Curriculum

The APS Curriculum is updated on a regular cycle to keep pace with challenging State and National standards.  Curriculum is supervised by the Office of Instruction.

Copies of the full curriculum documents are available for review at any school office or by visiting the Office of Instruction.  Please call for an appointment.

Questions regarding the curriculum should be directed to the appropriate Director of Instruction - Elementary (K-6) or Secondary (7-12).

Kindergarten

Welcome to Kindergarten!

During this school year, your child will make the transition from preschool programs and/or your home routine. Beginning this year, Alpena Public Schools Kindergarteners attend all day every day school is in session. This new schedule eliminates confusion about “red” and “blue” days for families. More importantly, full-time Kindergarten offers more consistency for children. Classroom activities during this important first year prepare the way for reading and writing readiness.

Communication Arts

At the Kindergarten level, Communication Arts skills and understandings are developed primarily through a variety of interactive language activities. Activities capitalize on the child's natural curiosity and playfulness. We provide an extensive exposure to the alphabet and promote phonemic awareness. Children are read to every day and are exposed to a wide range of materials. Students also have daily writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and thinking opportunities.

Mathematics

Kindergartners will master the recognition, counting, and printing of numbers 0 to 20. They will also become proficient in one-to-one correspondence. Children will also explore sorting and classifying, graphing, money, time, numeration and number sense, shapes and shape relations, addition and subtraction, and calendar skills.

Science

During the year students will explore and experiment through units about seasons and weather, caring for the Earth, and life cycles of animals. Much of our K-2 Science curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Social Studies

This year, students learn about family, school and themselves. Nearly all that we do at school can be classified as Social Studies. Class rules, getting along with others, learning about our needs and the needs of others, noticing our environment, and making good choices are all natural elements of the Social Studies curriculum. Much of our K-2 Social Studies curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Art & Music

Students will attend a formal Music class twice a week. Art and Music are also integrated into our daily Kindergarten learning. You will be invited in to attend special school music programs when they occur.

Physical Education & Health

Kindergarten children participate in PE class three times each week, building on their knowledge of team sports and individual physical skills. In the classroom we learn how daily habits keep us healthy.

Assessment & Reporting

All APS students in grades K-3 are assessed in Reading, Writing, and Math using a combination of national, State, and locally developed tools. Parents are kept informed through regular progress reports and conferences.

First Grade

Welcome to First Grade!

First grade may be the most critical year in your child’s education. Literacy is the focus in first grade, and the love of reading will encourage success throughout the rest of your child’s school career and life! A whole new world opens to first graders as they begin to read, write, and understand math concepts. First graders are also learning how to interact with peers and adults in the school setting. By the end of the year, they will have many skills to work and share with others.

Communication Arts

At the first grade level, language skills and understandings are developed primarily through a variety of interactive language activities. Students will LEARN to read for enjoyment, to gather new information, and to learn new procedures. Getting ideas on paper is a major focus for first graders. This is accomplished by writing TO children, writing WITH children and providing a print-rich environment FOR children.

Mathematics

By the end of first grade, children are expected to be proficient with basic addition facts (0-12) using their choice of strategies. They should also be able to write and read numbers 1 through 99 and demonstrate an understanding of the place value of these numbers. First graders use a variety of manipulatives to explore these concepts.

Science

First graders have a natural interest in Science. Students will gain an increased knowledge of Earth Science, Life Science and Physical Science. They will learn and apply the steps of the Scientific Method while learning about animal classification, using toys and forces, gardens and plants, soil and rocks. Much of our K-2 Science curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Social Studies

Students will expand their knowledge of families and be introduced to the concept of neighborhoods in first grade. These studies will provide students with the necessary skills for being a responsible family and neighborhood member, thereby learning skills for being a good citizen. Much of our K-2 Social Studies curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Art & Music

In Music class, children will learn new and traditional songs and be introduced to basic musical principles. Art is a fun time to learn about a variety of media and be exposed to the work of important artists. Each class is held once a week.

Physical Education & Health

Twice a week, children participate in PE class, building on their knowledge of team sports and individual physical skills. Be sure to send appropriate footwear for PE days. Weekly Health classes teach the children about the negative effects of drugs, the importance of personal safety, and skills for making friends and getting along with others.

Assessment & Reporting

All APS students in grades K-3 are assessed in Reading, Writing, and Math using a combination of national, State, and locally developed tools. Parents are kept informed through regular progress reports and conferences.

Second Grade

Welcome to Second Grade!

During this school year, students will be working on their responsibility skills as well as their academics. A big part of growing up is taking responsibility for one’s actions. In connection with our Social Studies curriculum, where students learn respect for self and others, we stress personal responsibility with our students. As they are “growing up,” we hope that students will begin to take more ownership of their actions and their schoolwork.

Communication Arts

In the second grade we have two main goals: to develop reading fluency, and to learn to write a proper paragraph. Strong reading and writing skills are the backbone of a child's future education. Students learn to construct a paragraph using the writing process, which teaches students the steps of selecting a topic, pre-writing strategies, drafting, self-editing, and publishing. Each finished paragraph must have a clear beginning, middle, and end with proper capitalization and punctuation.

Mathematics

Students are introduced to the concept of regrouping (parents may remember this as "borrowing" and "carrying"). By the end of the second grade, students should be able to add and subtract two-digit numbers with regrouping. Students will demonstrate proficiency in basic addition and subtraction facts from 0-18.

Science

Students study three units in Science class covering the topics of animal habitats, matter, Earth science, and extinct animals. Throughout the year, hands-on activities help students practice the Scientific Method. Much of our K-2 Science curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Social Studies

In second grade, we introduce the concept of communities. Through the study of biographies, students learn about the lives of famous Americans. At this grade level, students begin to understand the need for rules and laws. Through the study of core democratic values, students learn to develop respect for themselves and for others. Much of our K-2 Social Studies curriculum is taught through literature, language, and mathematics experiences.

Art & Music

This year, students continue to be exposed to the fine arts in Music and Art classes, which are each held once a week.

Physical Education & Health

Twice a week, children participate in PE class, continuing the refinement of large motor skills such as hopping, skipping, and jumping. In the second grade, students begin to learn the skills of working as a part of a group and the basics of sports skills. Weekly Health classes teach the children about the senses of seeing and hearing. Students begin to understand handicaps - deafness and blindness specifically - as a connection to the senses they are learning about. The importance of cleanliness, exercise, and nutrition are stressed as well.

Assessment & Reporting

All APS students in grades K-3 are assessed in Reading, Writing, and Math using a combination of national, State, and locally developed tools. Parents are kept informed of academic progress through regular progress reports and conferences.

Third Grade

Welcome to Third Grade!

Third grade is considered by many to be the last of the "early childhood" years. Students begin an important transition from learning academic skills such as reading and writing. They begin to use these skills to learn new information. In Alpena, third graders will receive letter grades on their report cards for the first time.

Communication Arts

Third graders will focus on the writing process to get their ideas down on paper clearly. Specific skills emphasized this year include selecting a topic, using pre-writing strategies, drafting, revising their writing, self and peer editing, and publishing.

The third grade Reading textbook is part of a literature series by Scott-Foresman. Each literature unit targets a specific reading skill. Students practice comprehension strategies as they learn to, read for pleasure, gather and learn new information, and grow in confidence and competence. Spelling, phonics, listening, and speaking skills are integrated into each unit.

Mathematics

Third grade students will cover many new skills during Math classes this year. By the end of the year, students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in addition and subtraction with regrouping (up to four digits). The students will also be expected to write and read numbers 1-9999 and demonstrate an understanding of place value for these numbers. Students will also learn more about fractions, geometry, and measurement.

Science

Third grade Science gives students a chance to explore the world and the way it works. Science units this year include weather, physical science, and ecosystems. Students will build process and learning skills through the use of the Scientific Method and lots of hands-on activities.

Social Studies

Students will study regions of the United States in third grade. They will extend their skills in map reading by learning to interpret, construct, and use various types of maps. Students will also collect regional data and learn to organize, interpret, and then present their information orally, graphically and in writing.

Art & Music

This year, students continue to be exposed to the fine arts in Music and Art classes, which are each held once a week.

Physical Education & Health

Twice a week, children participate in PE class, building on their knowledge of team sports and individual physical skills. Weekly Health classes teach the children about healthy friendships, dental care, the skeletal system, the effects of drugs, and living a balanced, healthy life.

Assessment & Reporting

All APS students in grades K-3 are assessed in Reading, Writing, and Math using a combination of national, State, and locally developed tools. For third graders, this includes the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) test which measures academic progress in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Parents are kept informed through regular progress reports and conferences.

Fourth Grade

Welcome to Fourth Grade!

Fourth grade students continue to make the transition from learning academic skills to applying skills in order to learn. For example, instead of just practicing reading comprehension strategies, fourth graders are expected to use these skills as they read to learn new material in Science and Social Studies textbooks. The fourth grade year can be challenging for children!

Communication Arts

The fourth grade textbook is part of a literature series by Scott-Foresman. Each unit targets a specific reading skill. While practicing comprehension strategies, students learn to identify the setting of a story, determine the author's purpose, and explore characterization. Students are expected to use the writing process to communicate clearly in complete sentences and good paragraphs. Spelling, phonics, listening, and speaking skills are also integrated into each literature unit.

Mathematics

Fourth graders cover many new math skills during the year. By the end of the year, we expect students to have all their multiplication and division facts memorized. Another major goal of fourth grade math is to have all students able to multiply a 3-digit number by a 1-digit number. Topics covered this year also include, long division, time and money, geometry, fractions and decimals, measurement, and probability. Fourth grade math includes a lot of problem solving activities to help develop critical thinking skills.

Science

Students study four units in fourth grade Science - a new unit each marking period. These units include magnetism and electricity; physical properties of matter; exploring the sun, moon, and Earth; and plants. Throughout the year, hands-on activities help students practice the Scientific Method.

Social Studies

The purpose of the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum is to provide knowledge and understanding of the state of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. The central theme of this course of study is the history of Michigan and why settlers initially came and stayed. However, students will also learn about the geographical, civic, and economic perspectives of Michigan. The students will study Great Lakes shipwrecks with an emphasis on Thunder Bay maritime history.

Art & Music

This year, students continue to be exposed to the fine arts in Music and Art classes which are each held once a week.

Physical Education & Health

Twice a week, children participate in PE class, building on their knowledge of team sports and individual physical skills. Weekly Health classes teach the children about the negative effects of drugs, the importance of personal safety, good dental hygiene, and the function of the digestive system.

Assessment & Reporting

Fourth graders in Michigan participate in Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) testing. This test assesses progress in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Tests are given in October. These tests are not graded, but give us valuable information to help children with their individual needs and align our curriculum. Parents are kept informed of student progress through regular progress reports and conferences.

Fifth Grade

Welcome to Fifth Grade!

Fifth grade is a year with greatly increased responsibility. The textbooks used and the material taught at this grade can be very challenging as students continue to mature academically. They are expected to read more and do many more high-level tasks and engage in more critical thinking and problem-solving.

Communication Arts

Using a Scott-Foresman literature book, fifth graders practice skills such as decoding using context clues and structural analysis, understanding story elements, investigating expository text structure (time order, description, cause and effect, etc.), using the table of contents, index, glossary, and graphic clues. Students learn more about drawing conclusions and making judgments from text, and they are taught to use a variety of reading strategies and study skills to create meaning from text. Fifth graders continue to use process writing to learn to write for many different purposes. They are expected to write complete sentences and use correct punctuation in everyday work in all subject areas.

Mathematics

Fifth grade Math instruction focuses on these important skills: · multiplying three-digit numbers by three-digit numbers; dividing four-digit numbers by a two-digit number and finding averages; adding, subtracting, and simplifying unlike fractions; finding greatest common factors and least common multiples; identifying various geometric shapes; measuring angles using a protractor; graphing and statistics; ratios, fractions, decimals, and percents; basic algebra concepts; and use of strategies to solve problems.

Science

Fifth graders will explore Science units covering the Earth's changing surface, weather, and plants and animals. Throughout the year, hands-on activities help students practice the Scientific Method.

Social Studies

The fifth grade Social Studies curriculum covers the major events and personalities of the United States from the arrival of the first Americans through the development of the Constitution and the era of expansion through the mid 1800's. The five themes of geography are emphasized throughout this study of our nation's past (location, place, human-environment interactions, movement, and region), along with the ideals of citizenship and our core democratic values. Economic concepts and current events are also explored.

Art & Music

This year, students continue to be exposed to the fine arts in Music and Art classes, which are each held once a week.

Physical Education & Health

Fifth grade students participate in thirty-minute periods of PE twice each week. Weekly Health classes teach the children about will cover topics such as the respiratory system, developing healthy habits, drug abuse resistance (in partnership with the DARE program), and personal safety.

Assessment & Reporting

Fifth graders in Michigan participate in Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) testing. This test assesses progress in the areas of Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Science. Tests are given in October. These tests are not graded, but give us valuable information to help children with their individual needs and align our curriculum. Parents are kept informed about academic progress through regular reports and conferences.

Junior High (6-8)

Students in grades 6 through 8 participate in year-long study of the four core academic areas.  They choose from a variety of elective courses to complete their 6-period schedule.  Scheduling occurs in the winter for the following year.

6th Grade

Required Classes

All 6th grade students participate in four core content-area classes. These required courses are scheduled for the full year:

  • English Language Arts 6 - 2-period block
  • Mathematics 6
  • Science 6
  • Social Studies 6

Elective Classes

More information on special classes and electives for 6th grade coming soon.

Some course have prerequisite or teacher recommendation requirements. Contact the school for details.

7th Grade

Required Classes

These core academic courses are scheduled for the full year:

  • English Language Arts 7
  • Mathematics 7
  • Science 7
  • Social Studies 7 (World Studies)

All 7th graders participate in these one-trimester classes:

  • PE/Health
  • Career Pathways
  • Computer Basics

By recommendation of the 6th grade teacher, students may be placed in:

  • Academic Support
  • P.E. Development (P.E. for Athletes)
  • Pre-Algebra (Advanced Math)
  • Science Olympiad

Elective Courses

Elective courses are one trimester each unless otherwise marked.  Students choose 3 elective courses or one full-year elective.

  • Band (full-year)
  • Basic Art
  • Draw & Paint
  • Graphic Arts
  • 3-D Art
  • Choir (full-year)
  • Computer Application
  • Innovative Presentation
  • Technology
  • Foods-Sew-Fun
  • Drafting I/CAD
  • Drafting II/CAD
  • Woods & Metals I
  • Woods & Metals II
  • Fitness For Fun
  • P.E. Development
  • Science Olympiad
  • World Languages

Some courses have prerequisite or teacher recommendation requirements.  Contact the school for details.

8th Grade

Required Classes

These required courses are scheduled for the full year.  Requirements are:

  • English Language Arts 8
  • Mathematics 8
  • Science 8
  • Social Studies 8 (US Studies)

All 8th graders participate in this one-trimester class:

  • PE/Health

By recommendation of a 7th grade teacher, students may be placed in:

  • Academic Support
  • P.E. Development (P.E. for Athletes)
  • Algebra (Advanced Math)
  • Science Olympiad

Elective Courses

Elective courses are one trimester each unless otherwise marked.  Students choose 5 elective courses or one full-year elective and 2 elective courses.

  • Band (full-year)
  • Basic Art
  • Draw & Paint
  • Graphic Arts
  • 3-D Art
  • Choir (full-year)
  • Computer Application
  • Innovative Presentation
  • Technology
  • Foods-Sew-Fun
  • Drafting I/CAD
  • Drafting II/CAD
  • Woods & Metals I
  • Woods & Metals II
  • Fitness For Fun
  • World Languages
  • French (full-year, earns high school credit)
  • German (full-year, earns high school credit)
  • Spanish (full-year, earns high school credit)

Some courses have prerequisite or teacher recommendation requirements.  Contact the school for details.

High School (9-12)

Graduation Requirements

Courses required for graduation* from Alpena High School are listed below. See our Course Catalog for more details about graduation requirements, personal curricula and a full list of courses offered at AHS. It is the student’s responsibility to see that all graduation requirements are met.

Subject

Course

Credits

English English Language Arts 9 1.0
  English Language Arts 10 1.0
  English Language Arts 11 1.0
  English Language Arts Electives 1.0
     
Math Algebra I 1.0
  Geometry 1.0
  Algebra II 1.0
  Math-Related Course (Sr. Year) 1.0
     
Science Intro to Chemistry & Physics 1.0
  Biology 1.0
  Chemistry OR Physics 1.0
     
Social Studies US History/Geography 1.0
  World History/Geography 1.0
  Government 1.0
  Economics 1.0
     
 Health/PE Health 0.5
  Physical Education 0.5
     
Arts Choose from approved list 1.0
     
Foreign Language    Choose from approved list 2.0


*Total Possible Credits = 30
Credits Required for Graduation = 27

Class Determination

Students are placed in the class appropriate to their years in high school and their credits earned.

  • 9th grade – First year student.
  • 10th grade – Second year student AND 6.5 credits or more.
  • 11th grade – Third year student AND 13.0 credits or more.
  • 12th grade – Fourth year student within 8 credits of graduating.

No student will be promoted to the status of “graduated” unless all graduation requirements are met. Transfer students will have credits reviewed and years of high school attendance evaluated to determine proper placement.

Program Planning

It is important that you and your parents think through your goals and future plans and work in partnership with your AHS counselor. Your Educational Development Plan (EDP) will assist you to set goals and to plan effectively for the future. Your course selections will need to satisfy our graduation requirements as well as reflect your unique interests, skills, and abilities. You will update your EDP with your Counselor on a yearly basis.

A 4-year Educational Development Plan (EDP) is intended to assist parents and students in planning the high school program. These plans will assist students in choosing courses during high school. Students and families can access EDP’s online at www.careercruising.com. Login: alpena Password: wildcats

Note: In addition to the initial login, each student has a unique EDP login and password.

AHS Staff have developed a system of Career Pathways to help guide students in their course selection in high school. Students may utilize a variety of career education materials including interest surveys, Career Cruising, and various test results as tools in selecting a Career Pathway. In addition, students will benefit from input from their parents, teachers, counselors, from experience in prior classes, personal interests, and job shadowing. Students will initially select a Career Pathway during the 8 th grade. Alpena High School uses Michigan’s six (6) broad career pathways. They are:

  • Arts & Communication
  • Business, Management, Marketing, & Technology
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, & Industrial Technology
  • Health Services
  • Human Services
  • Natural Resources & Agriscience
Our Course Catalog has more details information about career planning and a full list of courses offered at AHS.

Personal Curriculum

The personal curriculum (PC) is a process to modify specific Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) high school credit requirements and/or content expectations based on a student's unique learning needs and post-secondary goals. It is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the MMC requirements and students who need to individualize MMC requirements to earn a high school diploma.

Google DocNotice of Right to Request Personal Curriculum