State School Leaders Prepare Students For AP Boot Camp

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Boosting the number of students enrolled in advanced classes is the mission of one of the state’s top school leaders.

As Gigi Barnett explains, identifying new students for AP courses is how Maryland maintains its stellar educational ranking.

Oh math! It’s a subject many students fear and maybe the most dreaded is advanced placement calculus.

“I have friends in junior year who took AP calc and they’re always complaining about it,” said Theza Anora an AP calculus boot camp student.

This summer, the complaints are gone and the calculators are out, thanks to the AP calculus boot camp.

It’s a two-week intensive course at Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore County that preps students who are taking the college-level course for the first time in the fall.

Maryland isn’t the only state with the pilot program. It’s the brain-child of former state school superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick who wants to boost the number of students taking advanced placement in Maryland. Especially those who are first time AP students and may not think they can pass.

“This is an effort to begin to say, ‘look, we can ferrit out these students.’ we can give them support and they can be successful,” said Grasmick.

“I have a big fear that once I finish the test that I’m not going to get that three or get that four,” said student Andrea Galaviz-Garcia.

If Andrea scores a “three”, “four” or “five” on the AP exam, she gets college credit for the class.

Her fear factor is in full effect, because AP is a mystery.

“No one really told me about AP courses. I wasn’t really aware of what they were until this year,”

“It’s going to be the hardest class they’ve ever taken,” she said.

But, calculus teacher Kevin Dalsimer says the students’ determination can equal success in tougher AP classes.

“The kids that succeed are the ones who say I might not know how to do this now, but I can figure it out,” he said.

This summer’s boot camp isn’t just for students. In a couple of weeks, teachers will attend their own boot camp to help them identify students who should attend these classes and how to ace the exam.

Doctor Grasmick says getting more students in AP courses will help them save on college costs in the future. The AP exam costs $80 compared to a typical college class that costs nearly $1,800.

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