Hazelwood Central Advanced Course Guide


Mr. Rocco works with his AP Psychology class. Like many all other classes, students need to make sure they keep up with their assignments give themselves the best chance to succeed. “The work is hard but manageable so stay on top of everything,” said Aiyana Young.

Entering your senior year is unlike any other high school year. You are distracted by college admission responses, ACT studying, and jobs or internships. These last few classes that you take will demonstrate to colleges your work ethic and may increase your chances in competition with other applicants when applying to highly selective schools. This article helps incoming seniors weigh out the pros and cons of the different AP and Health Occupations classes that are offered and allows them a first-hand look at how the class went for the students currently taking the class. Taking AP classes also benefits students with the potential to earn college credit. This will save you money and time in college allowing to either skip a class or take higher level classes.


AP Calculus

AP Calculus AB is focused in differential and integral calculus and mimics the course of a first semester college calculus class. In this class you will learn how to solve for derivatives and integral equations and many other skills which can be applied to real applications.

“Plan your time accordingly to accommodate your workload and use your peers for help,” said senior I’lysa Walker.

Ms. Allen, the current AP Calculus teacher, lectures for the first half of class and then students either have time to work on the homework, or if the lesson is long or difficult, do examples of them together. Since the material in this class tends to be difficult, learning all the concepts can seem to be nearly impossible, but with all the practice that is given, you will be able to do fairly well on the tests. This class has 14 students, making it relatively small, and is only offered one period.

“The benefit to having a smaller class is that we are able to help each other out,” said I’lysa Walker.

Most of the homework is assigned through your book, but occasionally you will get worksheets and projects. Even though you have a lot of homework, it is important for you to complete it.  You will have extensive amounts of homework so it’s easy to fall behind.  

This is a difficult class and involves a lot of time to finish assignments outside of class. In this class you are really testing you ability in Pre-Calculus skills to solve the problems, but the new techniques to set them up involves Calculus. Also with the repetitive problems that you will have, it will be easier to maintain new concepts.

“This class is different from all of the other math classes, but for the most part it makes sense, the hardest part is keeping your motivation and not slack off before the end of the year,” said Senior Kolby Davis.


AP Statistics

Statistics is the practice of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities. AP Statistics requires to go more in depth with analyzing its data. If you are going into the medical or business field this is a class you want to take. This class forces you to grasp a true understanding of what all the numerical data you’ve received or have calculated. In AP statistics it is not enough just to get a number in the calculator you also have to know how that number correlates to the question.

“Be ready to apply and understand the material,” said Darius Watson, a current senior taking AP Statistics.

Mr. Schnorbus, who currently teaches AP statistics is retiring next year. His teaching style is said to be more like a college professor. He will help when questions are asked but he expects you to get as much information as possible by doing the example problems together in class.

After each daily lesson, you are given one page of homework that is to be completed and turned in by the next class period. This class doesn’t really require a lot of your time outside of the one page of homework.

This class is said to be difficult because of the way the tests are structured. Tests include a multiple choice portion and free response questions. Even though you are given study guides in this class, the study guide is there to strengthen the skills you need in order to succeed on the test.

“The questions on the study guide don’t necessarily correspond with those on the actual tests,” said Darius Watson

An advantage to taking AP Statistics is that it most or your work can be done by solving with a calculator. But, the calculator can’t always solve your problems. Most of the questions you see in AP Statistics are word problems which means you have to apply your answer back to the scenario which most of the time requires words.

Arielle Adams, a senior currently taking Ap Statistics, suggests that you need to be familiar with your strengths and weaknesses.

“If you’re not that good with math, I wouldn’t advise taking this class,” said Arielle Adams.


AP Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the substances of matter; the investigation of their properties and how they interact, combine and change to form new substances.

Sometimes, everything in AP Chemistry is not straight forward, it most likely depends on the circumstances. In AP Chemistry there are alot of concepts that have changed or have gotten more complex as you dive deep into the subject.  Other than the explanatory part of AP Chemistry, this class has a decent amount of equations, most of which are fairly easy to follow.

Similar to most science classes, there are a few labs that are test grades. Ms. Harbaugh, who currently teaches AP Chemistry, tries to incorporate labs after every unit. These labs are said to be helpful in tying together concepts from a particular unit.

This class is fast pace. Ms. Harbaugh breezes through the things you should know from Honors Chemistry. This gives you more time to focus on new material that you don’t quite understand.

Alexander Harmon’s favorite lesson was about electron configurations. He liked how Ms. Harbaugh elaborated on the topic. He was already familiar with the topic from Honors Chemistry so it was easier to expand his knowledge.

“If you have a strong foundation in Honors Chemistry you should take the class,” said Alexander Harmon.

The difficulty fluctuates depending on the unit. If you participate in the open discussions the material will become more understandable.

Homework is given in the form of a packet for each unit. Depending on how big the packet is determines the due date. A packet contains book questions and application questions. If you have a full understanding of the packet you should to well on the test. The class size is extremely small so it is easy to form connections with your teacher and classmates if you ever need extra help.

One piece of important advice for surviving AP Chemistry would be to do your work on time.

“Stay on top of your work because once you get behind it’s hard to catch back up… Don’t Procrastinate!” said Brooke Reese.


AP Psychology

Psychology is the study of mind and mental processes especially relating to behavior. In AP Psychology you study a wide range of relatable topics.

Mr. Rocco teaches AP Psychology. In class he normally lectures from powerpoints with visual aids and examples on them. He provides examples of his own or he asks students for their own examples that sometimes can be more relatable to our age.

“Rocco cares and actually tries to help you to succeed,” said Keon Cross.

AP Psychology is fast pace. Mr. Rocco has created a strict schedule that helps the class run smooth and efficient. He never strays from his schedule. If you miss a day or you don’t get through the amount of powerpoints you are supposed to get through in the class period, he holds you accountable for those notes and you are expected to finish them at home.

Your homework for the class is binder checks. You have several outside assignments that are supposed to be completed before you take the unit tests.

Unit tests are sometimes a three-part test. It includes a multiple choice part, FRQ (free response questions), and during the second semester you might get real AP questions that can count as extra credit test points.

The best part about taking AP Psychology is that you learn material that you didn’t  know about yourself and others. Aiyana Young’s favorite unit was unit 12. This unit discusses the many psychological disorders. Keon’s favorite topic was social psychology. In this unit you learned about how different people interact with one another. This class is filled with interesting topics that occur in our life on a daily. Some maybe harder than others or less exciting to you. It’s all based on personal preference.

If you decide to take AP Psychology you should stay focused and do the work.

“Be ready for a lot of work” Keon Cross.

“The work is hard but manageable so stay on top of everything,” said Aiyana Young.


AP Literature and Composition

AP Literature and Composition focuses on the reading and analysis of various literature. You are taught to depict the author’s deeper meanings through the specific word choices and style that he or she wrote in. This class allows students to experience a similar curriculum that is used in college english classes, and prepare them for success. AP Literature and Composition is not just focused on reading non-fiction books, but is also filled with various essay activities to improve writing abilities.  

“Don’t slack or fall behind. Just power through all of your assignments,” said Dion Carter, a senior taking AP Literature.

Mrs.Kintz, the current AP Literature teacher, has an engaging teaching style. She provides interactive activities, like play reenacting, and keeps students productive with work throughout most of the class period. This class is relatively small and has multiple hours where you can take it.

“This allows you to get closer with your classmates and really get to know one another. However, this also means that it’s easier for the teacher to pay attention to what your doing, so no slacking off!” said senior Tony Mosuro.

Most of the homework assignments in the first semester consisted of research articles and essays, while the second semester has so far had a lighter homework load. Students for the most part enjoy the readings making the class fun. Next year there may not be the same projects making the class “easier.”

“Be prepared to work. If you plan on having a busy schedule, I suggest you keep a planner or something like that so you don’t forget the many due dates you will have,” said Toni Mosuro.

The class is said to be moderate in difficulty, which involves lots of writing assignments and different types of essays. The style that you may have to write in could be completely different from previous english classes. Also reading texts that age back to the 1700s makes it hard to understand everything they are trying to said, but with practice it gets easier.

“The class itself is not hard, but it is a matter of putting in the effort to complete work and practice for the AP test,” said Dion Carter.

Senior year can be very stressful with writing college essays and retaking the ACT test. Taking additional AP classes can make your course load heavy at times but can be managed.

“But most importantly, remember to try and have fun. There are many aspects of this class that you can enjoy, and if you enter the class with an open mind it will be easier for you to enjoy yourself,” said Mosuro.


Health Occupations

Health Occupations is an advanced class that lets you experience what it’s like to have a job in the medical field.

Jasmine Crawford says the best part about health occupation is going to the hospital. This makes it easier to grasp the medical terminology.

“You get to shadow different nurses in the different departments at the hospital and you get to see if healthcare is the career choice for you before going to college for it,” said Crawford.

The class size is small. There are only 11 in the a.m. class. Those students go the hospital in the morning and then come to school for the last half of the day. And there are a small number of students who are in the p.m. class who come to school for the first half of the day then go to the hospital for the remaining time.

Mrs. Pukula teaches Health Occupations. She treats all of her students as if they were in college.  

When you are not visiting the hospital, you would often have a lecture over one of the different body systems or participate in a lab. In labs you have to take vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respirations, for each person in the class.

Aminata Niang’s favorite lessons are when they learn about the bones in the body.

“My favorite topic is osteology,” said Aminata.

Crawford enjoys Dean Vaughn, which is an academic program that the class uses.

“Dean Vaughn is full of medical terminology and when we learn it there is a video and a workbook that goes along with it that helps you remember the terms,” said Crawford.

Mrs. Pukula gives you a lot of responsibility. You are taught a lesson Monday or Tuesday and given an assignment out the workbook. Homework would be due that following Friday. You also might be given a research paper on a given disease for homework.

“The homework is a lot but it keeps your mind working,”  said Niang.

The workload for second semester is pretty stressful. You have daily journals to write explaining what you did at the hospitals on top of all your homework and tests.

Some advice from seniors is to keep up as best as you can with all of your work.

“Material itself is not hard to understand you just have to learn it faster that usual so stay focused and don’t slack. The best thing to do is to find a study habit that works best for you,” said Crawford.

“This class is hard but not impossible,” said Niang.