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Declaration of Student Rights
Students are entitled to choose a high school course load that allows them to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Students need the flexibility to choose from a mix of differentiated course offerings. After school time should not be just for homework, but should allow time for family, friendships, community, volunteering, extracurricular activities, and sports. Students need a good night's sleep and time in their schedules to unwind a little bit at the end of a long day.
All BCPS high schools should provide high quality, differentiated courses, at all levels of instruction, especially in their core academic courses. Science, math, english and social studies courses should be available in Standard, Honors, GT....and AP ( is appropriate). Students must be able to choose engaging courses according to their unique abilities, interests, and time constraints. All BCPS high schools should include the College Board Advanced Placement Test Summary Data as part of their High School Profile, and also disclose the number of students who took AP courses but opted not to take the AP exam. This practice would permit parents, students, and colleges and universities to see a school's track record of success by the students taking AP classes and tests. Additionally, schools that have eliminated Standard level classes in core academic subjects should disclose that information in the school profile so that colleges and universities may make informed decisions about a students' "weighted" transcript. Parents, students and stakeholders deserve accurate, timely and truthful information regarding differentiated levels of instruction offered in all grades, in all subjects, and in all schools.
Students and parents should be informed of any plans to materially change or alter differentiated levels of instruction. Students and parents are stakeholders and are entitled to be consulted about potentially significant changes.
Students who take 2-credit Advanced Placement courses should be counseled and advised in writing of the potential impact to their four year high school schedule and their ability to complete all graduation requirements on time and in their school building. Read more about this important topic here.
Schools officials should be required to take at least one professional development workshop to learn about basic neuroscience regarding adolescent brain development, especially as it relates to a teenager's ability to perform executive functioning tasks required for Advanced Placement coursework in high school.
Decisions about curriculum offerings and course choice flexibility should be made in the best interest of individual students, and not in pursuit of enhancing a school's status in Newsweek magazine's "America's Best High Schools" annual contest.