Exciting changes are coming to the Iowa Online AP Academy in fall 2015! For the first time, we are offering select courses to high-achieving middle school students. Our middle school program was piloted at a few schools, and now we’re ready to take the next steps. Read on for more information!
Who can take these courses?
Our middle school IOAPA courses are intended for high-ability students in grades 6-8. Because of the challenging nature of the courses and the online delivery method, ensuring a good fit for students is very important. Thus, we recommend that students considering middle school IOAPA classes meet the following recommendations:
- Students should score at or above the 50th percentile on an above-level test (such as the Explore test for 6th graders or the ACT for 7th-8th graders). The Belin-Blank Center offers several above-level testing days in the spring, so if you have students who might be interested in these courses this fall, it is important to pass on this information now so they can register for testing in time to have their scores back by the course registration period in late spring. More information about above-level testing as well as testing dates can be found on our website.
- Students should score at or above the 95th percentile on a grade-level standardized test taken within the last year (such as the Iowa Assessments).
Other factors for consideration include teacher and parent support of the student’s readiness for advanced online coursework, relevant coursework that would aid in completion of the online course, and additional test scores documenting high ability.
What types of classes can middle school students take?
Students can enroll in classes related to a wide range of academic subjects and disciplines. These classes are AP-preparatory – that is, they are above-level courses that build the skills and background knowledge that prepare students for success in future AP courses. This spring, our pilot program’s students had the option to enroll in four different semester-long courses: Creative Writing, Probability and Statistics, Psychology, and U.S. History to the Civil War—Honors. We are hoping to add the following year-long courses to our course list beginning in the fall 2015 semester (final list still pending): Introductory Algebra, Geometry (Honors), Physical Science (Honors), and Biology (Honors). All courses are provided by Apex Learning. Course descriptions for all eight of these classes can be found on the Apex website.
What requirements does our school need to meet to offer these courses?
Requirements for middle school IOAPA are similar to requirements for Advanced Placement courses offered for high schoolers, and can be found on our website.
Begin thinking about this opportunity for your talented middle school students! For more information and updates, check out the middle school section on our website.