Advanced course opportunities at RHHS

  • Student raising arms and hands in victory after completing an assignmentRed Hook High School prides itself on providing various rigorous opportunities for our students in all grades. Below you can find descriptions of the various advanced courses that we offer, as well as information on the process to sign up.  

    Advanced Courses are divided into four main categories at Red Hook High School: 

    • Honors Courses 
    • Advance Placement (AP) Courses 
    • International Baccalaureate Courses 
    • Dual Enrollment Courses  

Honors courses

  • A high school honors class is a more advanced or accelerated course designed to challenge academically motivated students. These classes typically cover the same material as standard classes but in greater depth or at a faster pace. They may also include additional topics or require more independent work. 

    Taking honors classes can offer several benefits, including: 

    • Academic Challenge: Honors classes provide a more rigorous academic environment, which can help students develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a deeper understanding of the subject matter. 
    • Preparation for College: Honors classes can better prepare students for the academic challenges they will face in college. They offer a taste of the kind of workload and expectations that college courses often have. 
    • Intellectual Engagement: These classes tend to attract students who are highly motivated and interested in the subject matter, which can lead to a more engaging and stimulating learning environment. 
    • College Admissions: Taking honors classes can demonstrate to colleges that a student is willing to take on challenges and is committed to their education. It can be a positive factor in college applications. 


    Honors courses offered at RHHS include:

    • French 2 Honors 
    • French 3 Honors 
    • Spanish 2 Honors 
    • Spanish 3 Honors 
    • Spanish 4 Honors  
    • Honors Earth Science  
    • Physics Honors 
    • Honors Chemistry  
    • Global 9 Honors 
    • Global 10 Honors  
    • US History Honors  
    • English 9 Honors 
    • English 10 Honors 
    • English 11 Honors  

AP courses

  • AP courses are a series of rigorous high school classes offered in Red Hook High School. They are designed to provide students with a college-level curriculum and the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. Classes culminate in an AP test and a student’s score on this exam may determine whether a college awards credit.  

    Here are some key points about AP courses and their benefits: 

    • Rigorous Curriculum: AP courses are known for their challenging content. They are designed to be equivalent to college-level courses and cover more material in greater depth than regular high school classes. 
    • College Credit: One of the primary benefits of taking AP courses is the potential to earn college credit. Many colleges and universities in the United States and around the world offer credit or advanced placement to students who perform well on AP exams. This can allow students to skip introductory courses in college and potentially graduate early. 
    • Enhanced Academic Skills: AP courses often require higher-level thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Students who complete AP courses tend to develop stronger critical thinking, writing, and research skills, which are valuable for college and beyond. 
    • Competitive Edge in College Admissions: Taking AP courses can make a student's transcript stand out to college admissions officers. It demonstrates a willingness to challenge oneself academically and shows a commitment to rigorous coursework. 
    • Exploration of Interests: AP courses cover a wide range of subjects, from mathematics and science to humanities and the arts. This allows students to explore their interests in greater depth and potentially discover new areas of passion. 
    • Demonstrates Initiative and Responsibility: Taking on the challenge of AP courses shows initiative and a strong work ethic. It indicates to colleges and future employers that a student is motivated and takes their education seriously. 
    • Financial Savings: By earning college credit through AP courses, students can potentially save money on tuition and related college expenses by completing certain requirements before entering college. 
    • It's important to note that while there are many benefits to taking AP courses, they can also be demanding and may require a significant time commitment. Students should carefully consider their own academic strengths, interests, and goals before enrolling in AP courses. Additionally, policies regarding AP credit may vary from college to college, so it's important for students to research the specific policies of the schools they are interested in. 

    AP courses offered at RHHS: 

    • AP Calculus 
    • AP Computer Science Principles  
    • AP English Literature  
    • AP English Language and Composition  
    • AP Music Theory 
    • AP Biology 
    • AP Chemistry 
    • AP US History 
    • AP European History 

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International Baccalaureate

  • The International Baccalaureate is an international educational program that aims to provide a rigorous and comprehensive education to students. These courses help promote global-mindedness in students while also emphasizing critical thinking and a range of future-focused skills.  

    Students can take individual IB classes, or they can participate in our full IB Diploma Programme which provides students with a specialized and world-renowned IB Diploma.  

    IB learners are: 

    • Encouraged to think critically and solve complex problems 
    • Drive their own learning 
    • A core part in educational programmes that can lead them to some of the highest-ranking universities around the world 
    • More culturally aware through the development of a second language  
    • Able to engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world. 

    International Baccalaureate (IB) classes offer several benefits for students: 

    • Rigorous Curriculum: IB programs are known for their challenging and comprehensive curriculum. They encourage critical thinking, independent research, and a deeper understanding of subjects. 
    • Global Perspective: IB promotes international-mindedness, helping students develop a broader understanding of the world and its diverse cultures. This can lead to increased cultural awareness and empathy. 
    • Preparation for Higher Education: IB is well-regarded by universities worldwide. Students who complete IB programs are often well-prepared for the demands of higher education due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum. 
    • Transferable Skills: IB emphasizes skills like critical thinking, research, communication, and time management. These skills are valuable in any academic or professional setting. 
    • Holistic Education: The IB Diploma Programme includes a core curriculum that encourages the development of a well-rounded individual. This includes activities like the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) which focus on research, critical thinking, and community engagement. 
    • Preparation for the Global Workforce: In an increasingly globalized world, having an education that emphasizes international perspectives and intercultural communication is highly valuable. 
    • Higher Acceptance Rates: Some studies have suggested that students who complete the IB Diploma have higher acceptance rates into universities compared to students with other types of high school diplomas. 
    • Credit and Advanced Standing: Many universities offer credit or advanced standing to students who have completed IB courses, potentially allowing them to skip introductory-level courses. 
    • Personal Growth and Development: The IB program, particularly the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component, encourages students to engage in activities beyond academics, promoting personal growth and a sense of responsibility to the community. 
    • Increased Cultural Competence: Exposure to a diverse range of perspectives and cultures through IB can help students become more culturally aware and competent, a crucial skill in our globalized world. 
    • Potential for Scholarships: Some universities and organizations offer scholarships specifically for IB Diploma holders, recognizing the rigor and depth of the program. 

    IB Courses Offered at Red Hook High School: 

    • IB Language A: Literature HL 
    • IB Spanish SL/HL 
    • IB French SL/HL 
    • IB German SL/HL 
    • IB World Topics HL 
    • IB Biology HL 
    • IB Chemistry HL 
    • IB Physics SL 
    • IB Sports, Exercise, and Health Science SL 
    • IB Mathematics Applications and Interpretation SL 
    • IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL 
    • IB Visual Art SL/HL 
    • IB Film SL/HL 
    • IB Psychology SL 
    • Theory of Knowledge 

Dual enrollment

  • Dual-Enrollment Courses are college-level courses that are taught by Red Hook High School Faculty. Students in these courses earn both high school credit and college credit by successfully completing and passing the class.  These courses are offered through a partnership with Dutchess County Community College (SUNY Dutchess).

    Additional benefits of these courses include: 

    • College-Level Courses: Dual enrollment courses are typically actual college courses taught by college-approved instructors. They cover the same material and have the same level of rigor as courses offered to traditional college students. 
    • Location: These courses are offered on the Red Hook High School campus 
    • Credit Transferability: Successful completion of a dual enrollment course earns students both high school credit (towards their high school diploma) and college credit (which can be transferred to the college or university they attend after high school). 
    • Cost Savings: Tuition is greatly reduced for Red Hook’s dual enrollment courses; students pay 1/3rd of the tuition that a normal SUNY Dutchess student would pay  
    • Accelerated Learning: Dual enrollment allows motivated and academically prepared students to get a head start on their college education. This can lead to earlier graduation from college or the ability to take more advanced courses in their field of interest. 
    • Increased College Readiness: Exposure to college-level coursework in high school helps students develop important skills and habits needed for success in higher education, such as time management, critical thinking, and independent study skills. 
    • Improved High School Experience: Engaging in challenging college-level coursework can make high school more engaging for academically advanced students who may otherwise find the standard curriculum less stimulating. 
    • Boosted College Applications: Dual enrollment experience can enhance a student's college application by demonstrating their ability to excel in college-level coursework. 

    Red Hook High School Dual Enrollment Courses: 

    • Statistics 
    • Precalculus  

Get started

  • Interested in signing up? Getting started is easy – students should simply speak to their school counselor.  

    Student programming meetings typically begin in February or March each year. Students will meet with their counselor and decide which courses are best for them based on their goals and interest. In these meetings, students can ask questions about any of these advanced courses.  

    While the majority of our advanced courses do not require prerequisites, it is important that a student is on-track towards graduation. Failing a class in high school will require that that course is repeated, which will result in less flexibility in a student’s schedule.  

    Some courses do have prerequisites. When this is the case, it is because skills and content from a prior class are important to ensure success in a specific advanced class.  

    Support provided to students in advanced courses 

    Students who are enrolled in advanced courses have a number of supports provided by the school district. 

    • Students who are economically disadvantaged may qualify for lower exam fees or lower tuition costs. 
    • Students in IB Classes have specific support provided by individuals with specific training from the International Baccalaureate Organization including the IB Coordinator, CAS Coordinator, and Extended Essay Coordinator  
    • All students have access to after school help with their teachers until 2:50 each day and may also stay after school in Night School to work with a teacher to receive additional help. 
    • Dual enrollment students can access all resources provided by SUNY Dutchess including access to the college library.   


    Support for IB students 

    The district provides afterschool help each afternoon in different subject areas.  We also have faculty in Student Support Services for academic and non-academic support, and many extracurricular activities with coaches, mentors, and faculty members offering support.  Also, we have a designated IB Coordinator, CAS Coordinator, and Extended Essay Coordinator to provide additional support for students in our IB courses. 

    The school district pays for a portion of each IB exam given in order to offset the overall cost of taking exams.  The district also pays for any additional or subject-specific supplies the students need for their IB courses.  Students who receive free or reduced cost lunch also pay a reduced fee for IB exams.