TAVARES — East Ridge and Lake Minneola High Schools are looking to add “pre-AP” programs to their offerings in the fall, creating an advanced placement track for students entering their freshman year.
Kathlene Daniels, the school district’s director of curriculum instruction, said school administrators will decide the extent of the programs, but standard classes will continue so students aren't made to take classes they're unprepared to take.
“If the students are on an AP track they would take pre-AP classes,” Daniels said. But otherwise, they’ll go through as normal.
The College Board says in its information documents for pre-AP that it's meant to serve as a bridge into Advanced Placement courses by teaching students AP-level skills before they're in a class with college credit on the line.
The programs will cost $20,800 at East Ridge and $13,000 at Lake Minneola, as one takes on the full breadth of the program and the other opts for courses in only English and world history.
The money will be sourced from each school's existing AP budget.
The classes will only be available to the freshman class at both schools, Daniels said, but the idea is to follow those students into their sophomore year before transitioning them into AP courses for their last two years.
Daniels said that while the School Board will act as a mediator for the contract between schools and the College Board, which handles Advanced Placement curriculum, school administrators reached out themselves.
“The interest definitely started at the school level,” Daniels said. “They applied to the College Board to start the program."
The College Board introduced the pre-AP program in August, debuting it at 100 pre-selected schools across the country.
For the 2019-2020 school year, they invited schools to apply themselves.
The pre-AP classes schools can opt into cover core curriculum like math, science, world history and English as well as some electives like music, theater and dance at no cost to the schools.
Whether the pre-AP track will replace honors classes and how many students are set to enter the pre-AP track is currently unclear as administrators from the two schools were unavailable for comment.