Brooklyn Education: Visitation students spread holiday cheer

On December 18, seventh and eighth graders from Visitation Academy visited the Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehab Center. Wearing Santa hats and warm smiles, the students sang carols and delivered handmade cards to the residents. The girls enjoyed the day as much as the residents did, and they look forward to visiting again.

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In the fall of 2016, Fontbonne Hall Academy will implement AP Capstone™ – an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for their future college success: research, collaboration and communication. The program includes a two-course sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of Advanced Placement® courses and exams.

Fontbonne Principal Mary Ann Spicijaric looks forward to providing this new opportunity to her students and reports that Fontbonne will be the only Catholic high school in New York City or on Long Island that will offer this program beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

The AP Seminar course, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, will equip students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials, students will be challenged to explore complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and develop, communicate and defend evidence-based arguments. Students are assessed through both an individual project and a team project completed during the year, and a year-end written exam.

The subsequent AP Research course will allow students to design, plan and conduct a yearlong investigation on a topic of their choosing with support from experts at the university level or in the community. Students will build on the skills learned in the AP Seminar. At the end of the course, students have the confidence to present and defend their own academic research orally.

Fontbonne students have already achieved success in the AP subject courses and on the AP exams. Twenty members of the school’s Class of 2015 earned one of the prestigious AP Scholar Awards. These students took challenging AP exams in multiple subjects including English literature, American history, biology and chemistry.

Four students earned AP Scholar with Distinction Awards. These awards are granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Five students earned AP Scholar with Honor Awards, which are granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Eleven students won AP Scholar Awards, which are granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

AP exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.

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At P.S. 160’s recent PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) assembly, fourth and fifth graders pledged to assist first and second graders in math and literacy during lunch periods. Teacher Nicole Attina organizes the PALs, pairing up students and providing appropriate work. During the assembly, PALs from last year spoke about the experience, and Ms. Attina outlined the importance of the program. Fifth-grade PAL Gordon Lin provided piano music. Family members were proud to see their children receive their PAL badges and become part of this prestigious group.

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