New class lets students choose the subject

A+new+AP+class%2C+taught+by+Cheryl+Anderson%2C+will+be+a+2+year+course+that+allows+students+to+pick+the+subject+matter.
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New class lets students choose the subject

A new AP class, taught by Cheryl Anderson, will be a 2 year course that allows students to pick the subject matter.

A new AP class, taught by Cheryl Anderson, will be a 2 year course that allows students to pick the subject matter.

Flavio Squartini

A new AP class, taught by Cheryl Anderson, will be a 2 year course that allows students to pick the subject matter.

Flavio Squartini

Flavio Squartini

A new AP class, taught by Cheryl Anderson, will be a 2 year course that allows students to pick the subject matter.

Mary Catherine Wells, Staff Reporter

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A new AP class will be offered in the fall as the two year course AP Capstone will be an option for juniors interested in a broad based course.

“The AP Capstone class is College Board’s response to the gap that they see in college students,” English teacher and future AP Capstone teacher Cheryl Anderson said. “The students know a lot of content from their AP classes but they still need need a little help gathering, synthesizing, writing, and understanding information. So pretty much critical thinking skills.”

The class has been in the planning stages for the last several years.

“This is the first year this is offered outside of the pilot program so this is the first official year,” Anderson said. “I’m not sure how many other schools are participating. The college board came up with this class and they have been piloting it for the past two years. Lovejoy became interested in it so Principal Chris Mayfield and Advanced Academics coordinator Bree Smith went and looked at the program and decided it would be a really good fit for Lovejoy.”

The class has two parts: AP Seminar, for juniors, and AP Research, for seniors.

“I am teaching both classes,” Anderson said. “Next year only the AP Seminar class is available because you have to take the AP Seminar class before you take the AP Research class.”

The two classes go together and the AP Seminar credit is required to take AP Research.

“The research class is a one-year independent study on whatever you want to research,” Anderson said. “So it is pretty much a year long senior project. It does take the place of the senior project so if you are in AP Research you do not have to do a senior project. AP Seminar is the junior year and that is the class that teaches you the skills you need to do the AP Research class.”

Once sophomores heard about this new class, some decided to change their schedules so they could take it.

“I am interested in taking AP Capstone because I think it is going to be like debate which I already do,” sophomore Ellie Hager said. “So I think I will have that foundational knowledge on how to research. But also there is a lot of liberty of what you get to look into the second year and I think that will be fun.”

In addition to the extra chance at college credit, the new course will allow students the chance to opt out of a major component of a student’s senior year.

“The research class is a one-year independent study on whatever you want to research,” Anderson said. “So it is pretty much a year long senior project. It does take the place of the senior project so if you are in AP research you do not have to do a senior project. AP Seminar is the junior year and that is the class that teaches you the skills you need to do the AP Research class.”

The class does have an AP test but it is different than most.

“There is an AP test for this class but it is scored differently,” Anderson said. “There is a team project, an individual project, and an AP test. All three scores together make up your AP score.”

A similar class, independent studies, is taught by Pam Brooks.

“AP Capstone will not take the place of independent studies,” Mayfield said. “Some of the things are similar, around the independence of using a topic. But the AP Capstone courses have specific criteria and requirements. Then the independent studies have a different set of requirements that students do in those courses.”

Anderson is optimistic about the future of this class.

“I am uber excited to teach this class,” Anderson said . “I think this class does fill a need that students that go to college have. I think it is going to be rigorous but fun. I think it is going to be the toughest but funnest class the juniors will take.”

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