ADVANCED ACADEMICS 101 A product of Vertical planning meetings PURPOSE: Advanced Academics 101 was designed to be an evening to educate our elementary feeder parents (specifically the parents of current 4th and 5th graders) about our PreAP and AP academic programs. Our goal is to help parents understand the value of enrolling their student in a PreAP or AP class, while also helping them to understand the rigor, commitment and responsibility required to be successful in these courses. HIGH SCHOOL OVERVIEW Our Liberty High School counselors put together a very informative presentation including the following key points: Graduation requirements and credits Class rank and GPA (including how PreAP, AP and dual credit courses are weighted) College entrance overview (including the advantages of graduation in the top 10%) Overview of PreAP and AP courses and a description of the “qualities of an AP student” Guidelines to help parents and students decide if PreAP/AP is the appropriate fit Also touched on Dual Credit and CBE’s MIDDLE SCHOOL OVERVIEW Re-emphasized several points covered by the high school counselors, just more specific to middle school including: The positives of taking PreAP courses in preparing students for their future in high school, college and beyond The rigor, challenge and commitment required in the PreAP courses and academic guidelines to consider in making course selections Making a good choice so that the student can be successful in their middle school career The impact of having to change out of a PreAP course if it is not a good fit The different PreAP courses offered in middle school CORE SUBJECT SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISONS Each of our instructional coaches presented a brief comparison of how a PreAP course in their subject area compared to an on-level course in their subject area Extra time was dedicated to math to include information about the flow of courses, the impact of a middle school student taking a high school math course for credit and how that can impact their GPA and graduation rank, and to attempt to explain all of the different levels available to our 8th graders, the online Geometry course, etc. PREAP GALLERY WALK This was an element we added this year which was my favorite time of the evening Each of our core subject areas had a display that showed some of the activities our PreAP students were completing and demonstrating the higher expectations of work in a PreAP course (or in the case of US History, the independent study program) Each station had teachers available to answer questions and current PreAP students available to answer questions or talk with parents about how PreAP courses had challenged them to grow as students High school and middle school counselors, along with our principal were all available during this time to answer more specific questions as well The best part about this was that the teachers put this all together on their own – I didn’t have to do anything except reserve technology. The displays were honestly very impressive! CLOSING THOUGHTS… Although I hate adding another evening to our “work schedule”, I would definitely be on board with doing this again next year because I think our parents found it very informative and valuable We had over 300 parents in attendance and some students as well; I think I would encourage elementary schools to promote it to students as well in the future Two of our elementary school principals and counselors attended, I know the parents really appreciated having them there and actively seeing the cooperative efforts between the different levels of schools It was truly a team effort. Our administrators came up with the idea, then told us (counselors) to put it all together; the Liberty counselors and our teachers were responsible for the majority of the presentation; the elementary school counselors did everything on the promoting and communication side (I did provide an event flyer, but I mostly just adapted Vandeventer’s ;-)!); Pretty much all I did was send a bunch of emails to a bunch of people making sure that everyone had what they needed, and typed up an agenda! The only thing I wish we could somehow cover more thoroughly is the math progression, various options, and CBE’s, but that could honestly be a whole evening in itself. That is definitely where the majority of our questions are focused! We are REALLY hopeful that the information disseminated this evening will help our parents and students to made educated and wise decisions when we start the course registration in March. We will see!?!?!?