Pingree School is proud to announce its decision to transcend the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum. The school will replace its AP courses with advanced courses in all departments to be designed by the school’s faculty.
The school’s curriculum committee led a two-year research effort that included an analysis of Pingree’s data, conversations with more than 15 other independent schools that moved beyond APs, surveys of faculty, and interviews with college admission officers. In 2020, the curriculum committee presented its findings to the head of school and associate head of school, along with its unanimous recommendation that transcending the AP will best serve Pingree students.
“True rigor is more than a depth of coverage and mastery; it requires students to apply knowledge in new and novel ways,” said Associate Head of School Kristin Brown. “We view the most advanced courses as those that expect original thinking and invite students to make connections across disciplines.”
An independent advanced curriculum will leverage Pingree’s academic freedom, allowing it to be more nimble, creative, and unique in its course offerings. Expected program additions include more experiential and integrated learning experiences and advanced cross-departmental courses. The new advanced curriculum will empower students with opportunities to showcase their strengths to colleges and universities more holistically than possible through the AP curriculum.
“Transcending APs allows Pingree's faculty to better instill the skills colleges tell us matter most: independent thinking, collaboration, intellectual curiosity, and the clear communication of ideas,” said Nick Soodik, interim director of college counseling. “This decision is not only best for students' education in high school; it will prepare them for better success in college and beyond.”