Program of Studies » Programs


Advanced Placement (AP) Program
Advanced Placement is a College Board program that offers students the opportunity to take college-level courses while they are enrolled in high school. Students have the opportunity to learn a subject in greater depth, develop analytical reasoning skills, and develop study skills necessary for success at the college level. Both high schools in Isle of Wight County Schools participate in the Advanced Placement program. Students and parents may contact the guidance department of the respective high school to obtain additional information and a list of the AP courses that are offered. Parents are strongly encouraged to assist their student with AP course selections.
AP teachers are available to answer course content and requirement questions. The College Board also publishes a booklet, Advanced Placement Course Description, for each course. This booklet describes the content of the AP course and provides sample examination questions. Additional information is available at Students may gain advanced standing and/or earn college credit through their performance on the AP examinations that are given each year in May. Students registering for AP courses should review their selections with the school guidance counselor to be sure the proper credit will be awarded. A limited number of AP courses serve as replacements for high school courses; therefore, credit would not be given for both. All AP examinations (except Studio Art and Music Theory) contain both multiple choice and free response questions that require essay writing and problem solving. In Studio Art, students submit portfolios of their work instead of taking an exam. In Music Theory, a competency examination in music theory is given. In administering the AP program, the following guidelines have been established:

1. AP courses prepare students to take the AP examinations in the spring. Students will only receive the weighted credit for the course, if he/she takes the AP exam. If the student does not take the AP exam, he/she will receive honors weight for the course. The exams serve as a nationally accepted standard for rigorous college-level courses.
2. The student is responsible for the cost of an AP examination fee. Funds may be made available to qualified students enrolled in an AP course who wish to take the AP examination and need financial assistance with the examination fee.

3. Students are responsible for verifying granting of college credit for successful completion of any course with the colleges or universities they choose to attend. Some information on a school’s AP credit policy can be found at

4. Some AP courses may require the completion of summer assignments.
Alternative Education Programs
Alternative Education is a multi-faceted, alternative educational program aimed at providing students personalized learning experiences through blended instruction, behavioral awareness, and employment and community service opportunities to foster successful transition to continual pursuit of educational and lifelong goals. Information about the Alternative Education program

•Located at Smithfield High School

•Students will use the online resource of Ascellus as the course of study

•Students will work at his/her own pace.

•If a student completes his/her course work and exhibits acceptable behavior, a student may return to the home school before the end of the semester/year assignment.

•If a student returns to the home school before the end of a semester, the student will continue the course work from that date moving forward in the classroom. A student will not have to “make-up” any missed course work and will use the grade from Ascellus and any grades in the class as the final grade.
Career and Technical Education Program
This program is for students who wish to prepare themselves for post-secondary education in a two or four year college, in a technical institution, and/or in the workforce.
Dual Enrollment Program
All students are encouraged to participate in dual enrollment courses. The division offers qualified students the opportunity to begin post-secondary education prior to high school graduation through agreements with Paul D. Camp Community College. Currently dual enrollment courses are offered to 11th and 12th grade students; some 10th graders may enroll in certain dual enrollment courses with a waiver request from the principal to PDCCC. Students may take college courses and simultaneously earn credit towards high school graduation and college degree requirements. Students attend classes taught on the high school campus by an approved instructor. Course offerings will be reviewed with students during the registration process. Grades earned will be reflected on the student’s high school and college transcript. PDCCC grades are awarded according to the policies of the college, including grading scale. All dual enrollment students are required by the college to take the final exam. Credit earned for the courses taken may sometimes be transferred to other public colleges in Virginia. Students are responsible for verifying granting of college credit for successful completion of any course with the colleges or universities they choose to attend. Dual enrollment courses will receive advanced weight and may be used in lieu of Advanced Placement courses for the Governor’s Seal. Any adds, drops, or withdrawals for dual enrollment courses will be considered only according to the timelines of the college. Students interested in taking other non-dual enrollment college courses for high school credit need to secure prior approval from their principal.
Early College Scholars Program
See information provided on the Virginia Department of Education website at
English Learners Program
The English Learners (ELs) program helps limited-English-proficient students achieve proficiency in English so they can make satisfactory achievement in the regular school program. Instruction is provided to help students succeed in the English Standards of Learning and other content areas. Emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills in English. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are emphasized. All EL students must take a language placement test when they initially enroll. Additionally, EL students must take a federally-mandated English language proficiency test each spring. Required verified credits for graduation vary depending on the year in which the student first enters public high school in Virginia. Students and their parents should consult the guidance department for specific information
Gifted Education Programs
Intellectually gifted students attending middle schools have pull out and push in gifted instruction through the collaborative work of cluster teachers and the gifted resource teacher. Either option allows gifted students to work to their potential through curricular opportunities emphasizing differentiated curriculum and instruction and the use of strategies designed especially to raise the level of challenge. The resource-cluster program promotes optimum understanding of the needs of gifted children for all school staff. Gifted students interact with their teachers, classmates, and gifted peers in a heterogeneous grouping, while attaining benefits through the modification of content, process, product, and learning environment.
The Governor’s School for the Arts
The Governor’s School for the Arts is a regional, secondary visual and performing arts school sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the public school divisions of Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. The Governor’s School for the Arts is located in Norfolk. In order to attend, students must be enrolled in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade in a public school in one of the participating school divisions. The Governor’s School for the Arts is one of the specialized Virginia public schools designated as “Governor’s Schools” whose mission is to provide intense educational opportunities for gifted and talented students in grades 9-12. Classes are held at the campus of Old Dominion University and in Downtown Norfolk. The school division provides tuition and transports students between the schools and the Governor’s School for the Arts only.
The Governor’s School for the Arts provides pre-professional, individualized, and focused instructional programs in dance, instrumental and vocal music, musical theater, theater, and visual arts for students with a high degree of artistic talent and potential for growth. Students must be committed to developing their talents and interested in pursuing careers in the arts.

Students take academic courses at their regular high schools in the morning and attend the Governor’s School for the Arts in the afternoon for three hours daily during the regular academic year. Classes may be individualized lessons, small or large group instruction, or rehearsals. The average class size is 12 students. Students may earn four credits for each year they attend the Governor’s School for the Arts. These courses are given advanced weight. Students earn four (4) credits per year. The courses are: Dance-93150A, Music-92890A, Theater Arts-93200A, and Visual Arts-91470A,
There are two steps in the application process. Interested students, in grades 8-11, must complete and mail an application for an audition. (Applications may be secured from guidance offices.) Applicants who pass the audition must provide teacher references and additional forms for review.

Students who are accepted by the Governor’s School for the Arts should carefully weigh all options and discuss them with their parents. While this specialized training represents outstanding opportunities for aspiring artists, it may also lead to difficult choices. Some course options within the home school will be precluded by the scheduling demands of the Governor’s School for the Arts. (Additional information can be obtained from the guidance department.)
The Governor’s School for Science and Technology
The Governor’s School for Science and Technology, located in Hampton, Virginia, serves students enrolled in high schools from the Hampton Roads area. The Governor’s School for Science and Technology is a two-year, half-day program for 11th and 12th grade students. Admission is highly competitive and based on previous math and science course selection and grades, teacher recommendations, and standardized achievement scores. Students accepted to attend the Governor’s School for Science and Technology will be expected to enroll in one of the following designated strands: engineering, biological science, or scientific programming.
The Engineering Strand provides an intense, rigorous study of fundamental principles of engineering and calculus-based physics. Students develop a passion for calculus and physics during their junior year. Building a robot, constructing a fuel cell, and then proceeding to on-line technology that studies air-bag deployment principles in automobiles are just a few of the engineering activities students experience in the course. The ideas of Maxwell and Hawking are studies during the senior year. Understanding the physics behind such inventions as the TV, computers, and magnetic resonance imaging technology round out the senior year. In addition, senior year includes the study of modern physics exploring relativity, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics.
The Biological Science Strand provides insights into organic and inorganic chemistry in conjunction with cell and molecular biology by employing advanced technologies utilized in medicine, forensic science, and research labs. An advanced level understanding of biology and chemistry sets the stage for senior students to argue controversial topics concerning the environment. Analyze water quality and biodiversity during monthly sampling of a nearby pond. Extensive field work and laboratory analysis generates a nine-month database for a more comprehensive understanding of our local environment.
The Computational Science Strand provides a detailed study of the fundamental concepts of Computer Science (using Java) and non-calculus based physics. In the junior year, students study the fundamentals of object-oriented programming, Newtonian mechanics and thermodynamics. The senior year will provide an exhaustive study of data structures, algorithms and simulations of continuous and discrete systems.
With small class sizes and advanced-degreed faculty, the learning environment at the Governor’s School is truly unique. Each course has been specifically structured to incorporate best practices for gifted students. Each strand requires completion of one year high school biology, one year of high school chemistry, and Algebra II/Trig prior to admission. For the engineering strand, students must have successfully completed Math Analysis (Pre-Calculus) prior to admission. All strands encompass a math course during both the junior and senior year. Placement in the appropriate math course will be determined upon admission at the end of the 10th grade. In addition, each strand will foster research through a Research Methods and Ethics course the junior year and an Honors Research and Mentorship placement the senior year. In total, students will spend approximately 3 hours at the Governor’s School, taking three courses each year during the two-year program.
Scientific Research Experience
During their two years at the Governor’s School, students will experience hands-on science through classroom experimentation and individualized project research. The junior year research experience involves
• various aspects of research methodology,
• ethics and statistics,
• critical thinking skills,
• scientific writing and communication skills,
• a research project for submission to Tidewater Science Fair.
During the senior year, students participate in an Honors Research and Mentorship experience with a professional. Final projects are presented to the local scientific and professional community as a culminating experience in May. The opportunity to work with a professional in research is an invaluable experience toward career pursuits.
The Isle of Wight County School Division purchases slots in this regional program in an effort to expand educational offerings for eligible students in the 11th and 12th grades. The school division provides tuition and transports students between the schools and the Governor’s School for Science and Technology only. Please visit their website at
Individual Student Alternative Education Plan (ISAEP)
See information provided on the Virginia Department of Education website at
PDCCC Admission Requirements for Dual Enrollment Courses
Dual enrollment applicants must:
• Be prepared for demands of a college course,
• Complete the required college application materials,
• Take required VPT placement tests prior to admission in a course, and
• Meet college and university prerequisites for course enrollment
Southeastern Cooperative Educational Program (SECEP)
The Southeastern Cooperative Educational Program is a regional, educational consortium that includes numerous programs. In addition to the programs provided for students without disabilities, SECEP offers programming for students with disabilities in the areas of Autism, Emotional Disability, Intellectual Disability (with accompanying significant behavioral deficits), and Multiple Disabilities, whose needs cannot be met in less restrictive settings. All screenings, referrals, evaluations, initial Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and recommendations for placement are made by the Isle of Wight County School Division. Revisions are made to the initial placement IEP by the SECEP staff with parent and division input.
Virtual Virginia Program
Virtual Virginia, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education, provides online courses to students across the Commonwealth. With Advanced Placement (AP) courses and non-AP courses, students have the opportunity to enroll in courses that they may not be able to fit into their regular school day or take advantage of courses that are not currently available in their schools. Most courses are available in a yearlong format and/or a 4X4 block schedule. While students may earn high school credits through the Virtual Virginia program, Virtual Virginia credits may not take students beyond the ten credits per year limit for Isle of Wight County students. Each course is taught by a licensed Virginia teacher who maintains online and telephone office hours. Each student is also supported by a school-based mentor, who provides guidance and information to help ensure student success. Required materials are either integrated within the course or are provided by Isle of Wight County Schools. While some courses require tuition, any students participating in the Early College Scholars Program have their AP course tuition covered by the Virginia Department of Education. Students are required to take the AP exam in order to receive advanced weight for the course. Students who enroll in a Virtual Virginia course and choose to drop the course twenty-one days after the start date will be assessed a $75.00 fee. Students who are successful in online classes are generally skilled in the use of technology, are self-disciplined, very motivated, have good communication skills (reading and writing), and have an interest in interacting with others in an online course environment. To learn more about Virtual Learning opportunities at the Virginia Department of Education , please visit their web site at  You should also contact your school guidance counselor for further information and registration information. Additional information about online learning and virtual classes can be found in Isle of Wight School Board policy IGBGA: Online Courses and Virtual School Program.