If you’re the parent of a highly-intellectual student, Clarke Community School District has news for you.
During a May 12 Clarke School Board meeting, Clarke Community High School Principal Kim Antisdel discussed implementing the SpringBoard program at the middle and high schools.
“We are having a really kind of a great problem at the high school and middle school about accelerating students from the elementary and accelerating from the middle school,” Antisdel said.
According to SpringBoard’s website, SpringBoard offers a proven pre-AP (advanced placement) program that increases participation and prepares students in sixth through 12th grade for success in AP, college and beyond.
Antisdel said the intent is to provide for upper elementary, middle and high school students who need to have more challenges in their curriculum.
Antisdel said another intention of SpringBoard/AP is to have more middle ground for students who are advanced, such as an upper elementary student taking a high school class.
“We thought, is there something we could do that could work them in age appropriateness and rigor for their classes?” Antisdel said.
Discussions have been held with other school districts that use the SpringBoard program.
“I think we can have at least eight to 10 kids in AP classes in the high school,” Antisdel said. “And, what I mean by that, is it’s not just TAG kids, but kids who maybe don’t qualify for TAG, but would still be able to meet the expectation of what those AP classes are.”
Antisdel said the goal is to try to start the SpringBoard program in the middle school next year, and then implement the AP classes in the second semester in the high school, if the new high school principal is OK with it.
“My vision is to have an AP government, an AP language arts and AP psychology, and just build those AP classes, as well as the other classes that we have in our curriculum,” Antisdel said.
As for SpringBoard program at the middle school, Antisdel said a goal is to have English and social studies classes introduced as a “starting block.”
One reason for starting the AP classes during the second semester at the high school is to give the staff time to prepare for the curriculum. However, Antisdel said a potential problem is some AP classes are yearlong.
During the board meeting, a question was asked if the classes would be taught online, and Antisdel answered they would be taught by Clarke staff.
“It used to be you had to have a master’s degree in that area in order to teach an AP (class), but you do not now,” she said. “They (students) can take the AP test or they don’t have to take the AP test, and they can get college credit.”
Paula Reece, the high school’s TAG/technology integrationist, has also done a lot of work to spearhead this program.
“If we roll it in with kids who don’t have the gifted and talented label, but really are kids who are high achievers and want to, you know, get some rigor in their classroom, this kind of fits the bill,” Antisdel said.