TOPS delivers an enriched curriculum in math, the sciences, and language arts as part of its programming. During their four years of high school, TOPS students are cored together for classes in these areas, enabling teachers to deliver a more enriched, demanding curriculum, especially in later years. Some TOPS courses are taught at an AP level, such as AP Calculus and AP Physics. The remaining senior TOPS courses are taught at an enriched level, and are often noted to be comparable to AP material. Outside of the TOPS curriculum, students have access to a wide variety of electives in subjects such as international business, computer engineering, and law.
TOPS is a four year program that meets the TDSB’s requirements for graduation credits. The following are the courses which comprise the mandatory TOPS curriculum.
Of the grade nine TOPS courses, most parallel the TDSB curriculum for their respective grade 9 courses outside of TOPS. However, the grade 9 TOPS Math course covers a variety of different topics to the standard curriculum, encompassing mental math, set theory, factoring quadratics, and logarithms, amongst other topics. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the grade 9 TOPS curriculum in math is the introduction of the card game bridge, which combines social courtesy and problem solving.
- Grade 10 Mathematics (Semester 1)
- Grade 11 Functions and Advanced Functions (Semester 2)
- Grade 11 Computer Studies
The grade 10 TOPS math curriculum is largely similar to the curriculum outside of the program. On the other hand, the grade 10 course curriculum incorporates portions of the standard grade 11 functions course as well as the standard grade 12 advanced functions course to prepare students for calculus the following year. Furthermore, the science curriculum features a trip to Algonquin Park.
- AP Physics 1
- TOPS Calculus (AP AB equivalent offered and AP BC equivalent offered)
While the grade 11 TOPS science and English courses extend slightly beyond the difficulty of standard courses, the math course is the equivalent of either AP AB or AP BC Calculus. The calculus courses cover topics such as differentiation and integration prior to the school exam in January, while teachers also offer extra courses after school covering parametric equations and other complex topics to finish preparations for the AP Calculus Exam.
- At least 1 of:
- Mathematics – Linear Algebra
- Mathematics – Data Management
- At least 2 of:
- AP Physics C or Physics
In grade 12, the TOPS level courses are generally found to be sufficient preparation for AP exams. In their senior year, students work through an English course that incorporates work for many of the essays required by university applications. They must also choose at least one math credit between data management and linear algebra, the latter of which is not offered as a standard course by the TDSB. In addition to this, students must choose at least 2 courses amongst the three TOPS level grade 12 science courses. Individuals seeking a challenge in the sciences may elect to enroll in the AP Physics course, which utilizes calculus in its analysis of dynamics, space science, electricity and magnetism. The AP course also provides a rigorous challenge in terms of lab work, data analysis, design, and construction.
TOPS students also fill out their timetables with at least ten elective courses over their tenure at our school. These courses enable TOPS students to learn alongside the rest of the MGCI community. These courses include technological classes (Computer Science, Robotics, Computer Engineering), additional language classes (French, Writer’s Craft), the arts (Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Film, Photography), and Social Science classes (Law, World Issues, Finance, Philosophy, Economics).