St. John Paul II to Offer New AP Program to Provide College-Level Skills


HYANNIS – Students at St. John Paul II High School in Hyannis can now become more prepared for college with an innovative diploma program.

The school has been chosen to implement AP Capstone, a College Board program which develops research, collaboration and communication skills through AP Seminar and AP Research courses.

The intent of the program is learn college level skills to compliment the subject-specific study of other Advanced Placement courses.

“Many high schools offer individual AP courses in various subjects, but what this does is it really unifies those separate subject matters along with ciritcal AP skills in research and critical thinking,” said Christopher Keavy, the Head of School.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments, along with 4 additional AP exams will receive an AP Capstone Diploma.

“It really provides a pathway for top students to receive that AP Capstone diploma recognition which certain will benefit them in their college applications,” Keavy said.

Students who earn scores of 3 of higher on the AP Seminar and Research assessments only will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

St. John Paul II currently offers 10 AP courses.  

“Now the focus is providing a grid of skills that enable students to leave not just knowing college level stuff, but having college-level skills,” Keavy said.

AP Seminar, which is typically taken by sophomores or juniors, provides students with the ability to investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students tackle complex questions, understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints, interpret and synthesize information, and construct, communicate and defend evidence-based arguments.

Examples of topics or themes covered in the course, through a variety of materials, include education, innovation, sustainability and technology.

After students complete the seminar course they would then move on to the AP Research course where students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest.

The school will begin the AP Seminar class this fall.

Families of current students have been informed of the program which was discussed Wednesday night at the school’s curriculum meeting.

“Given the kind of students [we have] and the aspirations that they have, I expect we’ll have quite a bit of interest,” Keavy said.

There are only about 1,000 schools worldwide that have been selected to implement the AP Capstone program.

“When we saw the opportunity we jumped on it. We applied for that,” Keavy said. “And we feel that our students will really benefit from it.”


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