Last night, I attended a meeting for Chesapeake students interested in applying to the city's high school academies, schools within schools of sorts which offer special courses of study.
My daughter already attended the student version a few weeks ago, and I can see why she wants to apply to all of them and THEN decide which she might attend next year. There are so many exciting options -- but I feel overwhelmed. I think we'll be making a pro and con list in our near future, evaluating the schools my daughter gets accepted at. Here's some of what we'll have to consider:
Science and Medicine Academy at Deep Creek High School:
Students take two science classes each year, with special classes among the options that are only offered at Deep Creek. Two that appealed to me (becasue it's all about me, right?): Injury Medicine and Environmental Science.
A senior seminar that involves an internship is required.
Students' classes in the Academy are weighted heavier to boost their grade point average.
The demand for environmental engineers is expected to grow 25% in the next 10 years. (Haha, there's my bias again.)
STEM (science, technology, engineer and math) program at Grassfield High School
Students can choose one of three tracks or pick from the classes in Engineering and Technology(an overview of all types of engineering); Programming and Software Development; and Marketing Management.
They have to earn at least one industry certification. (need more info on this; not sure what type of certifications they mean!)
Students complete a portfolio
They participate in externships and internships.
They can earn 16 college credits through Advanced Placement classes.
International Baccalaureate Diploma at Oscar Smith High School
This program is offered throughout the world in 141 countries.
Critical thinking is encouraged in all classes.
Students take Theory of Knowledge, a class designed to develop interdisciplinary and analytical skills
Assessments are more essay- and oral-oriented, vs. multiple choice questions
There looks to be about four AP courses.
150 hours of either "creativity," "action" or "service" hours are required
A 4,000-word essay is required for graduation
For all of the academies:
Students should have a 3.0 gpa to apply.
They need recommendations from all four core teachers.
Parents complete an assessment.
The STEM application requires 3 of 8 suggestioned projects to show interest and aptitude.
The science/medicine program requires a science assessment.
The IB program requires a writing assessment.
Transportation will be provided before and after school, including for extracurricular activities.
My daughter is also auditioning for the Governor's School of Art musical theater and theater highly competitive programs.
Wish she would audition for bass clarinet, too, but she says no! I guess I should just be grateful that she's at least eliminating one of the amazing options we're so lucky to have, making our choice slightly simpler. Oops...see how I said "our choice?"