Charter school to use new curriculum

North East Carolina Prep School is one of only about 100 schools in the country that will be piloting a new Pre-AP curriculum in the coming year.

The school’s Board of Directors voted on Jan. 25 to adopt the new curriculum for the coming year. The new Pre Advanced Placement curriculum, which was developed by the College Board, is designed to be used as a stand-alone curriculum or as a precursor to the senior level AP courses that are currently offered.

“We are very excited to be selected to pilot this curriculum especially since about 1,100 schools applied to be included,”said Phillip Lampron, principal of grades 8 to 12 at North East Carolina Prep.

Rising ninth-graders at the charter school will be among the first in the country to use the curriculum in the coming academic year. During ninth grade, the students will take Pre-AP courses in algebra, biology, English, world history and geography, and visual and performing arts.

The College Board website states the Pre-AP program will offer “consistent, high standards in focused courses that help build, strengthen and reinforce students’ content knowledge and skills. Pre-AP courses will get students ready for AP and other college-level coursework. And they’ll be open to all.”

Lampron said that unlike the AP courses, which are usually available only to high-performing students, the Pre-AP courses are designed to be accessible to all students other than children with severe learning disabilities.

The school is paying about $4,800 for the curriculum, which will include student materials and professional development for teachers. Lampron said that ninth-grade teachers will attend a a four-day training session with the College Board this summer and will also undergo training online. The College Board also will help teachers adapt the curriculum to include North Carolina standards included in end-of-course testing.

“The professional development will not only go over the curriculum, but it will focus on how to teach students in an engaging way,” Lampron said.

During the pilot program, teachers will receive feedback about student performance from the College Board and also will have a chance to give feedback to the College Board about the curriculum. The program will be expanded into 10th and 11th grades over the following two years, Lampron said.

“Through this rigorous curriculum, our students will be better prepared for life in general and will have more options,” Lampron said. “They will be able to compete with their peers across the state and across the world.”

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