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- Advanced Placement (AP) Program
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Bear Creek's AP Program gives students the opportunity to rise to college-level challenges in high school, enables them to potentially receive both high school and college credit, and prepares them to enter higher education well-prepared for its demands.
Why We Offer AP Courses
The ultimate goal of our Christian liberal arts curriculum is found in the end of our mission statement, to enable each student to become the individual God intends. As students mature, develop, and progress through our curriculum and program, we believe they should increasingly be able to pursue some of their individual interests, and our elective and AP courses allow that flexibility. At The Bear Creek School, we believe our mission is best accomplished when students engage our classical core curriculum and are also able to engage individual God-given passions through AP classes and electives.
What AP courses are taught at Bear Creek?
Bear Creek offers the following AP courses:
- AP Calculus AB*
- AP Calculus BC*
- AP Statistics*
- AP Biology*
- AP Chemistry*
- AP Physics 1*
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP European History
- AP U.S. History
- AP Music Theory*
- AP Computer Science A*
* See course catalog for prerequisites.
Additionally, students who are passionate about a subject not listed above may choose to study independently for any of the AP Exams offered by the College Board, e.g. AP Psychology, AP Macroeconomics, or AP Art History (except AP Chinese Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture exams). Bear Creek will administer the AP Exam in May at the designated time.
How does an AP course compare to other high school courses?
Advanced Placement classes are designed to mirror courses offered on college campuses. They are more challenging and require personal discipline and independent study techniques. Students will experience an increased reading load and longer writing assignments in most AP classes. AP courses attract students who are academically motivated, personally invested, and diligent.
AP courses culminate each May with a national examination in each subject area. Students may earn college credit based on their exam score (typically with a 3 or higher).
What skills would enhance my ability to succeed in an AP class?
Students who choose to enroll in AP classes typically bring a well-developed skill set in the following areas: ability to analyze content, draw comparisons, and effectively reason through problems. They must be able to read perceptively and independently. Additionally, students need to be proficient in writing concise and clear essays. Students must have a minimum of a B in prior academic department coursework to qualify for AP course enrollment.
How many AP courses should I take in one academic year?
Honoring student uniqueness and individual circumstances, The Bear Creek School Office of Academic Advising will advise students on the number of AP courses a student should take. It is generally recommended students take no more than two AP courses simultaneously.
The Bear Creek School sees AP courses as a valuable way students pursue development of their individual strengths and goals. The appropriate number of AP courses varies based on a student’s goals, strengths, and priorities. Bear Creek provides additional advising to students who desire take three or more AP courses in one year.
Is there a fee to take an AP course?
While there is no additional charge to take one or more AP classes, The College Board charges an exam fee. In the fall, students register with The College Board for the exams they will take the following May. In March, families pay online for the exam(s) prior to students sitting for AP Exams in May.
Are there any additional benefits to AP course work?
Students who succeed in AP courses generally do well in college as a result of the exposure to collegiate teaching and testing methodology, and increased academic preparation. All AP courses are noted on the official Bear Creek transcript.
The Bear Creek School and Northwest University have partnered to offer concurrent college credit in the following courses. As an accredited university, Northwest University college credit is often transferrable to your college of choice and may be a good and economical way to jump start your college career.
In the fall, this list of courses is reviewed and updated. Applications must be submitted by the deadline; Northwest University does not accept late applications. Students must be enrolled in the appropriate Bear Creek course(s) during this school year in order to receive credit.
Application Deadline: Print and complete the application, then scan and email it to Mrs. Paramo (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020. Fees ($50 per credit) will be invoiced to your Bear Creek account.
|2020 – 2021|
|AP English Language and Composition (Norris)||ENGL 2203 (Survey of American Literature)||3 credits|
|AP English Literature and Composition (Summers)||ENGL 1013 (Composition I: Expository Writing)||3 credits|
|Philosophical Theology (Urban)||THEO 1843 (Christianity in a Modern World)||3 credits|
|Christianity and Contemporary Culture (Davison, Dunn, Higley, Schuldt)||THEO 2413 (Developing a Biblical Worldview)||3 credits|
|AP Physics 1: Algebra-based (Graham)||SCIE 1283 and 1281 (Physics I w/ lab)||4 credits|
|AP Chemistry (Bell)*||SCIE 1203/1 (Survey of Chemistry I w/ lab)||4 credits|
|AP U.S. History (Wilson)||HIST 2503 and 2513 (U.S. History I and II)||6 credits|
|AP European History (Sorensen)||HIST 1513 (Western Civilization II)||3 credits|
|Graphic Design 1 and 2 (Plourde)||ARTE 1853 (Introduction to Graphic Arts)||3 credits|
Questions regarding this program may be directed to Ayoleida Paramo (email@example.com).
* Only seniors may apply. In addition, if students matriculate to NU on the nursing track, they would receive the 4 credits; however, they also will be required to take an additional chemistry class at NU in which they must earn a grade of B- or better.
JanTerm is much like a collegiate mini-semester. Students choose four topical two-week seminars that offer a greater opportunity to explore new course topics which may not fit into the traditional academic year, but are perfect for shorter, more intensive study. Courses are developed by faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, parents, and grandparents, all of whom bring tremendous creativity and personal passion into the classroom. Typically, over 75 unique classes are offered each year.
For an example of the kinds of courses offered, please review the JanTerm 2020 Course Catalog at a Glance or the JanTerm 2020 Class Details listed below.
Students may access their Naviance Student accounts through MyBC/Students without an additional password, while parents receive their login credentials via email in August. If you are a Middle School or Upper School student or parent needing assistance accessing Naviance Student, please email us.
The Office of College Advising uses a comprehensive online service called Naviance Student. Over 9000 schools and districts use Naviance to transform their college and career readiness programs. Naviance offers college planning tools and resources for a number of important areas in the college planning and application process. The Bear Creek School offers Naviance Student to Middle School and Upper School students and parents.
- Research colleges by exploring detailed information about colleges of interest, search for colleges based on the criteria that matters most to you, and save a list of colleges where you plan to apply that your college advisor can review.
- Request transcripts and teacher letters of recommendation. View the status of these requests real-time.
- View and register for over 75 on-campus college visits each fall.
- Retain extracurricular activities and honors/awards from grades 9 – 12 that can be formatted automatically for a resume (useful for interviews and applications)
- Complete online surveys that include Do What You Are, Strength Explorer, MI Advantage, and Learning Style Inventory. These help the Office of College Advising guide students and give useful information about possible careers and fields of study.
- Research careers by taking career assessments, reviewing hundreds of careers and career clusters, and finding colleges that have programs that align with your academic interests.
- Plan for the future by creating goals and to-do lists; keep track of important tasks assigned to you by your college advisor.
- Read monthly newsletters posted by our Office of College Advising that are tailored to each grade level.
- Naviance is our online college advising website and a valuable resource for parents and students as they navigate the college application process
- Credit/NoCredit in High School Course Work article from Collegewise
- College Answer College search with information on testing, application, financial aid, and tips for parents
- CollegeBasics College admission tips and insider secrets about planning for college, applying for college, financial aid, admission essays, college interviews, and more
- College Board College search with testing information and links to PROFILE and financial aid resources
- Colleges That Changes Lives A nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and support of a student-centered college search process
- College View Campus web tours
- The Common Application One application form for more than 900 colleges
- Go College Admission, financial aid, and college survival guide
- FairTest provides a list of SAT/ACT optional four-year universities.
- MeritAid.com A comprehensive directory of merit and academic scholarships from colleges across the country
- Peterson’s College search with information on testing and financial aid
- SimpleTuition offers tips, advice, interactive tools, and deals to ensure students plan better for the cost of college, pay less for college-related expenses, and are smarter about how they manage and pay back their student loans
- Tuition Tracker is an interactive tool designed to help parents and students find the “right” college or university among thousands by using search criteria such as desired location, price, and size to filter results
- US News and World Report College rankings with admission information
- Virtual Campus Tours Campus web tours
- NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
- AP, PSAT, SAT
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- Navigating College Admission Tests (Ongoing Impact of Covid), webinar presented February 24, 2021
- Compass Guide to College Admission Testing
View a simplified schedule across divisions, including which grades are on campus and which grades are all working remotely and when to drop off and pick up each child.
If you aren't finding Updates in your inbox, check your junk mail and put the domain bearcreek.myenotice.com on your safe sender list.
Additional email communication is archived as Messages on your Parent Portal. Put the domain(s) mail*.veracross.com on your safe sender list.
- Academic Affairs
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This Update is full of important links for downloading photos and video and sharing your accomplishments with your family and friends.
- Alumni Relations
- College Advising
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Parents of juniors, read this recap of the information covered at What to Expect Senior Year.
- Academic Affairs
- Upper School
Read the attendee instructions about both An Evening of Honors and Commencement regarding parking, screening, logistics, and more.
Please watch this video thanking you for your part in helping The Bear Creek School deliver on its mission during the 2020 – 2021 school year.
- Academic Affairs
- Upper School
Please read this Update carefully for details on when to register your guests for both An Evening of Honors and Commencement as well as how to attend Senior Capstone Project presentations.
- Preschool Update Archives
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- Academic Affairs Archives
- Dean of Students Archives
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- New Panel
Volunteer Around Campus
- Bake treats for various school and PTF events (check back later)
- Grizzly Gear Shop (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Translate Bear Creek written marketing material or internal communication into your native language (check back later)
Volunteer in the Classroom
- Parents of K – 6 students will sign up in their children’s classrooms
- Parents of 7 – 12 may also help in a K – 6 classroom e.g. art docent, math stations, reading stations (check back later)
- Picture Order Forms
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- New Families
- Preschool (P3/P4/P5)
- All K – 12 Families
- Lower School (K – 4)
- Early Middle School (5 – 6)
- Middle School (7 – 8)
- Upper School (9 – 12)
See these informational pages for families of new students.
Parents: Your Bear Creek username and password are unchanged. Beginning in mid-July, use the same credentials you used to access the Admissions Portal to log in on this page, Parent Portal, and health portal.
In October, we hosted Inside Bear Creek, a wonderful evening of fellowship, sharing, and learning vital information about how Bear Creek operates behind the scenes and how you can get involved in the community. For your reference, we have created a summary document with the information presented at the event.
See also: All K – 12 Families
Lower School Weekly Announcements
Lower School Memory Verses and Poems
Help Teenagers Navigate Today's Culture
Bear Creek subscribes to Axis' All Access Pass and provides curated resources to help parents "navigate today's culture and connect with your teen through meaningful conversations that last a lifetime." Axis has published their Technology & Teens Summit, and it has some big name experts trying to help parents navigate this smartphone and social media world from a Christ-centered perspective.
Tools for Success
Beaven Walters, the founder of 3D Parent, shares tips for parents when it's time for their child's parent/teacher conferences. Watch Decoding Parenting: Parent-teacher conference dos and don'ts!
Race and Racism
Resources for talking with your child about race:
- Christianity Today: How to Talk About Race With Your Kids
- Motherly: How to Talk to Your Children About the #BlackLivesMatter Protests
- HealthyChildren.org: Talking to Children About Racial Bias
- Axis: How to Talk About George Floyd with Your Teen
- Be the Bridge: Tools for approaching racial reconciliation
- Embrace Race: Equips parents to raise children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race. Resources include 10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids About Race
- Life in the Gospel: Tim Keller discusses race from the Biblical perspective.
- Bible Project: Justice: BibleProject produces short-form, fully animated Bible videos and other resources to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.
- Parenting: Difficult Conversations: NPR podcast series with guidance for talking with children about race, frightening news, etc.
- Formed for Justice Conference: Gospel in Life Ministries
For adults or older children
- Under Our Skin, Getting Real About Race by Benjamin Watson
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison
- Roadmap to Reconciliation by Brenda Salter McNeil
- Prophetic Lament by Soong-Chan Rah
- The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
Social Media Safety and the Law
Resources provided by Stefanie Hanley during her April 30, 2020 presentation:
Upper School students receive training in best practices (internet safety, security, privacy, and building a positive digital footprint) when they are issued their Microsoft Surface devices.
Digital Media and Children
Middle School Dean of Students Nathan Pettit spoke about the impact of digital media consumption on children. View his Tech Talk presentation slides online. Additionally, Nathan recommends the following books on the topic:
- The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Stanley
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
- Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
- The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
- iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood by Jean M. Twenge
- Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time by Victoria L. Dunckley
Common Sense Media offers some helpful information, safety tips, and data on a whole host of media-related topics, for example, their article on TikTok Safety Tips had some excellent suggestions for parents who might be navigating this newer app. Also see the Axis Parent Resources.
Bear Creek Libraries
In addition to housing a collection of physical and digital resources that support and enhance the curriculum, the library collection also includes parenting resources. Visit the Bear Creek Libraries and go to the Library Catalog. Then type "parenting" into the search bar.
Preparing for a Successful School Year
Bear Creek administrators discuss how to get the school year off to a great start. Watch the recording on our YouTube channel.
- Gain insight from Early Middle School Division Head Jenn McDonough on how technology can be a tool
- Learn from Lower School Division Head Kristen Gephart about the importance of friendships
- Hear V.P. for Academic Affairs Karen Blankenbeckler share ways the school and parents can partner well
Social Learning on the Playground
Students in Lower School are learning how to navigate socially with others. We know these strategies have to be intentionally taught and that to fully develop these tools, students need practice over time. Teachers spend time in the classroom proactively teaching strategies and unpacking student issues on the playground to teach strategies. One tool we use with students for a common language across Lower School is called Kelso's Choice. We have adults available to help solve big problems. Kelso's Choices provide tools students can use to handle small problems: talk it out, make a deal, tell them to stop, apologize, share, wait and cool off, ignore it, walk away, or go to another game.
Bear Creek uses Vidigami, Livestream, and Dropbox to share photos and video of students. Please log in to access these services.
If you are logged in, you'll see your first name under the word Parents, e.g. WELCOME JOHN!