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High School Academics

Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors Courses

As a college preparatory school that values innovation, excellence in education, and the social and emotional well being of our students, our Coral Academy of Science leadership team has carefully considered both the potential advantages and possible drawbacks of AP classes. We also maintain a commitment to redefining the metrics of achievement to include purpose and meaning, not just college placement. We believe that AP and Honors coursework can be a valuable addition to the academic course of study for many of our students. We hope that the following information will help to answer your questions so you find the right educational path for you, your learning style, your goals, and your family.


CAS students are not only enrolling in AP classes—they are excelling.


Many colleges and universities allow you to apply for higher class placement after doing well in AP classes. For some students, this means saving money by entering college as a sophomore; for others it is the opportunity to more quickly delve into areas of interest, and take a wider range of college coursework.


On average, 56% of our students earn a 3 on AP exams.


We have seen a 50% enrollment increase in the AP Courses offered over the past five years at CAS, in no small part because of the reports we hear back from alumni on how AP and Honors courses helped them.


We are not just preparing students to be accepted into college, but also, to succeed in college by having the skills, the ability, and the courage to embrace challenge.

What AP and Honors classes are offered at Coral Academy of Science?

At CAS, we are proud to offer 14 AP and Honors classes for students in our high school program. For interested students, these are rich opportunities to develop superb literacy, inquiry, and presentation skills.

The following AP and Honors classes are offered at CAS:

    • AP Biology
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Statistics
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Computer Science A
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    • AP English Language & Composition
    • AP English Literature & Composition
    • AP Japanese Language & Culture
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
    • AP Gov’t & Politics
    • AP History
    • AP World History
    • AP Seminar
    • Honors Algebra 2
    • Honors Chemistry 1-2
    • Honors English 3-4
    • Honors French 5-6
    • Honors Formal Geometry 1-2
    • Honors Japanese 5-6
    • Honors Physics 1-2
    • Honors PLTW Comp Science Essential 1-2
    • Honors PLTW Human Body Systems 1-2
    • Honors PLTW Principle of Engineering 1-2
    • Honors PLTW Principle of Biomedical Science 1-2
    • Honors Pre-AP Algebra 1-2
    • Honors Pre-AP Biology 1-2
    • Honors Pre-AP English 1-2
    • Honors Pre-Calculus /Trigonometry 1-2
    • Honors Spanish 5-6
    • Honors Turkish 5-6

MYTH: Most colleges don’t give you credit for AP classes.

AP classes and tests are designed to resemble college introductory courses and more than 4,200 colleges and universities give credit for good scores on AP tests. In their course and college planning, we encourage students to search the AP Credit Policy to explore colleges of interest and their policies.

Harvard accepted 8,000 AP exams in their incoming freshman class, UNC-Chapel Hill accepted 13,000 AP exams, and Universit of Nevada, Reno—here in our backyard— A maximum of 60 semester credits may be earned in any combination of non-traditional learning examinations and applied towards a bachelor’s degree. These schools want to know that incoming freshmen are prepared to thrive in college-level classes and they know that students who can manage AP and Honors level classes in high school, are equipped with the tools for success as freshmen in college.

MYTH: AP classes are stressful and part of the “race to nowhere.”

It is true that AP and Honor classes are not for everyone. They are rigorous and challenging; that is why they are designated advanced. Before CAS students are accepted into AP and Honor classes they work with their Teachers, Mentors, and College Counselor to select and strategize the appropriate classes—and class load—to help them meet their future goals. Sometimes that includes AP and Honors classes and sometimes it does not. The goal is always finding the balance of right fit and appropriate challenge, and for many students, a few well-chosen AP courses can be part of a well-rounded high school education that provides for enhanced opportunities once they enter college.

AP and Honors courses can increase a student’s chances of being accepted into a preferred college or university, boost one’s GPA, and enable college freshmen to enroll in higher level courses.

While AP and Honors classes are of benefit in preparation for taking on college curriculum, we believe it is the life skills learned in these classes that are of even greater value.

With the right support in place, such as we have here at CAS, AP and Honors classes are not only manageable but also dynamic and engaging opportunities for many students to grow and learn new skills.

BENEFITS OF APs: At a Glance

  • Prepare you for introductory survey courses which are part of the breadth requirement at most universities
  • May result in “advanced standing” allowing you to register for courses early
  • Allow you to waive out of some introductory courses which then opens up your schedule to take more interesting courses
  • Qualify you for special programs such as peer tutoring
  • Allow you to engage in an extra internship, have more options to study abroad, or even graduate early

For more information on course guidance or AP or Honors classes at CAS, please contact Vice Principal, Mr. Dede, at sdede@coralacademy.org or 775.829.4601 x203.

Pre-AP Courses

pre-ap program

Coral Academy of Science (CAS) High School is among the first to join the College Board Pre-AP program and is one of only one hundred schools in the nation selected to pilot the new initiative in 2018. CAS High School continues partnering with the College Board Pre-AP Program to give all students the opportunity to learn the foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful in Advanced Placement® (AP) and other college-level coursework. 

The new Pre-AP program, which launched Fall 2018, offers instructional resources, classroom-based assessments, high-quality professional learning, and focused practice for schools that earn an official Pre-AP designation from the College Board. 

Pre-AP courses at CAS High School are English 1, English 2, Biology, Algebra 1, Geometry with Statistics and Chemistry. These courses are required for all freshman and sophomore students. 

The CAS’s Pre-AP Program objectives are to:

  • Significantly increase the number of students who are able to access and complete college-level work—like AP—before leaving high school.
  • Improve the college readiness of all students.

All of the Pre-AP courses are designed to give students a foundation to develop the skills they need for success in high school and beyond. Pre-AP courses prepare students for (AP) and other college-level coursework. Research indicates that students who participate in Advanced Placement® (AP) courses have a higher retention rate in college than non-AP students of similar background and ability. The CAS’s Pre-AP program offers consistent, high standards that help build, strengthen and reinforce students’ content knowledge and skills. 

Why Pre-AP?

There are several benefits of the Pre-AP program: engaging resources that meet students where they are; meaningful feedback to teachers that show areas in which additional student support is needed; and challenging coursework that emphasizes key literacy, quantitative, and analysis skills and reinforces these skills in multiple classroom disciplines.  

Participation in challenging coursework helps prepare students for success in high school and beyond. However, less than 50% of U.S. high school students are ready for college. And more than 300,000 high school students aren’t taking AP courses and exams that they’ve demonstrated the potential to succeed on, based on their scores on an SAT Suite assessment. 

Official Designation

Coral Academy of Science received an official Pre-AP designation for each course and the chance to bring engaging coursework to all its students. This designation signals consistent, high standards in focused courses that help build, strengthen, and reinforce student’s content knowledge and skills.

Pre-AP Partner
PLTW PATHWAYS

CASR believes that providing researched-based curriculum opportunities for all our students will help ensure that more of students continue to take STEM classes in high school and in college. The Project Lead the Way (“PLTW”) programs offer hands-on curriculum that aligns with  the Nevada Academic Content Standards. CASR believes a program of the caliber of PLTW will help more fully engage all students in CASR’s STEM curriculum. In 2017-18 the school year, 54% of CASR’s students participated in STEM courses, increasing to 63% in 2018-19. CASR’s goal is to increase this figure to 90% in several years.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization focused on empowering students and transforming the teaching experience. Since its beginning in 1997, PLTW has grown from a high school engineering program to offering comprehensive PreK-12 pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science. PLTW has been used in over 11,000 schools in all fifty states, and has reached millions of students in its history.

CASR offers the PLTW program to its high school students. PTLW is a four-year, honors level, interdisciplinary program in science, math and engineering. PLTW students experience hands-on, project based activities that promote the development of critical thinking skills.  PLTW students use the design  process to create their own inventions or innovations to solve real world problems. PLTW participants at CASR enroll in one of three PLTW programs: Biomedical Science, Computer Science and Engineering.

Project Lead the Way describes itself as a “hands-on program [that] boosts classroom engagement and excitement drives collaboration and inspires “aha! moments” and deep comprehension…” PLTW believes that “all students – beginning at a young age – need access to real-world, applied learning experiences that empower them to gain the skills they need to thrive in college, career, and beyond … and that its “research- supported approach empowers students to discover and explore interests, imagine and design solutions to real- world challenges, and become independent, confident problem solvers.”

PLTW is a competitive program, admitting 25 current 8th grade CASR students each year, based on multiple criteria including teacher recommendations, written statements from students, previous grades and coursework, test scores and achievements.

Colleges accepted Coral Academy of Science graduates over the last four year

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Arizona State University

The University of Arizona

Bellevue College

Brigham Young University, Idaho

California State University, Long Beach

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Davis

University of California, Irvine

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Riverside

University of California, San Diego

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of California, Santa Cruz

Case Western Reserve University

Champlain College

University of Denver

Dominican University of California

Drake University

University of Dubuque

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach

The University of Findlay

Full Sail University

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Hawaii Pacific University

Hillsdale College

University of Houston

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Indiana State University

Indiana Tech

Iowa State University

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)

Long Beach City College

University of Miami

University of Michigan

Montana State University, Bozeman

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Reno

New York University

University of North Florida

University of North Texas

Northeastern University

Northern Arizona University

Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences

Oglethorpe University

Oregon State University

University of Oregon

University of the Pacific

University of Portland

Queens University of Charlotte

Randolph College

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

University of San Francisco

Sarah Lawrence College

Seton Hall University

Stanford University

University of Southern California

Southern Utah University

College of St. Scholastica

The University of Tampa

Temple University

Truckee Meadows Community College

Tulane University

University of Utah

Washington State University

University of Washington

Wesleyan University

Willamette University

University of Wisconsin, Madison

The College of Wooster

Year By Year Overview

Welcome to Coral Academy of Science High School!

In 9th grade students are encouraged to explore, take risks, challenge themselves, and take advantage of everything the CAS has to offer. Students who embrace the CAS mission and actively involve themselves at school will naturally build the skills and acquire the tools to find the college or university that is the right fit for them. Take a deep breath and get involved at Coral Academy!

Freshman parents and guardians are encouraged to attend our Academic & College Night in February, which will provide a brief introduction to the college process as it relates to course selection at Coral Academy.