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Toronto Catholic District School Board

The Congregated Advanced Placement Program

The Advanced Placement Program is an internationally recognized program that fosters success in higher education by encouraging students to develop critical thinking skills at the highest level.  Students pursue university level studies while still in high school by preparing for and writing exams.  Successful completion of exams earns students advanced placement and/or credit in university.  Exams are recognized by universities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.  Thirty-four courses are offered in 19 subject areas by approximately 13,000 high schools worldwide.  The hallmark of the program is its flexibility in that students may take the full complement of AP courses and work toward an AP International Diploma or study in their personal area of strength and aim to achieve an AP Scholar or AP National Scholar designation.
 
A Congregated Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a school-wide initiative requiring the support and dedication of administration and faculty.  In this program, segregated Pre-AP classes begin in Grade 9 and are offered in Mathematics, Science, English, French and Social Sciences.  This early introduction in Grades 9 and 10 encourages a focus on the development of habits of mind necessary for success in later years.  Teachers are provided with intensive AP training and resources and each department forms a Vertical Team to ensure a seamless transition in curriculum from one grade to the next.  The program follows the Ontario curriculum but is richer in depth and breadth and allows more time for enrichment activities such as contests, field trips, in-depth discussions, guest lecturers, and more varied activities.  The Pre-AP Program leads to the Advanced Placement courses in Grades 11 and 12.  Regular meetings of all AP teachers ensure open dialogue and consistency of expectations.
 
Participation in the AP Program allows students to get a head start on the work they will encounter in university.  Coursework prepares students to write the AP exams in May.  Although written at their home school, exams are marked externally by qualified markers trained by the Education Testing Service.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that successful completion of these exams ensures high achievement in post-secondary education.
 
The congregated AP at Bishop Allen involves segregated enriched classes in the core subject areas (English, Math, Science, Social Science) starting in grade 9 and continuing at every grade level. Students cover the Ontario curriculum and receive preparation for writing the international AP exams in the grade 11 or 12 year of high school. At this time Bishop Allen is the only school in TCDSB to offer the congregated (segregated enriched) AP classes.
 
All schools can offer students the opportunity to register to write an AP exam or AP exams in the grade 11 or 12 year. Support from the schools varies. In some schools, teachers guide the students informally or set up after-school tutorials. BA differs in that we start in grade 9 with special classes consisting only of students who want enriched curriculum each year. In the credit courses, we cover the Ontario curriculum and prepare students each year to write AP exams in the senior years.
 
The Congregated Advanced Placement Program is available at Bishop Allen Academy.
 
Information and selection criteria are available from the AP Co-ordinator at the school
 
(416) 393-5549.