AllentownSchool District

Pathways to Success

The Collegiate Program Experience

This program provides students who are academically gifted and/or advanced with dual enrollment courses through area colleges and universities. In addition, these students can also take Advanced Placement (AP) courses as sponsored by the College Board.


Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement Program (AP), administered by The College Board, offers college-level courses that are taught at local high schools by high school teachers. In 1955 the AP program was initiated in the United States. Since then, approximately 8 million students have taken advantage of this program. ASD offers 22 Advanced Placement courses to its students. The AP program allows students to experience post-secondary coursework and its increased academic rigor while still in enrolled in the supportive environment of their local high school.  The advantages of taking AP courses for students are many:


·College credit can be given to students who pass the AP exam (passing is generally considered scoring three or higher out of five, although some schools only accept a four or a five score for credit).

·Advanced Placement courses offer an accelerated skill development curve. AP courses can help students acquire the skills and habits they will need to be successful in college. Students will improve their writing skills, sharpen problem- solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline, and study habits.

· Real college conditioning– Research consistently shows that students who are successful in AP typically experience greater academic success in college than students who do not participate. Advanced Placement courses offer students a seamless pathway between high school and college.

· Students taking one AP course will be required to take the course AP exam at the conclusion of the course. Students taking two or more AP courses will be required to take a minimum of two AP exams at the conclusion of their courses. Students taking more than two AP courses can choose the exams that are required. Students may elect to take an AP exam for all AP courses completed; however, they will only be required by the district to take two exams. The costs of these exams are assumed by the district.

· Advanced Placement Courses receive a .3 weighting for course completion with a “B” grade or higher. The following Advanced Placement Courses are offered in our high schools and/or the ASD Virtual Academy:

· English: Language & Composition and Literature & Composition

· Math:  Calculus AB, Calculus BC and Statistics

· Science:  Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1, Physics 2, and Physics C

· Social Studies:  World History, US History, US Government & Politics and Macroeconomics

· Electives:  Computer Science, Studio Art, Art History, Music Theory, German Language, Psychology(Virtual), Spanish Language and Culture

Additional information concerning AP courses may be obtained at the following address:


Dual Enrollment

The Dual Enrollment program provides students with opportunities to take college course offerings from Lehigh County Community College (LCCC). Students are simultaneously enrolled at both their home high school and LCCC. Tuition will be paid by the district for students taking dual enrollment courses through LCCC. The benefits for students successfully completing dual enrollment courses include:


·         Possible attainment of an Associate’s Degree
(61 College Credits) from LCCC

·         Students are able to receive college credit while in high school at no cost, saving significant tuition costs towards college.

·         Students are able to experience the dynamics of a college classroom before entering college.

·         Students easily transition from high school to college with a working knowledge of what to expect.

·         Successful completion of dual enrollment courses can shorten the time to college degree completion.

·         College credit is earned at the same time as high school credit.

·         Students narrow down their career interests by having the chance to explore a variety of fields at the college level.              

·         Dual Enrollment Courses receive a .2 weighting for course completion with a grade of “C” or higher.

·         The following Dual Enrollment Courses are offered to ASD students through LCCC:

·         English:  British Literature, College English I & II

·         Math:  Probability & Statistics, Pre-calculus, Calculus & Analytic Geometry

·         Science:  Introduction to Environmental Science, Anatomy & Physiology I, Chemistry and Physics

·         Social Studies:  US History since Reconstruction and State & Local Government

·         Electives:  Speech, Intro to Sociology, Foreign Language, Human Growth and Development, Modern Social Problems, Intro to Computers & Applications, Intro to Psychology, Intro to Art, Interpersonal Communication, and Physical Education.

·         Emerging Health Professionals courses (see program description below)


Pennsylvania has created a seamless statewide transfer and articulation system, which requires Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges and the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to adopt mandatory equivalency standards for the purpose of creating at least 30 hours of foundation courses that can be easily transferred to any of the participating institutions. This means that an ASD student electing to take Dual Enrollment Courses may earn up to 30 credits towards a Bachelor’s Degree while still in high school and save one year of tuition costs at a state or state related university.


Lehigh Career & Technical Institute

The Allentown School District and the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) have developed a program called Career Pathways to help all students plan realistically for a promising future. At the high school level, the program is designed to guide students to choose a career cluster based on their specific interests and to select courses appropriate for that cluster. LCTI students can choose either a traditional or a technical academic pathway within any of the following career clusters: Arts & Humanities, Business and Communication Technology, Engineering & Industrial Technology, and Health & Human Services.


LCTI program offerings are listed on page 60.


Virtual Courses

The Allentown School District (ASD) is a leader in K-12 for preparing our students for the 21st century. The ASD Virtual Academy offers high quality, internet-delivered high school courses that equip students to thrive in the complex life and work environment of the 21st century. This initiative enables the Allentown School District to offer courses that might not otherwise be available. Virtual courses may be requested through your counselor for the following reasons:


·         Enrichment

·         Make up a failed course

·         Course does not fit into your schedule

·         Homebound tutoring


Independent Study

Independent study programs are intended to add to the curriculum established by each of the core discipline areas. An independent study is intended to encompass rigorous learning activities that are aligned to state standards. Independent Study is for students who have a strong desire to study a subject in depth that is not contained within the academic program. Students interested in securing an independent study must contact prospective teachers to collaborate on an independent study contract including standards, objectives and a content outline that must be accomplished by the end of the course. The independent study contract must also identify resource materials and learning strategies by which the student will master the stated objectives. The following guidelines must be adhered to when requesting independent study programs:


· Independent study programs will not be approved for courses that are already offered on the master schedule.

· Independent study programs will not be assigned a weighted grade unless the program being offered is an advanced placement or advanced course not offered through the master schedule. Administrative approval must be granted.

· Independent study program contracts must be approved for a student each semester.

· Only one independent study program will be approved for a student each semester.

·  Independent study programs do not replace selected courses on a student’s academic schedule. An independent study is considered an addition to the required courses needed for a complete academic schedule.

· The amount of effort to fulfill the independent study contract will be comparable in expectations to rigorous high school academic courses.


Prior written approval of the principal, curriculum coordinator and the parent or guardian is required on the written contract before the independent study begins. All independent study programs will be operated under the supervision of a faculty member and reviewed by the appropriate curriculum coordinator for the fulfillment of the contract. Fully approved contracts for independent study programs will be submitted to the school counselor during the regular registration period established for all course selections for the upcoming year. Credit will be granted for the independent study program only if an approved contract is on file in the Counseling Office. Independent study program grades will be recorded each marking period and a final grade will appear on the student’s high school transcript.


Other Course Offerings


The District provides gifted support services for eligible students meeting the PA Department of Education guidelines. Students designated as gifted have a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) that is developed yearly.


Gifted education is based on the unique needs of the student, not solely on the student’s classification. The gifted student may participate in Advanced Placement or Advanced classes, both or none, as deemed appropriate by the student, parent, and teachers when the GIEP is developed at a joint meeting. Gifted is defined as outstanding intellect and creative ability that requires specially designed instruction or support services, or both.


Students are encouraged to select courses of academic rigor that support their individual ability, interest, and achievement as they develop their post-secondary plan.


A student eligible for gifted support services has the opportunity to participate in any available course offerings. The gifted identification does not preclude the student from any regular education programming including academies and Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI).


Advanced Courses

Advanced classes in selected subjects receive .1 weighting and are offered in the freshman and sophomore years as preparation for the Collegiate Program experience. To remain in an advanced class, a student must maintain a B average. If a student cannot maintain this average during the first semester, he/she may be transferred to the corresponding course developed for the college-bound student. If the student’s final average in an advanced subject falls below a B, he/she may not be permitted to continue in the advanced class of that subject the following year. A grade of B or better is required to receive the extra .1 weighting. Advanced courses are available in the following subjects:


·         English:  English I & II

·         Math: Algebra II, Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Trigonometry, Algebra III

·         Science:  Biology & Chemistry

·         Social Studies:  US History I



Special Education Programs and Services

Under Pennsylvania and federal laws, a student who meets the eligibility requirements for special education has the right to participate in the general curriculum in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The program of support and services is described within the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for a student with a disability begins with the consideration of services in the LRE. The organization and delivery of special education services are planned in a flexible and responsive manner to accommodate the student’s special needs of eligibility without removing the student, unnecessarily, from the general curriculum. Supplementary aids and services received by the student are dependent upon his/her individual need. The Allentown School District promotes inclusive opportunities for all students.


The students shall participate in the general curriculum to the maximum extent appropriate, which may be adapted or modified. Eligible students may also be provided instruction through supplemental curricula. Supplemental studies are listed within this Program of Studies. A supplemental study may be selected when the curriculum option is deemed as not providing enough support. A program may be offered when the curriculum needs to be intensified in order to meet the instructional needs. The level of instruction is geared to the ability and needs of the student through the IEP. Supplemental studies are formed around the learning needs of the student whose programs are determined by his/her IEP. This plan is reviewed annually and revised as needed.


Transition planning begins at least at age 14. The IEP team will decide what courses will prepare the student for life after high school through this process. The IEP team, including the student and parent, will plan transition activities to prepare the student for post-high school experiences. Discussions during transition planning include: college or post-high school training; employment exploration; and independent living including recreation or leisure activities. This transition planning includes consideration of the types of courses the student will take during high school. Early planning encourages a coordinated effort between the present and future goals.


Students are encouraged to prepare for a post-high school education, whether it is college or a trade/technical school. Students who are considering college are encouraged to take the PSAT and SAT assessments, with or without accommodations. Some students

may elect a vocational curriculum and attend the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI). LCTI offers a full range of programs. 


A student with an IEP may select dual enrollment (DE) or advanced placement (AP) courses provided he or she meets the prerequisites for the selected courses. Academic support is available to students in the DE and AP courses.


All students receiving special education services are guaranteed the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. To be awarded a diploma, the eligible student must successfully complete all required courses and credits, and meet performance standards on assessments.  An IEP team may determine that an eligible student will graduate through the IEP process.


Any student with a disability whose individualized education program as established pursuant to 22 Pa. Code §14.131 (relating to IEP) and ASD Policy No. 217 prescribes continued special education programs beyond the fourth year of high school, shall be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremonies with the student’s graduating class. The student receives a certificate of attendance, provided that the student has attended four (4) years of high school regardless of whether the student has completed the individualized program. A certificate of attendance is not a high school diploma.



National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Approved Courses


Any student athlete interested in playing a sport at a Division I or Division II college or university must be registered with the Clearinghouse. The NCAA encourages on-line registration at:


To learn more about NCAA eligibility guidelines, download this Quick Reference Sheet