2012-08-17 / Community

High School Continues Rigorous Work Ethic

By Joseph Kindred & Shad Slocombe Special To The Wave

The school’s new computer lab. The school’s new computer lab. Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability, a new school located within the Beach Channel Campus, is transitioning into its third and robust year of operation this upcoming September. Principal Connolly is making progress towards bringing several Advanced Placement Courses into the school. Advanced Placement Courses are college level courses that high school students can take while still in high school. At the end of the course, students who score a level 3 on the college exam, can receive college credit. Starting in September 2012, students will have the opportunity to take courses such as A.P. Psychology, A.P. Environmental Science, A.P. English, and A.P. U.S. History. Principal Connolly states, “Research shows that students that take Advanced Placement Courses and Exams have much higher college graduation rates and carry significantly higher college grade point averages than their non-AP counterparts. At Rockaway Park High School, I expect all of my students to have their thinking pushed inside the classroom.” In the AP classrooms, the focus will not just be on memorizing facts. Instead, students will engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.

In addition to these challenging advance placement courses, many juniors will also be receiving free SAT Prep from Kaplan. Connolly was able to offer free SAT prep through a grant she wrote and received last year. SAT is an acronym which stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SAT is the most widely used college entrance exam.

Rockaway Park High School also installed a brand new state of the art MAC Computer Lab and two laptop carts that have MAC notebooks. Almost all of the classrooms are equipped with SMART Boards. SMART Boards are large interactive whiteboards that have a touch sensitive screen and connects to a computer. SMART Boards have several benefits for students and even teachers. SMART Boards increase the level of students’ engagement in learning activities but also allow teachers to be mobile around the classroom. SMART Boards are also environmentally friendly because they reduce the amount of paper needed for copying and printing worksheets.

Principal Connolly also refurbished many of the school’s classrooms with more college-esque desks and chairs to prepare students for a setting she hopes they all will get to experience after they leave Rockaway Park High School. Connolly states, “It’s critical to get our students to think like college students while they’re still in high school and part of that comes from creating an atmosphere that feels like a college.” Rockaway Park High School believes all their students are up for the challenge and are ready for another successful year!

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