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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE
– Friday, March 17, 2017
Page 11
Pioneer Charter School of Science II to participate
in the College Board’s AP Capstone program
Diploma program focuses on inquiry, research and writing skills crucial for college/career success
P
ioneerCharterSchoolofSci-
ence II (PCSS II) is oneof ap-
proximately1,000schoolsworld-
wide to implementAPCapstone
–aninnovativediplomaprogram
that allows students to devel-
op the skills thatmattermost for
collegesuccess: research, collab-
orationandcommunication.The
program consists of two cours-
es taken in sequence: AP Semi-
nar andAPResearch.Developed
in direct response to feedback
from higher education faculty
and college admission officers,
AP Capstone complements the
in-depth, subject-specific study
of other Advanced Placement
courses and exams.
Students who earn scores of
3 or higher on AP Seminar and
AP Research assessments and
on four additional AP Exams of
their choosing will earn the AP
Capstone Diploma™. This signi-
fies their outstanding academic
achievement andattainment of
college-level academic and re-
search skills. Students who earn
scores of 3 or higher onbothAP
Seminar and AP Research as-
sessments only (but not on four
additional AP Exams) will earn
the AP Seminar and Research
Certificate™. (The top score on
these exams is 5.)
PCSS IIwill start APSeminar in
the fall of 2017
PCSS II Executive Director Va-
hit Sevinc said:
This innovative
programgetsabroader,moredi-
verse student population ready
for collegeandbeyond.Thepro-
gram gives our teachers more
leeway with curriculum choic-
es so their students can access
more challenging coursework
and sharpen their reading and
writing skills. As of today there
are only 16 public and private
schools in Massachusetts offer-
ing the AP Capstone program
but nocharter public schools. Pi-
oneer Charter School of Science
II will be the first and only char-
ter public school in the Com-
monwealth of Massachusetts to
offer the AP Capstone program
alongwith10other charterpub-
lic schools nationwide.”
The AP Seminar course, typi-
cally taken in10thor 11thgrade,
equips students with the ability
to look at real-world issues from
multiple perspectives. Through
a variety of materials – articles
to research studies to founda-
tional and philosophical texts –
students tackle complex ques-
tions; understand and evalu-
ate opposing viewpoints; inter-
pret andsynthesize information;
and construct, communicate,
and defend evidence-based ar-
guments. Education, innova-
tion, sustainability and tech-
nology are examples of themes
or topics covered in AP Sem-
inar;
however, teachers have
the flexibility to choose subject
content basedon student inter-
ests, whether local, regional, na-
tional or global. By tapping into
students’ personal interests, AP
Capstone gives students from
a wide range of backgrounds
an entry point into stimulat-
ing coursework more than ever
before. Students are assessed
througha teamproject andpre-
sentation, an individual project
and presentation, and an end-
of-course written exam.
InthesubsequentAPResearch
course, studentsdesign,planand
conduct a yearlong research-
based investigationona topicof
individual interest,documenting
theirprocesswithaportfolio.Stu-
dentsbuildonskillsdevelopedin
the AP Seminar course by learn-
ing how to understand research
methodology;employethical re-
searchpractices;andcollect,ana-
lyze and synthesize information
to build, present and defend an
argument.
“WeareproudtoofferAPCap-
stone, which enables students
and teachers to focus on topics
of their choice in great depth
,”
said Trevor Packer, senior vice
president for APand instruction
at the College Board. He added,
“This provides terrific opportu-
nities for students to develop
the ability to write and present
theirworkeffectively, individual-
ly and in groups – the very skills
college professors want their
students to possess.”
By respondingtoandpartner-
ing with the higher education
community, the College Board
developed AP Capstone so stu-
dents canpractice skills thatwill
serve them well in college and
career. Because the program is
a result of feedback from ed-
ucation professionals, it is not
surprising that several colleges
anduniversitieshaveconfirmed
their support for the program.
“AP Capstone is a unique pro-
gramthat teaches skillswe think
are very valuable not only for
college but life
,”
said John Barn-
hill, assistant vice president for
enrollment management at
massbaycu.org
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