Course Level Offerings

The curriculum is designed to prepare all students for postsecondary education. Course levels are weighted to determine grade point averages. Some courses are not offered at all levels. Please consult the course descriptions for each department in this catalog for information about course level offerings.

The placement of students in appropriate levels is a collaborative process that reflects our desire to create the best possible academic experience for each student. The goal of level placement is to have each student sufficiently challenged by a rigorous academic program while ensuring that he/she has the aptitude and skills to be successful in the classroom.

Courses are offered at the following levels of depth and pace to address the needs of students with varying aptitudes and learning styles.

Because our school serves students in grades 5 through 12, a wide array of academic opportunities are available to our students. Our advanced students may take high school courses at an earlier time so that when they are in high school, they will be able to take courses at the collegiate level.

Our middle school students have taken Honors Biology, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra I, and Calculus at the high school. Based on ability, middle school students may take additional advanced mathematics courses.

Advanced students are offered the opportunity to engage in college level study in several disciplines as part of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. In order to participate, students must demonstrate superior aptitude and achievement and a willingness to commit to considerable independent study. Admission to these courses is by application. All students in these courses are required to take and pay the fee for the College Board Advanced Placement Examination. Some colleges award credit to those students who receive a satisfactory score on the examination.

Honors level courses are designed to challenge students who have demonstrated a high level of academic aptitude and achievement. The pace of instruction is rapid and topics are explored in greater depth than in the College Preparatory level. School recommendation is required for enrollment in honors courses. Students are expected to complete independent research, group work, and long term assignments. Assessments emphasize the development of critical thinking skills, originality and creativity, and the ability to make connections within the subject area as well as with other academic disciplines.

This level provides students who have demonstrated above average/average aptitude and achievement with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the subject area and the application of concepts. Emphasis is placed on fine tuning skills as well as developing the capacity for more critical thinking. Students are expected to complete daily homework assignments as well as some long term assignments and projects. Frequent and varied assessments characterize this level.

Emphasis is placed on developing a strong understanding of the course fundamentals, the capacity for independent and critical thinking, and the learning skills necessary for more advanced study. Daily homework is assigned to provide students with practice in working with new concepts, review of previously learned material, and structure in their learning process. Long­-term assignments are frequently broken down into several components. This level is placed by school recommendation only.

Students may enroll in online courses that provide college credit or take courses at local colleges and universities, including Cape Cod Community College. Students who complete these courses will receive high school credit on their JPII transcripts and college credit from the chosen institution.

As a further option, St. John Paul II School has partnered with Stonehill College to offer select 100- and 200-level courses, taught by Stonehill College faculty, and offered at JPII for JPII students.

In the Fall semester, Introduction to Digital Media Production, a 200-level course, will present video principles and elements: camera, lighting, direction, editing, sound, and practice in video composition.

In the Spring semester, students may select Critical Introduction to Criminal Justice, which offers an introduction to the major institutions of criminal justice from a social scientific perspective. This course examines the structure and operation of police, courts, and corrections. Theories and concepts of sociology and other disciplines will be used to describe the workings of the criminal justice system and raise questions for critical analysis.

Pre-AP courses follow a College Board curriculum that emphasizes close reading and analysis, critical thinking, and interpreting sources. In the classroom, students engage with a wide variety of primary source materials, read and write different types of essays, and engage deeply with each others’ ideas. Teachers of Pre-AP courses use College Board materials to supplement their own classwork and assessments. These courses help students learn the skills and content necessary for future AP courses and also provide a strong foundation for students of all skill levels. At St. John Paul II School, Pre-AP courses carry the Honors designation.  Learn more here.