July 17, 2017
Last week, the 2017 AP for All Summer Institute (APSI) brought educators from around the globe to the Metropolitan State University of Denver campus for a deep dive into the craft of Advanced Placement instruction. CEI partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to present the annual College Board-certified Institute.
This year’s APSI connected more than 600 teachers with opportunities to develop deeper content knowledge in their AP subjects, and identify strategies to effectively reach diverse student populations — students who might not otherwise consider enrolling in AP classes.
Jaylynn Johnson is one of those students. The 2016 Vista Peak Preparatory School graduate kicked off this year’s event with her keynote at the opening ceremony. Johnson shared how three AP teachers led her to a deeper understanding of how to reach her potential and have confidence in her abilities.
Woven through Johnson’s keynote were examples of her experiences with AP Teachers Laura Klein – (Language and Composition), Heather Price (Literature), and Dayna Sherrill (Statistics).
“Success for me when taking AP came from knowing that I learned so much more than if I didn’t take AP,” Johnson said. “It was when I created incredible relationships with teachers I will never forget. Success was when I knew that I could tackle any assignment given me and most importantly success was when I gained my confidence in the classroom.”
Johnson’s story was an inspirational kick-off to the week’s sessions in four strands: AP English, AP Math and Computer Science, AP Science, and AP Social Studies. Several sessions were divided into pathways for either new teachers or experienced teachers, resulting in a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of all participants.
“This is the fourth year I have attended, and it is the best professional development I’ve been to because it is so meaningful to me and my students. It literally makes me a better teacher,” said Craig Cerise, who traveled to APSI from Cedaredge High School in Delta County School District.
Better teachers help make AP a reality for all students, as Johnson explained in her address.
“AP does make a difference. The curriculum is tough and intense, but it pushes the students. It expands your vocabulary and your knowledge of all the types of writing, ways to analyze things, literature, and using math in the real world. Not to say that AP was a breeze for me because it wasn’t at all, but it made an impact on my college career… I completed high school and have found that I am more than ready for the challenges of college due to the academic preparation I received in these AP classes.”
Dubbed “the highest-rated APSI in the west,” this annual professional learning opportunity is part of CEI’s Colorado Legacy Schools (CLS) — a local replication of NMSI’s proven College Readiness Program. CLS supports students in both geographically and demographically diverse schools.