Honors and Scholars Programs

Valley High School Academic Opportunities

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Honors Seminar

The Honor Seminar is a class taken during the day at Valley that is designed to prepare students for life after valley. The class meets every other day and the students engage in assignment that coordinate their college readiness. Assignments include practice writing college applications and resumes in collaboration with various other projects. First, twice per semester is an individual growth project that includes research for college opportunities such as scholarships and programs. Every semester there is an enrichment project that facilitates the life after valley aspect by involving career choices. Also, the class has an in-depth project that is focused on educational involvement. West Des Moines Valley High School Student Trent Gilbert spoke to how his project was to create a classroom game/activity for younger and elementary students that explained basic computer functions and programming tools. The class wouldn't be complete without the Seminar project once per semester, that is an assignment geared to the students who engage in a particular subject and share to the class. Honors is premised on an autonomous learning model so advanced students can choose what they learn and how they learn it. Passing the class along with a senior exhibition rewards the VHS honors diploma -EM

Honors Program Class Requirements

To receive the Valley High School Honors Designation on the Valley High School graduation diploma students must complete a minimum of four years in the same foreign language in addition the classes listed below while maintaining a 3.9 or higher grade point average (3.5 required to enter program).

10th Grade:

AP European History or AP World History

AP Chemistry or AP Biology or AP Physics

Advanced Composition and Advanced Contemporary Literature or World Literature

Algebra 2 Trigonometry C

PE/sophomore seminar

2 electives

11th Grade:

AP US History

AP Lit and Comp or AP Lang and Comp

AP Chemistry or AP Biology or AP Physics

AP Calculus AB

PE/Junior Seminar

2 electives

12th Grade:

AP US Government and Politics and Advanced Economics

AP Lit and Comp or AP Lang and Comp

AP Chemistry or AP Biology or AP Physics

AP Calculus BC

PE/Senior Seminar

2 electives

Scholars Program Class Requirements

At Valley a student is able to receive recognition as a scholar in each department. For each department there are different class requirements in addition to a capstone project that is to presented to their capstone advisor, a Valley administrator, and a learning administrator by the end of the students senior year.

For each subject the program requirements are different. Although in each category the student must receive a GPA of at least a 4.0, have a general GPA of 3.5 or higher, must take all AP exams that may be required, and take all classes in the subject for standard grading (A, B, etc).

The Class requirements are as follows:

Fine Arts

Visual Arts

8 credits of visual art taken through grades 9-12 at Valley or Valley Southwoods

AP Art

Preforming Arts

8 credits of music taken through grades 9-12 at Valley or Valley Southwoods

AP Music Theory

Language Arts

Advanced Composition

Either World Literature or Advanced Contemporary Literature

AP Literature and Composition

AP Language and Composition

Along with 6 more credits of language arts courses



Algebra II Trig C

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics


8 credits taken grades 9-12 at Valley or Valley Southwoods

2 of the 4 AP Science classes completed at Valley

Social Studies

8 credits taken grades 9-12 at Valley or Valley Southwoods

AP U.S History

AP American Government

Advanced Economics

Either AP European History, AP World History, or AP Psychology

By the completion of these courses with the addition of a capstone project, an individual is able to receive the recognition in one or multiple of these departments.

Scholars Capstone Recgonition Program

The Capstone project is part of the in-depth Honor Seminar course but is also included in the Scholars recognition. The capstone is a big project relevant to a students field of interest. The project must be approved by a board and must present a clear plan for research and growth. WDM Valley Student Brian Gu in regard to the capstone project. "The project is a great way to understand more about a particular career I'm interested in. I think the programs at valley offer a great way to prepare myself for life after valley."Particpating in the capstone project to recieve your scholar in a particular subject has requirement of a 4.0 in the scholarship area of interest and a 3.5 cumulative GPA. For more in particpating in the Scholars Capstone Recgonition program juniors should attend informational meeting Friday, September 18th at 7:30 a.m. in the forum. -EM
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