April (2014)
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Valuing Work
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November (2012)
Learning Styles
October (2012)
Measuring Achievement
Proctor's Advanced Placement curriculum has developed considerably over the past decade, growing from a few courses to 12 offerings in our current academic schedule. The diversity of these offerings is representative of the diversity of interests in our student body as new courses have been developed based on student demand.

AP courses span five academic departments and allow students to simultaneously take AP courses in a broad range of disciplines, all while pursuing the arts as an academic course of study and remaining enrolled in the Learning Skills curriculum. It is this balance to the pursuit of academic rigor at Proctor that has allowed students to shine.

While we have spoken much on this blog about the diversity of offerings and number of students taking high level courses, the effectiveness of Proctor's unique academic rigor can be seen in a simple statistic: last year, of the 98 AP exams taken by 48 students at Proctor, 62 scores of 4 or 5, and an astounding 90% earned a score of 3 or higher were earned.

We do not speak of 'results' often at Proctor, but the reality is that each student enrolls at Proctor for a reason. For many, that reason is to help guide each student to a post-secondary experience that fits them best. Once again, our mission is to help achieve balance in students' lives, as they push themselves outside of their comfort zone academically, while simultaneously coming to better understand themselves as learners.

AP courses are not for every student at Proctor, simply because they may not be the right fit for that student. However, for those students who do take AP courses, it is our ultimate goal to have those students demonstrate success on the standardized AP exams. Historically, Proctor's students have done relatively well on AP exams, with approximately 77% of students earning a 3 or higher over the past four years. As more students have enrolled in Proctor's AP curriculum (48 students last year, up from 33 students in 2008), average scores have increased as well, with one class of 13 students earning an average score of 4.46 on last year's exam!

Standardized test scores are rarely the most effective measure of student achievement, and while we hate to use 'results' to communicate academic rigor at Proctor, the success our students have had on AP exams speaks to student ability and to the effectiveness of our AP curriculum. Proctor's teachers are using experiential learning techniques, case studies, and hands-on-learning in AP courses, just as they are in all other courses. It is clear that this model works, as students not only learn content in their classes, but develop the confidence to 'own' that content in other applications.

We thrive on our freedom to develop an academic curriculum that does not teach to a test, but remain confident that our students have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform well when tested. As SAT and ACT dates frequent our fall calendars, we must remember that it is our goal as educators to give students the tools to approach each of these standardized tests with confidence.
Measuring achievement can be a difficult task, however, with AP courses, AP exam scores provide a concrete measuring stick for students and teachers.
Throughout all of Proctor's AP courses, students have scored increasingly well on AP exams, with an outstanding 90% of students earning a score of 3 or higher last spring. This statistic includes four students who took AP exams in subjects not offered at Proctor.
While Proctor's relatively high scores on AP exams could be attributed to a number of factors, we believe that as students are exposed to content through real-world application, lasting learning occurs.
Students in AP Environmental Science spend plenty of time 'in the field', applying what they are learning in the classroom.
This balance of content and application has been, and we believe will continue to be, a formula that works for students and teachers at Proctor, both in AP classes and other academic courses!