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Advanced Placement Opportunities in High School

August 15, 2018

The education we provide for our students at TAISM is guided by the TAISM Mission and the TAISM Core Beliefs (both can be found at the TAISM website www.taism.com and link here).  One of the five TAISM Core Beliefs is the statement:

  • The purpose of education is to enable all students to develop their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical potential to the fullest.

Among the many curricular and co-curricular programs that we offer in order to support and nurture this Core Belief, our Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cornerstone to our commitment to enabling students to develop their intellectual potential to the fullest.  The Advanced Placement courses and program are developed by the College Board, an organization based in the United States, “to allow willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies - with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both - while still in high school.” 

Our AP Program is alive and well as evidenced by student participation, engagement, and learning.  On Thursday morning, May 17th, nineteen TAISM students completed the final AP exam for the 2017-2018 school year, the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam.  Over the past two weeks, 189 exams have been administered in 17 different AP subjects:   English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Comparative Government and Politics, Calculus AB, Chemistry, Biology, Physics 1, Physics 2, Studio Art, Seminar, Research, Language and Culture (Spanish, French, German and Italian), as well as self-study subjects in Psychology and Computer Science

Here are some statistics about our 2018 AP Program and Exams:

·         93 TAISM High School students (Grade 9 - 12)  took exams

·         4 Non-TAISM High School students took exams

·         34 students (out of the 93) completed 1 AP subject exam

·         29 students (out fo the 93) completed 2 AP subject exams

·         23 students (out of the 93) completed 3 AP subject exams

·         7 students (out of the 93) completed 4 AP subject exams

·         4 students (out of the 93) completed AP self-study subjects

Over the last few days I have spoken with several of the 93 students who completed AP courses and exams this year.  Here is a sampling of what these students shared about why they take AP courses and what has most inspired and motivated them to rise to these challenges:

  • YuJin (grade 11) completed AP Language & Composition, AP Calculus BC, and AP Seminar this year.  She believes her AP experience in high school is an excellent transition process to help her be ready for the rigors of college, and to pursue subject areas of personal interest to a greater depth.  She also spoke about the her learning to “work through struggles with the support of peers” involved in the same challenging academic experience.

  • Leo (grade 11) completed AP Biology in grade 10, AP Chemistry, Physics 1, and Language & Literature this year, and has enrolled in AP Comparative Government and Politics, Literature & Composition, Physics 2, and Calculus AB for next year.  Leo began planning for his AP experience with his parents and counselor in grade 9, which has allowed him to pursue his personal interest in science more completely.  While it can be helpful to enroll in courses because you like the subject, Leo also believes students should give all their courses “time to grow on you because you can find ways to appreciate it.”  

  • Jazmin (grade 11) completed AP Language & Composition and AP Biology this year.  Jazmin’s advice to her peers is to enroll in particular AP classes if you are “committed to persevering through event the hardest time.”  She also believes that commitment means time doing the right things, which includes going to your AP teacher with questions.

  • Jaiffer (grade 12) completed AP Chemistry in grade 11, and this year has completed AP Physics 2, AP Calculus AB, and AP Studio Art.  He spoke about the greater level of abstraction and complexity in his AP courses, and how the greater rigor resulted in “greater interest and fascination and therefore a greater drive to understand.”  This was especially true for Jaiffer because he was pursuing subjects of personal interest and passion.  

  • Johnny (grade 12) completed AP Biology in grade 11, and this year has completed AP Chemistry, AP Calculus AB, and AP Self Study in Computer Science.  He described both the financial and academic value of earning college credit for course work completed in high school.  He completed an AP Self Study this year in Computer Science, and appreciates the opportunity to develop his independent learning skills “when there is no teacher to go to for help.”  In addition to the rigors of the AP coursework, Johnny knows the importance of self motivation and self monitoring to his future success.

Our students understand and appreciate the role that AP courses play in their current growth and development, as well as the impact they have on their future pathways. 

 

Richard Petersen, High School Principal

 
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