Social Studies

IDEA’s social studies curriculum is designed to teach students a variety of reading, writing, and critical thinking skills they will use throughout high school, college, and beyond, including graduate school and their professional careers. Students master state standards in a variety of social science disciplines, such as world cultures, geography, history (state, national, and world), government, and economics. While mastering these standards, students read primary documents, conduct research, and write analytical and research essays. Upon graduation, students not only have a strong grasp of various social studies themes and concepts, but also a core set of skills they can apply in college and beyond. Please see below for course details. 

  • 6th-8th grade: Students follow state-specific social studies course sequences in the middle grades. While the content of these courses varies with focus on a combination of state history, United States history, world history, geography, and civics, all courses are designed to meet state requirements and be a pathway toward our 9th-12th grade AP social studies course sequence. The courses utilize IDEA Social Studies curriculum and develop knowledge and skills to prepare students for successful completion of state assessments and future AP courses. 
  • AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP US History, AP Psychology, AP Government, AP Microeconomics: IDEA offers six AP courses in our social studies content area. Each of these courses utilizes the College Board & IDEA Social Studies curriculum. Each course is an introductory college-level course. Students will cultivate their understanding of each course topic and will develop the necessary skills for success of the AP exam and college-level courses.


IDEA’s Spanish curriculum is designed to teach students a variety of Spanish skills they will use throughout their secondary and post-secondary careers. Students master state and national standards focusing on the four major skills: reading, speaking, listening, and writing. While mastering these standards, students learn to answer document-based questions that integrate the four basic skills, write analytical essays, and initiate and maintain conversations. By the time they graduate from IDEA, students have taken and passed at least one of the AP Spanish exams, enabling them earn college credit and acquire concepts and skills they can apply in college and beyond. See curriculum information below:  

  • Spanish I, II, III: IDEA Students in Spanish I, II, or III will develop vocabulary and grammar skills; build and further develop conversational & communication skills in the language- with a focus on reading, writing, & listening comprehension using the Descubre curriculum. At the competition of Spanish III, students are prepared for the AP Spanish and Language and culture course.  
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture: The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is taught exclusively in Spanish and requires students to improve their proficiency across the three modes of communication using the TEMAS curriculum. Students will study the six themes and their corresponding contexts throughout the course. Students communicate using rich, advanced vocabulary and linguistic structures as they build proficiency in all modes of communication throughout the school year in preparation for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam they will take in May. 
  • AP Spanish Literature & Culture: The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course is taught exclusively in Spanish. In this course, students will be introduced to the formal study of the representative body of texts (short stories, novels, poetry, and essays) from Peninsular Spanish, Latin America, and U.S Hispanic literature using the Abriendo Puertas: Ampliando Perspectivas curriculum. Throughout the year, students will focus on six themes that will incorporate 38 titles that will help them develop their critical reading, analytical writing, and research skills.


IDEA’s Math curriculum is designed to create students ready for college-level math courses without the need for any remediation classes. Students master state mathematics standards in pre-algebra through pre-calculus and study college-level math courses through the AP courses. While mastering these standards, students develop various math proficiencies: understanding, computing, applying, reasoning, and engaging. Focusing on these math proficiencies prepares students for rigorous math instruction in college and beyond. See below for grade level curriculum information & AP offerings:  

  • 6th grade: This course is designed to give students the depth of mathematical understanding and rigor necessary to be successful on the Grade 6 Math state assessment and eventually the Algebra I EOC. Upon completing this course, students will be ready to focus on pre-algebra concepts in 7th grade. 
  • Advanced Pre- Algebra, Advanced Algebra 1, Advanced Algebra 2, and Advanced Geometry: Advanced Pre- Algebra, Advanced Algebra 1, Advanced Algebra 2, and Advanced Geometry are a course sequence intended to be sequential and prepare students for the successful completion on the next course. These courses are designed to give students the depth of mathematical understanding and rigor necessary to be successful on the Grade 7 Math state assessment and the Algebra I EOC  and prepare them for advanced mathematics and AP courses in future grade levels.  
  • Pre- Calculus: Pre-Calculus is intended for students who have passed Algebra 2 but will NOT be taking AP Pre-Calculus by grade 11 and utilizes IDEA Math Curriculum. It is a transitional course designed to give students depth of mathematical understanding and rigor to be prepared for success in AP Mathematics. Throughout the course, students will also be working toward mastery of new topics for the ACT and the AP Course the following year.  
  • AP Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics, AP Calculus BC: IDEA offers 4 AP Mathematics courses. Each course is equivalent to at least one college semester devoted to introductory topics. Students will develop the appropriate skills for success on the AP exam and college-level course work.

Importance of AP

Stand Out in College Admissions

College application season can be an anxious time for students and their families. Even for those students who have worked hard throughout high school and done their best, many are not sure if they have acquired the academic skills and experiences that colleges are looking for. 

By taking AP courses, high school students signal two things to college admissions officers. First, students demonstrate that they have undertaken the most rigorous classes their high school has to offer. Second, students show that they have what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. In the increasingly competitive admissions process, taking AP courses is an effective way that students can differentiate themselves from other applicants. 

Importantly, AP courses offer college admissions officers a consistent measure of course rigor across high schools, districts, states, and countries—because all AP teachers, no matter where they are teaching, must provide a curriculum that meets college standards. When admissions officers see “AP” on students’ transcripts, they have a good understanding of what those students experienced in a particular class and how well the course prepared the students for the increased challenges of college. 

Earn College Credits, Reduce the Cost of College

As college costs grow each year, the prospect of higher education becomes more daunting for many high school students. By completing an AP course and scoring well on the related AP exam, students can reduce their college expenses. Currently more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP exam scores. These credits can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition, fees, and textbook costs. These savings can make the difference between being able to afford college or not. 

You can see specific colleges’ guidelines on accepting AP scores for credit and placement by searching our AP Credit Policy database. This resource shows how many credits your AP scores will earn you and which courses you may be able to place out of at your future college.

Skip Introductory Classes

If you know which major you want to pursue in college, taking an AP course related to that major and earning a qualifying score on the AP exam can help you gain advanced placement out of introductory courses. As a result, you can place out of crowded required courses, and move directly into upper-level classes where you can focus on topics that interest you the most. 

Even if you take an AP exam unrelated to your major—or if you’re not sure what you want to major in—AP courses can often help you place out of your colleges’ general education requirements. With this additional time on your class schedule, you can earn a minor or even a second major, take exciting electives, or pursue additional topics of interest. 

Following are links to helpful information about AP courses: 

AP: Work Toward College Success | AP Central | AP Credit and Placement | The ACT | The International Baccalaureate