Over 13,000 Alabama students in the A+ College Ready (A+CR) program recently took Advanced Placement exams (up from 8500 this time last year), and A+CR is already preparing for the upcoming year.
To help implement even more successful pre-AP courses in middle, junior and high schools, A+CR held its pre-AP curriculum workshops May 16-18 in three locations around the state. About 275 educators participated in Huntsville, Montgomery and Birmingham. Participants also included some AP coordinators, principals and system administrators.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about Friday’s pre-AP training,” wrote Melissa Shields, director of curriculum for Etowah County, in an email correspondence with A+CR president, Mary Boehm. “Very relevant and timely training!”
Each class opened with an overview of the Common Core State Standards, supporting the importance of aligning all courses to help students meet and exceed them. Columbia High School English teacher Amanda Bannister commented, “This is the first time that the reasoning behind the adoption of the common core and changes recommended in the curriculum have been explained to me.”
“Was I teaching at the pre-AP level before? NO,” she stated. “Will I be doing that going forward? ABSOLUTELY! Very exciting!”
The 3-hour workshops lead by A+CR staff rolled out new curriculum for three pre-AP courses: English 9, Algebra 1 and Biology. The recommended lessons within each course were directly linked to Alabama’s Course of Study and the state’s new College and Career Ready standards, and were developed by teams of teachers in each subject area with support from A+ College Ready and the State Department of Education. Lessons, strategies and formative assessments from Laying The Foundation (LTF) training were incorporated throughout the year to help teachers provide a true pre-AP or honors course that offers a higher level of rigor and the development of stronger critical-thinking skills.
Each participant left with a flash drive that included the full curriculum and related resources to help them appropriately implement the LTF strategies specific to each subject for the upcoming school year. Teachers that did not attend the training can get access to the curriculum and materials if they have attended LTF training or plan to attend this summer. The full set of materials and resources will be placed on the A+ College Ready website soon.
The impact of A+CR training and support is evident even beyond its cohort schools. Ms. Shields commented in her message that her district plans to “replicate our LTF strategies at our non- A+CR schools” during upcoming district-wide training. And, A+CR has been invited to present this material to all State Superintendents at their Association meeting this summer.
Click here for the latest A+CR training and resources for educators. A+CR is a division of A+ Education Partnership.