Advanced Placement Info Session at Palmetto Middle School

Advanced Placement Info Session at Palmetto Middle School

Freshman AP World History specialist Julianne Farkas waves a crowd of students into her classroom for the free breakfast she provides the morning of her AP exam.

Palmetto Middle School will present “Advanced Placement: What every 8th Grade Parent Needs to Know” on October 22 at 7p.m. in the school auditorium.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college level classes taught in high school, and Miami-Dade County is fairly unique nationally in offering AP classes to ninth graders. Yet AP classes can impress college admissions officers, build college skills, and give students a head start on their degree by allowing them to skip introductory classes.

For parents, it can be a big decision, particularly since many area high schools use AP course availability and AP-centered programs to attract students. Parents with questions should attend the information session.

The program addresses five key questions:
What is Advanced Placement?
Should my child take an AP course as a freshman?
What are the keys to success?
What are the benefits of AP classes, and
What is the difference between AP and IB (International Baccalaureate)

Hosted jointly by the Palmetto Middle and Palmetto Senior High PTSAs, speakers include the celebrated veteran freshman AP History teacher Julianne Farkas, Palmetto High School Principal Victoria Dobbs and MPSH PTSA President Anna Hochkammer. This is the third year the program has been presented, brought back by popular demand.

Linda Dwyer, Palmetto Middle’s PTSA president, stresses the importance of the session. The seminar helped Dwyer’s family decide that Palmetto High’s AP Capstone program was a better fit for their freshman daughter than IB.

“The feedback from parents is overwhelmingly positive about how valuable this information is in helping them choose the right high school for their child,” said Dwyer. “AP Capstone is more flexible in course choices and also more widely recognized by U.S. universities.”

Palmetto High offers a whopping 29 AP classes. But parents need to know to dig a little deeper to evaluate competing school programs.

“Be sure you find out the school’s pass rate on the AP exams,” Anna Hochkammer points out. “Most parents never ask.”

Palmetto Senior has the highest pass rate in the District, and administered over 2,600 AP exams last year. More than half of Palmetto Senior students take at least one AP class. AP Computer science debuted this year, with enough student interest to fill two classes and create a waiting list.


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