AP Computer Science A

Length: Full-year
Credit: Occupational Education or Math (and Advanced Placement)
Prerequisites: Geometry or Teacher Approval
Career Pathways: Industry and Technology

Course Description: In Computer Science A, we will explore the computer programming language Java and how programs actually work. We will create our own programs ranging from basic calculators to eventually simple text-based games. (More advanced students will be able to create Java Applet games by the end of the class.) This class is designed for those who think logically or would like to learn to think logically. Motivated students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement A exam at the end of the year, and may continue on to College Computer Programming II where they will learn more complicated programming techniques as well as learn to create more complicated programs and games.

Course Credit

This course will earn Occupational Education Credit. Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are designed for students to explore educational pathways and possible future careers through a variety of classroom experiences with an emphasis on obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to make a successful transition after high school. At Tahoma, students are required to earn at least 1.0 CTE credit during high school.

This course will provide students with the opportunity to earn Advanced Placement College Credit. The internationally recognized AP program, begun in 1955, is a program administered by the College Board, which exposes high school students to college-level materials through AP courses, and then offers an optional exam each May which costs approximately $82. Fee waivers are available for those qualifying for the district’s free and reduced lunch program. Other monies may also be available for those in financial need; students should see the AP Coordinator if finances are an issue.

Students earning at least a 3 (on a five-point scale) on this exam generally earn college credit, placement, or a waiver of required courses. Students should check with prospective colleges as to how AP is credited, since college rules vary. Students receive their test results in July.

Grading Policy

45% Assignments (Daily/Labs)
50% Tests
5% Leadership


Students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes are expected by the state of Washington to learn and develop leadership skills. In order to facilitate leadership qualities, students will be expected to earn 200 Leadership Points over the course of each semester. Students can earn these points through various activities inside and outside of the classroom. Students will be expected to keep track of their own points and submit the leadership points form at the end of each semester. Details on how to earn points are included on the Leadership Points Document.

Attendance/Tardy Policy

Assisting students in establishing lifelong learning habits of reliability and promptness is an instructional objective of all CTE courses. Progress toward this goal will be measured, at least in part, by tracking students’ attendance. Therefore, a student’s grade or credit in this class may be adversely affected by reason of tardiness or absence.

Almost all learning is done through in-class on-computer work. Missing class can seriously impede a student’s progress in this class.

Each student must bring a valid admit slip to class following an absence. If a student comes to class without and admit slip, he/she must return to the attendance office to get an admit slip. If he/she returns to class after the tardy bell has rung, the student will be counted as an unexcused tardy. Notes from parents do not excuse tardiness: tardiness is tardiness.

Additional Help

If you or your parents have any questions, feel free to contact me chess@tahomasd.us