Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Reception for High School Project Opening Doors Initiative Highlights Program Success

Parents of Plainville High school students enrolled in the Project Opening Doors Advanced Placement course program recently enjoyed a reception featuring speakers from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and the Project Opening Doors Connecticut Initiative, as well as several of the Advance Placement (AP) course faculty members from the high school. Dale Fleury of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in Dallas, Texas, provided an overview of the Project Opening Doors program, which is funded by a grant from NMSI. J.A. Camille Vautour from Project Opening Doors Connecticut also provided information about the program and its success to date at Plainville High School. Marianne Cavanaugh, Math Director of the Project Opening Doors Connecticut program addressed parents, acknowledging the tremendous opportunity afforded to Plainville students with the expanded offering of AP courses at the high school. Cavanaugh, who is a Mathematics professor at the University of Connecticut, noted the advantages of potentially earning college credit for successful completion of high school Advanced Placement courses such as Calculus. Plainville High School Advanced Placement faculty members Eileen Hebert (Mathematics), Deb Seibert (English), and John Girard (Science) also provided an overview of the AP courses and curricula from their respective areas.

Plainville High School is in its second year of the Project Opening Doors program, and is one of 16 Connecticut high schools currently participating in the program, which is in place in 23 states across the country.

Led by ExxonMobil, the grant funded program was developed by a group of private donors interested in improving student achievement in math, science, and language arts. Project Opening Doors, Connecticut’s National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), applied for and received a grant from NMSI in 2007 to be a partner in this effort. The primary goal of NMSI and Project Opening Doors is to increase the number of students scoring three or higher on Advanced Placement Math, Science and English exams. The initiative is served by partnering with Project Opening Doors to provide teacher training and incentive programs for schools in the state. Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc. (APS) developed these programs to increase participation in Advanced Placement and Pre-Advanced Placement courses and success on associated exams.

Parents who attended the program reception were both excited and pleased with the opportunities made available to students through the Project Opening Doors initiative. Michelle Rogan, who is the parent of a high school senior, is pleased with the rigorous opportunities that Project Opening Doors has afforded her daughter Brittany, and many other Plainville High School students. Rogan noted that her daughter was able to take four Advanced Placement courses during her junior year, and is currently taking four AP courses this year. In addition, she was able to take part in numerous Saturday study sessions with other high school students, faculty and college professors, and participate in after school study sessions with Plainville High School Advanced Placement course teachers throughout the school year. "With help from the Project Opening Doors program and its supports, my daughter was able to score well on her AP tests, which could potentially earn her college credit, depending on the college or university she attends. Upon graduation, she could possibly have earned more than 30 college credits, allowing her to basically start college as a sophomore," explained Rogan.

A number of additional events are planned for the Plainville High School Project Opening Doors program this year. On October 27, David Bock, who authored the Advanced Placement Statistics text book for the program, will co-teach classes with Eileen Hebert, followed by a "meet the author" session after school. Bock is the leading author of the textbook, Stats Modeling the World. He taught at both Ithaca High School in Ithaca, New York, as well as Syracuse University. According to Plainville High School Assistant Principal and Project Opening Doors Administrator for Plainville, Kathy Carter, representatives from the Project Opening Doors Connecticut project will return to Plainville High School on November 23 to distribute approximately $6500 in cash prizes that Plainville's Advance Placement level students have earned. As a component of the initiative, students who complete the Advanced Placement courses in Math, Science and English, and successfully pass the Advance Placement exams in these subject areas with a score of three or better, receive $100 per course exam passed. The funds will be distributed to current Plainville High School seniors who qualify as well as seniors from last year's Class of 2010, who will be home on college break. In addition, four AP Scholars will also be honored at the November 23rd event. AP scholars receive a special designation based on passing a certain number of exams with a qualifying average score.

"Project Opening Doors (P.O.D.) is a catalyst for advancing academic rigor and high level learning at Plainville High School. Increased enrollment and college-level experiences through Advanced Placement courses in fact opens doors for students as they prepare for success in the world that awaits them following graduation. The Project Opening Doors program aligns with the Plainville High School vision to "prepare students for a successful and rewarding life in the twenty-first century global society." The administration and faculty of Plainville High School are proud of our students' achievements through P.O.D. thus far, and look forward to continued success," said Plainville High School Principal, Steven LePage.

"It is an awesome opportunity to be part of Project Opening Doors as our students are challenged to very high academic levels," noted Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kathleen Binkowski.

-Posted on September 29, 2010 at 03:30 PM

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