Advanced Placement Honors Received by VHS

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Vicksburg High School students pictured above are enrolled in AP Capstone High School in the 2019-2020 school year. The administration believes it will push students in the high school to new levels. AP Capstone is a diploma program created by the College Board. It’s based on two year-long AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and pass (scores of a 3 or higher) on four additional AP exams of their choosing will receive an AP Capstone diploma. It is being taught by Chris Kosiba and Amanda Szczesny. They underwent special training last summer to teach the course. Financing for the course was offered by the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation.

By Sue Moore

Vicksburg High School students who took advanced placement (AP) tests in the 2018-2019 school year were praised for their high SAT scores by Principal Adam Brush in his presentation to the school board in January.

He also showed charts on how well the AP students performed on taking and passing the tests for college credit. In the same presentation, he featured the work being done by teachers and students on tutorial classes to help students who need a little extra work in certain subject areas.

“It’s fun working in the high school,” Brush said. “We see students who come in as freshmen and watch as they grow into adults. It’s the most rewarding part of the job.”

Vicksburg has been offering AP courses for many years and has earned the AP Honor Roll award over the last two years running. “Every time you earn this award, you have to reach a little higher to earn another one as you have to improve with the number of students enrolled in AP courses and those who take and pass the exams,” Brush said. “They get college credit if they earn a 3, 4 or 5 on the exam so there is motivation to do well. Vicksburg High School has 703 students enrolled in AP courses this year.” Some take more than one AP course each semester.

AP Capstone was inaugurated in 2019 for sophomores and juniors. It incorporates an AP seminar the first year and AP research the second year. It focuses on the skills needed to succeed in college, is performance-driven and requires lots of independent study.

Two high school teachers brought proposals to the board. Jennifer Teall, high school French teacher, proposed a biliteracy stamp that students can earn who are multi-lingual due to their classroom work. Students in third and fourth year Spanish and French classes can apply for the Biliteracy Seal in language proficiency, offered by the state of Michigan. It’s a special recognition to show the significant commitment that students make in the study of a second language besides English, she told the board.

The seal, once earned, will go on student transcripts and diplomas. The criteria includes being functional in a second language, not necessarily fluent. There are currently 400 Vicksburg students enrolled in French or Spanish classes. They begin in 8th grade, as Michigan requires two years of a foreign language to graduate from high school.

More than 100 of those students continue on to take three and four years of a language course which makes them eligible for the seal which serves to legitimize their commitment, Teall said.

Rachel King, AIM Higher club advisor, was approved to teach a leadership course worth one credit. It would be offered to juniors and seniors as an elective next school year.

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