Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) offers a variety of opportunities for increased student participation in programs of advanced study to include the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Programme (IB), and the Stafford Academy for Technology (STAT). All of the programs center around rigorous, pre-university curriculum and examination programs designed for academically able students. Additionally, the regional Commonwealth Governor’s School (CGS), a Gifted Academic Year Governor’s School, incorporates aspects of both Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment (DE) coursework to offer gifted highly motivated students a challenging, differentiated, and interdisciplinary program.
Furthermore, the Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs offer students an Advanced Studies Diploma to enhance their career plans. Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are also available for students in certain CTE courses. CTE courses support effective college planning by reducing indecision about college programs of study and can help families make effective use of financial resources.
The AP, CGS, IB, and STAT focus on high academic standards, emphasizing practical real-world applications and international perspectives. All of these programs accentuate the development of higher order thinking skills, including problem solving and creativity. AP also provides a broad program but emphasizes a unique and flexible curriculum that can be tailored to the abilities, interests, and goals of students. The three CGS community strands of environment, development, and service are key components of the CGS curriculum; IB provides a broad, globalized, general education option for students who excel in studies across the curriculum while providing for specialization in accord with particular interests and goals. Students are challenged through problem-based instruction that is infused with technology and is enabled to reach worldwide resources for special interest projects and in-depth research.
CTE programs allow students opportunities for leadership in a student-led organization related to their CTE course of interest. The Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)enriches the class experience beyond the classroom with the integration of competitive events, public speaking, entrepreneurship, personal growth, community, and partnerships.
BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION IN SPECIALITY PROGRAMS
Opportunities for advanced study focusing on increasing students' meta-cognitive skills (self-monitoring of learning) Instruction that focuses on teamwork and collaborative investigation Increases in students' confidence and motivation to succeed in advanced study courses A challenging environment that inspires and encourages students to believe in their own potential Experiencing university-level coursework while still in secondary school
Increased opportunities to qualify for scholarships due to the rigor of the academic program
Increase in options due to credits earned (explore double major, study abroad
Increased opportunities for students to participate and succeed on the AP/IB final examinations
The potential for AP, DE and IB students to obtain university credit and fulfill requirements
Save time and money (parent and student)
Many state colleges and universities will award up to a maximum of 38 credit hours for achievement on AP/IB exams
Additional opportunities to earn advanced status at many colleges and universities with passing scores on the associated AP/IB examinations and exam certificates.
SCPS is committed to providing academic opportunities that are consistent with the research findings of how students learn. When a student applies for SCPS Secondary Specialty Programs, we hope their goal is to commit to a program that strives to do the following: engage students in inquiry; provide opportunities for students to experiment and analyze information critically; encourage students to make conjectures and debate their validity and enable students to solve problems both individually and collaboratively. We are dedicated to preparing and producing 21st Century Learners today for all of our tomorrows.