Assumptions for our Approach to Summer Assignments
Participating schools are committed to an open enrollment philosophy that helps attract many more students into AP courses (in this case math, science and English).Participating schools have integrated support systems to help students build their confidence for success in rigorous AP courses.
Open enrollment may still imply an essential pre-AP sequence to prepare students for AP courses (e.g., math courses leading up to AP Calculus).
Schools have reviewed current practices that serve to exclude or may inadvertently hinder enrollments in AP; this includes, among other practices, burdensome summer assignments.
Best Practices in an Open Enrollment Environment
The use of summer assignments is intended to help prepare students for a rigorous AP course. As such, these assignments ideally should:
Encourage/stimulate excitement and interest in the subject and form the topic of a short discussions in the first days of class;
May be a review of limited content to be covered or readings to be addressed in the AP class but not so much to overwhelm students new to AP;
Be coordinated among all AP teachers to achieve a reasonable balance and not overly burden and discourage students from ultimately pursuing AP courses when school starts;
Be a means of beginning a relationship with students and support system for their preparation;
Be accompanied by access to informal communications with teachers over the summer through such things as blogs, email, list serves, etc.;
Not be a deterrent to students new to the school who had no knowledge of the assignments;
Not be the subject of a grade or test in the early days of the fall semester;
Not include homework assignments for which students are not yet prepared to complete.
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