Secondary Advanced Academics Improvement and Innovation Plan

Relevant details and data for the Secondary Advanced Academics Programs

Program Overview

There are many opportunities for secondary students to develop their talents, receive differentiated instruction, and higher level content. Some of these opportunities fall under Advanced Academic Programs.

Honors Courses

All students are encouraged to enroll in at least one Honors Courses in an area of strength or interest each year.

Students may self-select one or more honors courses in areas that match their academic interests or strengths.

Honors Courses

  • Are available to middle and high school students.
  • Are based on extensions of the FCPS Program of Studies.
    • Extensions add depth and complexity to student learning experiences.
  • Provide increased frequency and intensity of abstract, critical thinking approaches, inquiry-based projects to extend and deepen understanding of the content.

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP)

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP)

  • Provides academic rigor.
  • Concentrates on interdisciplinary concepts among eight subjects:
    • English
    • World languages
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Fine and performing arts
    • Humanities
    • Health and physical education
    • Design
  • Is available for students in grades 6-10 at some middle and high schools.
  • Is founded on a balanced based inquiry to assessment with a concept-based teaching and learning approach including intercultural awareness.
  • Employs a whole-school approach to conceptual teaching and learning that prepares students for higher level coursework, including the IB Diploma Program and Career-related Program.

Students participate in service-learning and create a Personal Project at the end of the IB MYP experience in grade 10.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and IB Career-Related Program (IBCP)

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and IB Career-Related Program (IBCP) is available for students in grades 11-12 at some high schools.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP)

  • Provides a comprehensive and rigorous education.
  • Emphasizes critical thinking with an international perspective.

Students complete a series of internal and external assessments and may receive college credit based on their exam scores.

IB Career-Related Program (IBCP)

The IBCP is an academic qualification designed to support schools that offer career-related courses to their students.

IBCP students must:

  • Take two IBDP courses.
  • Engage in a two-year Career and Technical Education course sequence.
  • Demonstrate second language development.
  • Complete the Personal and Professional Skills course.
  • Engage in community service.
  • Complete a reflective project that emphasizes the ethical dilemma associated with a particular issue drawn from the student’s career-related studies.

Advanced Placement (AP) program

The Advanced Placement (AP) program

  • Is offered across FCPS high schools.
  • Has 32 different AP courses and assessments

Students

  • Can earn high school credit towards graduation by passing an AP course.
  • Preparing for an optional end of course AP exam or performance assessment.
  • May earn college credit or advanced placement in college;  depending on their score received and the college attended.
  • Access academic rigor by taking college-level courses while in high school.

AP courses are offered in:

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • World Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Fine Arts
  • AP Capstone; A multi-disciplinary program

Scope of Impact

Number of Students Served by Honors Courses

School Level Number of Sites Number of Students Served
Middle School 23 11,407
Secondary School 6 7,683
High School 28 27,986

Number of Students Served by IBMYP

School Level Number of Sites Number of Students Served
Middle School 7 7,677
Secondary School 1 2,407
High School 6 6,689

Number of Students Served by IBDP and IBCP

These programs are only offered at the High School Level:

Program Number of Sites Number of Student Served
Diploma Programme 8 5,557
Career-Related Programme 3 138

Number of Students Served by AP

School Level Number of Sites Number of Students Served
High School 24* 16,326

*22 High Schools have at least 1 AP course. FCPS online campus provides AP course instruction to students at all 24 high schools.

Actions and Measures

Updated for the 2022-2023 school year.

Goal 1

By June, 2023, increase the proportion of AP/IB tests that were taken by Young Scholars from 8% to 10%. 

Actions: 

  • The Advanced Academics Program (AAP) team provides targeted professional learning for secondary school staff around the Young Scholars model at the secondary level. This work focuses on academic advising and encouraging historically underrepresented students to enroll in at least one honors/AP/IB course based on strengths and interests. Ongoing funding for Young Scholars Summer Camp experiences for some middle schools also supports this goal. 
  • A second strategic action is the Student Achievement Grant (SAG) coordinated by Instructional Services. Schools have the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 to implement a school-based program to support student performance in honors/AP/IB courses through mentoring, tutoring, and social-emotional support for students.

Measures:

  • Yearly analysis of AP/IB tests taken by Young Scholars program participants.
  • Qualitative street-level analysis of schools’ Young Scholars programs.
  • Analysis of schools’ recruiting techniques for IB and AP courses.

Goal 2

By June 2023, increase the percent/number of students earning a score of 3 or higher on AP exams (4 or higher on IB exams), with a focus on closing achievement gaps from historically underrepresented subgroups (Black, Hispanic, students with disabilities, English learners, economically disadvantaged) by 2 percentage points each subgroup.

Actions:

  • The Advanced Academics Program (AAP) team offers a week-long Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI) for teachers that is endorsed by the College Board. The APSI is 30 hours of intensive training in AP content and appropriate pedagogy focused on strategies for access to rigor and supporting diverse student needs.  The APSI is offered to all FCPS teachers free of tuition charges and is cost-neutral to the district because outside participants can pay tuition to attend. 
  • The AAP team in ISD provides IB teachers with the opportunity to participate in summer professional development offered by the IBO. The sessions are specific to the IB content and assist teachers in IB content and pedagogy geared to improve student performance and close achievement gaps.  
  • A second strategic action is the Student Achievement Grant (SAG) coordinated by Instructional Services. Schools have the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 to implement a school-based program to support student performance in AP/IB courses through mentoring, tutoring, and social-emotional support for students.

Measures:

  • Yearly analysis of AP and IB exam performance by student subgroup and Young Scholars.
  • Table will be published with data narratives.
  • Data on which IB and AP courses ELs are taking, what level ELs are taking those courses, and EL performance by IB and AP course and school.