Some evaluate a school on the number of extra curricula offerings available to students, others judge a school on the campus or even rank a school on the performance of athletic teams.
Those who judge a school on academic rigor will be pleased to see Cumberland High School is second only to Classical High School when it comes to the number of advanced placement courses available to high school students.
CHS’s 21 AP courses – ranging from Psychology to Macro Economics to Environmental Science – enable students to take college level courses while still at CHS and potentially earn college credit for them too.
On average, most private or independent schools offer 12 AP courses. No charter school in RI currently offers AP courses.
“You want to talk about rigor, these courses follow college curricula guidelines,” said CHS Principal Alan Tenreiro. “Even better, the students who pass the final AP exam earn college credit, which can save money on tuition during freshmen year.”
At their core, AP courses address broad content at a deep level and faster pace than required by the Rhode Island Department of Education’s high school curriculum standards. Students taking AP courses spend significant time on independent projects, research, and papers.
CHS is rare in that it offers AP US History to 9th graders. The class doubled in size in the second year.
“Not every school can do what we do,” Mr. Tenreiro said. “In order to have this many AP classes we need highly qualified teachers with specialized training through College Board Workshops, people who want to stay on the cutting edge of education. That speaks to the dedication and quality of teachers we have here at CHS.”
NUMBER OF AP Courses offered by RI Public High Schools in 2014
1. Classical 22
2. Cumberland 21
3. Portsmouth 20
4. Barrington 17
5. North Kingstown 15