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COVID-19 Communications from Mrs. Waterhouse

Letter to AP Students & Parents - March 30

To AP Students & Parents:

I am writing this letter to convey the changes that have happened with the AP tests in response to Covid-19.

From College Board:
Students remain eager to take AP Exams and have a chance to earn credit and placement. We surveyed 18,000 AP students and 91% indicated they want to complete this important step, urging us not to cancel this opportunity.

  • For the 2019-20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online exam at home. Educator-led development committees are currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered.
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. College Board will announce the dates on April 3rd.
  • AP curricula are locally developed and we defer to local decisions on how best to help students complete coursework. To be fair to all students, some of whom have lost more instructional time than others, the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March.
  • Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they've worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.
  • Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
  • We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating. If students need online access, they should reach out to Mr. Hoffman at rhoffshs@buusd.org to arrange access.
  • The exam questions are designed in ways that prevent cheating. We use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams. Scoring at-home work for an AP Exam isn't new to the AP Program. For years the AP Program has received and scored at-home student work as part of the exams for the AP Computer Science Principles and AP Capstone™ courses.
  • We'll continue to support students with free resources through exam day. And while we encourage students to wait until closer to the test date to decide, any student already registered for an exam can choose to cancel at no charge. Information about the reduced scope of content that will be covered on each 2020 AP Exam is currently posted on AP Central®. The specific test dates and the free-response question types will all be posted by April 3. We'll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam.
  • Information about the reduced scope of content that will be covered on each 2020 AP Exam is currently posted on AP Central®. The specific test dates and the free-response question types will all be posted by April 3. We'll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam.


Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, students and schools will have access to free, live AP review lessons, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. The lessons will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course. These mobile-friendly classes are:

  • Designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools.
  • Recorded and will be available on-demand so teachers and students can access them any time.
  • Not dependent on current AP teachers continuing instruction. We know many AP teachers now face challenges that would make that impossible.

In conjunction with the modifications that College Board has outlined, SHS will not require any student to take the AP test(s) for the 2019-20 school year. However, we strongly encourage students to still participate fully in the AP course(s) and assessment. For those that are concerned about the financial obligations, they should contact Mr. Hoffman at rhoffshs@buusd.org for assistance. Students will be reimbursed if they have already paid and opt out of the assessment(s). If students have not yet paid, they should send a check to:

Spaulding High School
155 Ayers Street
Barre, VT 0564

Please make the checks out to Spaulding High School for the amount previously billed.

We know that these are uncertain times. We are doing what we can to provide the primary learning experiences expected of our students, while also finding a balance in making sure our students are safe and cared for. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at bwateshs@buusd.org.

Sincerely,
Brenda Waterhouse
Principal, Spaulding High School