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Jan 15, 2019 4:24 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays High School To Offer Rigorous AP Program In September

Jennifer Spota and Justin Dulfon review the AP Seminar and AP Research criteria. VALERIE GORDON
Jan 16, 2019 10:03 AM

Hampton Bays High School students enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement courses will have an opportunity to add an even higher credential to their college applications in the fall.

Starting in September, select 10th-graders will be able to enroll in a new college-level course known as the AP Capstone Diploma program. The two-year program consists of two courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, which help students develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management and presentation skills.

Students that successfully complete both courses, as well as four additional AP classes through the district’s current Advanced Placement program, will earn an AP Capstone diploma through the College Board—a New York City-based nonprofit association made up of more than 6,000 educational institutions.

The Argonne Road school currently offers 13 AP courses, including Spanish language and composition, environmental science, and European history. Originally, in 2005, the school only had six AP courses available to students.

“It’s a solid, competitive credential for a student to have,” Hampton Bays High School Principal Christopher Richardt said of the advanced diploma. “It’s going to demonstrate to colleges that students are committed to their academic development.”

The district will introduce the courses in two phases, according to Mr. Richardt, who said on Tuesday that the school’s goal in the first year is to have 20 to 30 students complete the AP Seminar course. Similar to East Hampton High School, Mr. Richardt said, the seminar class likely will be merged with the school’s current English honors course.

Students in AP seminar will be required to work on research papers, written arguments and presentations, whereas in AP Research they will design, execute and defend a year-long research project on a local or global issue of their choosing.

According to Jaslee Carayol, the College Board’s associate director of media relations, the courses, which often translate to college credits, help students become “self-confident, independent thinkers and problem-solvers.”

However, before the courses can be offered, the high school must send several teachers to a week-long summer training course, where they will be trained by College Board-certified instructors. For the 2018-19 school year, the cost of the professional development course was $1,075 per participant.

Over the summer, Hampton Bays High School English teacher Justin Dulfon, Library Media Specialist Jennifer Spota, and two ninth-grade English Language Arts teachers will undergo the training, Mr. Richardt said. Over the years, he hopes to expand the program as more teachers complete the training.

“We are very proud to offer this program,” Superintendent Lars Clemensen said in a press release this week.

“It’s really a great way to prepare students for the rigors of college,” Mr. Richardt added.

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