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Students returning to Buford High School this fall will have new courses to choose from when deciding their academic paths.

A new, two-year Advanced Placement Capstone will be offered for students who want to prepare for college-level academic research. During the first year, in AP seminar, 10th-grade students will use the QUEST framework — question and explore, understand and analyze, evaluate multiple perspectives, synthesize ideas and team, transform and transmit — as an approach to research. In the second year of the AP Capstone, AP research, 11th-grade students will build upon the QUEST principles to complete a year-long research program in an area of personal academic interest. These courses will be led by Dr. Amber Simmons. 

Buford is starting a computer science pathway as part of the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education pathways department. Courses will be taught by Autumn Sutton, who is new to Buford High School. Sutton’s primary focus for the 2021-2022 school year will be computer science principles, including foundational knowledge in hardware, software, programming, web design, IT support and networks taught in a computer lab through hands-on activities and project-focused assignments.

“Computer science careers are vital to the 21st-century workforce,” said Katie Strickland, strategic communications director for Buford City Schools. “We determined that the computer science pathway was the best option for providing our students with learning on which they might be able to build a career.” 

Students will also use their knowledge gained from computer science courses to participate in Future Business Leaders of America competitions, and additional courses in computer science will be added as the program grows.

Student interest has led to the addition of three courses. 

AP European history will offer students an additional academic elective as students have requested the course for many years. Sean Gilbert will teach this course. 

An oceanography course taught by Matt Johnson will provide students with an additional science elective. 

Music technology, both an arts course and a technology course, will teach students the basics of creating their own computer-generated musical works using the latest in audio technology. Instructors for this course are Erik Mason and Bridget Wildes.

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