Academic Overview(Grades 9 - 12)
At our high school level, emphasis is placed on college preparation with required course offerings in English, math, social studies, history, science, foreign languages, the arts, computer education and physical education. At the high school level, there is an added emphasis on higher level thinking skills, and students are challenged by required research, speech and writing assignments in all subject areas. Technology is included in all subject areas.
American Heritage boasts an extensive selection of almost 300 course offerings. Courses vary from college prep, honors and 24 advance placement courses. American Heritage's preprofessional programs (pre med, pre law, biomedical engineering and engineering) offer unique courses that are only taught by Doctors, Attorneys or Engineers.
Communication with parents and students is essential. The school's web portal provides daily access to individual student grades, and written progress reports are sent home every three weeks. Teachers maintain web pages that display class information ranging from daily homework assignments to explanation of long term projects.
"College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won."-Frank Sachs
College Planning at American Heritage is a long-term process. Guidance Counselors for grades 7-10 are well versed in the requirements for college admissions, and academic requirements are tracked carefully. In addition, students are encouraged to develop and peruse extra-curricular activities both within the school community and throughout the South Florida area. Overall, the goal is to help students get a good sense of who they are, how they learn and where their talents lie.
9th Grade: Getting On Track
The focus in 9th grade is on the transition to high school. Students complete the Learning Style Inventory that helps them to discover how they learn best so that they can be as successful as possible during their high school career. Students are encouraged to think towards their future goals. To this end, the 9th Grade Guidance Counselor works with students and parents to develop a four-year academic plan. An evening program in the fall for parents provides a comprehensive view of the high school years, including curriculum options, graduation requirements and the college admissions process.
10th Grade: Staying on Course
By the time students reach grade ten, they have a good understanding of what it takes to be a successful high school student. During the first quarter, students are encouraged to push themselves academically through a presentation on study skills. All sophomores will take the PSAT in October. They will then complete the Career Interest Profiler and are guided to discover what careers might suit their skills and interests. In the spring, students are introduced to their College Advisor and guided through their first online college search. An evening career program for parents takes place in the Spring.
11th & 12th Grade: College Search & Application Process
Starting in their junior year, students are assigned a College Advisor. Heritage College Advisors have collectively visited over 300 schools across the country. They attend national and local conferences to ensure that they stay on top of the latest admissions trends. The college planning process is comprehensive and supportive. In this supportive environment, students learn to identify their goals and interests, to manage a complex and stressful process, and to make healthy and confident decisions about higher education. Fundamentally, we believe that each student should control the self-evaluation, research, and application writing that is essential to good college selection.
- Athletic Recruiting 101 (with follow-up workshops)
- Sophomore College Night
- Junior Workshop on College Admissions Part I
- Junior Workshop on College Admissions Part II
- Application Nuts and Bolts (for seniors & parents)
- Making Financial Aid Count
- College Financial Planning
Family Connection is a web-based resource that links the counselor’s office to course, career, and college planning. On Family Connection, students are able to share plans, complete surveys, and research and compare colleges. Students may also complete college profiles and resumes, and manage their applications during senior year.
As a college preparatory school, we feel we are entrusted with the responsibility of preparing all of our students for the standardized test often required for college admission. Research has shown that steady and consistent test preparation over time is the best way to increase scores on standardized tests. At American Heritage, all students receive SAT preparation as part of their math and English curriculum. In addition, a course is offered( for an additional fee) as an elective to all high school students who want to prepare for the SAT, ACT, or to improve scores. Online test preparation is also available to all students in grades 9-12 through Family Connection.
Students who apply to competitive schools benefit from the help of an interview specialist who meets individually with students and conducts a mock interview. She then provides feedback to the students and advises them on their preparation for and participation in interviews at their selected colleges.
Colleges On Campus
Admissions representatives from various colleges are invited to our campus to share the latest information with students. Colleges and universities including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Emory, The George Washington University, Brandeis, Yale, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida and University of Miami visit annually. Traditionally, 60-70 individual colleges send representatives for scheduled visits throughout the year.
Each fall, tenth through twelfth grade students from both Heritage schools come together at the Plantation campus to participate in the annual College Fair that features more than 100 colleges. Students gather information from admissions representatives to help in the college decision-making process. Tours are offered each year to various areas of the country, such as New England, Pennsylvania, California, and Southeastern US. Students spend three to four days visiting campuses and gathering information on specific schools.
The Upper School Library/Media center features a “College Corner” where students can research universities through brochures and DVD’s, and meet with college representatives. College and scholarship guidebooks are available and are updated annually.
The college advisors research funds available nationally, locally and at individual colleges and universities to effectively match each family’s needs with monies available for their college-bound student. Collectively, each of our recent graduating classes has been awarded scholarships totaling tens of millions of dollars.