School District Honors Graduates of AP Capstone Program from Northeast High School

Posted on July 31, 2018
Categories: News from SDP

Fourteen NEHS Alumni are first in District to graduate with AP Capstone distinction

Principal Omar Crowder, Northeast High School

PHILADELPHIA – The School District of Philadelphia  celebrated the first student graduates of Northeast High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone program, a rigorous, two-year diploma program designed to prepare students for college and career by developing their critical thinking, collaboration, time management and presentation skills.

Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, was joined at an awards ceremony at the Education Center Tuesday by Mayor Jim Kenney; Board of Education President Joyce Wilkerson; Board members Julia Danzy, Dr. Maria McColgan, and Dr. Chris McGinley; Omar Crowder, Principal of Northeast High School; Maria Barnett, AP Coordinator for Northeast High School; Dianna Frank, Director of K-12 Services for the College Board; and several Northeast High School teachers, students and family members.

“The students we are honoring today have chosen to take some of the most rigorous course loads imaginable, and as a result are extremely well-prepared as they head to college in this fall,” said Dr. Hite. “These students are not only bright and immensely curious about the world around them, but they have also demonstrated the tenacity needed to overcome adversity. I am excited to follow their future successes.”

Northeast High School is the only school in the District to offer the complete AP Capstone program, which the College Board debuted in 2015. It consists of two year-long courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. In the AP Seminar course, students collaborate and work with peer-reviewed academic sources, and give “TED Talk”-style presentations on real-world problems. Students then follow up with the AP Research course, where they plan and conduct studies to add knowledge where a research gap exists.

Nine of the students have earned the AP Capstone Diploma, awarded to those students who earn college-eligible scores on both AP Seminar and AP Research exams, and in at least four other content areas. Five of the students have earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, awarded to students who earn college-eligible scores on both AP Seminar and AP Research exams.

“I am proud that Philadelphia can provide this unique opportunity for students,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “There are so many reasons to be proud of our city, and so many reasons to be excited for our city’s future. Our students are leading the way, and are our number one pride. I commend the students, teachers, and administrators of the AP Capstone program on the early success of this program. We cannot wait to see the future these bright young problem solvers and leaders of tomorrow will create.”

Throughout Pennsylvania, only 15 schools, including Northeast High School, offer AP Research, the program’s culminating course. Schools must apply for this rigorous program and must demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their AP classrooms in able to offer the program.

In the 2017-2018 school year, students focused their research on a wide variety of topics, including: attitudes towards predictive genetic testing; the media’s impact on racial self-perception; technology’s impact on parent/child relationships; teenage definitions of mental health; and factors that affect routine participation in mammograms; and deaf culture perception in the media.

“By participating in the AP Capstone Program, we are able to provide our students with a rigorous course of study that will prepare them for college and beyond,” said Principal Omar Crowder. “Our AP Capstone students are a diverse group of scholars who, with the support of dedicated teachers, are able to compete with top students at the state and national level. Despite the challenges often present in urban education, these students have beat the odds and have earned opportunities normally reserved for their suburban and private school counterparts.”

Students who have graduated from the program have been collectively awarded more than $500,000 in scholarship money for higher education. This fall, they will attend colleges and universities including: the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Temple, Lehigh, Pennsylvania State University, Arcadia, Albright, and the University of Maine.