Proctor achieves its mission, "to educate members of its diverse community for lives that demonstrate honesty, compassion, respect, and responsibility" through all aspects of a student's daily life. With one third of each day spent in academic courses, the breadth of academic offerings at Proctor is essential to inspiring confident, dynamic learners. For many students, academic exploration at Proctor has, as one recent graduate stated, "Unlocked the sense of wonder" for students.
Proctor's extensive Advanced Placement curriculum provides tremendous learning opportunities to the school's most motivated learners.
While offerings have varied in recent years, students currently have the option to take AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Language and Composition, AP Literature, AP Human Geography, AP Government, AP Spanish, and AP French.
While high level content remains the motivation for many students' participation in Advanced Placement courses, Chris Rogers, who is offering AP Statistics for the first time this year, comments, "AP Stats prepares kids extraordinarily well for college. Whether or not they take further math classes, statistics teaches students to think differently, to problem solve and to more deeply understand real life solutions to everyday problems they face."
Brenda Godwin, who teaches AP Government, adds, "Often there's an esprit de corps amongst the students in the class that enables spirited advocacy of differing points of view without rancor. At its best, the atmosphere in an AP classroom enhances and energizes learning for students and teachers alike."
Mark Tremblay's AP Literature class seeks to establish a similar environment where he says, "Students delve into the depths of the literature we read, well beyond plot and character analysis to a place of deeper understanding about society, culture, and the philosophical underpinnings of the work."
Students share the same perspectives as teachers. Alice, a four-year senior, notes, "The AP curriculum at Proctor has allowed me to create a diverse schedule of very challenging classes in preparation for college. The teachers make them fun and engaging, while setting high expectations. The writing and critical thinking skills I have learned have positively impacted all of my classes at Proctor."
These high expectations are especially beneficial for Proctor's AP students who have overcome a learning difference. As Learning Skills department chair Jennifer Fletcher comments, "AP courses can be beneficial for our diverse range of learners at Proctor by helping to foster a strong work ethic and cultivate critical thinking, reading, writing, and problem-solving skills by engaging in college-level work. As Sally Shaywitz, M.D., notes in her critically acclaimed text, Overcoming Dyslexia, 'Dyslexics think differently. They are intuitive and excel at problem solving, seeing the big picture, and simplifying. They feast on visualizing, abstract thinking, and thinking out of the box. They are poor rote reciters but inspired visionaries...and [they] flourish because of high expectations.'"
While not every student who walks through Proctor's doors will choose to take an AP class, the experience for those who do is certainly exceptional.