Lewisburg Area High School is a small school of approximately 620 students located in rural Central Pennsylvania. The size of the school and the district limits the academic offerings made available to the students as a result of personnel and budget constraints. In recent years, the school has increased its Advanced Placement Course offerings from eight to fourteen. However, many students are finding it difficult to schedule the combination of advanced courses they would like to take due to conflicts in scheduling. For example, in 2008-2009 Advanced Placement Chemistry and Advanced Placement Biology were scheduled at the exact same time as a single section class. This sequence of classes met the requests of the majority of students. However, a few students had to choose one Advanced Placement Class or the other.
It is also not fiscally prudent for the district to operate Advanced Placement Classes with fewer than ten students as it puts a strain on staff availability for the delivery of the regular curriculum for the majority of the students and the district is not able to expand staff for these classes alone.
High School students are able to access Advanced Placement and other advanced courses on-line that are not available in the Lewisburg Area High School Curricular Offerings or are in conflict with other high level classes. Courses are contracted through APEX Learning to provide students with learning opportunities that are not available under normal circumstances. For example, if a student wants to take Advanced Placement Chemistry, but can not fit it into their schedule due to other conflicts or the course is not offered at the high school this year, they can register to take the course on-line in addition to their other classes.
Below is a list of Advanced Placement Courses currently being offered by APEX Learning:
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Statistics
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics B
- AP Psychology1
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP Macroeconomics1
- AP Microeconomics1
- AP U.S. Government and Politics1
- AP U.S. History
- AP French Language and Composition
- AP Spanish Language and Composition
The district will also seek on-line providers that could offer courses such as Mandarin Chinese and other courses that would be of interest and value to our student population. Students will be surveyed and universities contacted to determine what courses would be important to provide through this program.
Students have the opportunity to work on these courses during the school day through the use of dedicated laptop computers, and after school on their home or public use computers. This would create an extended curriculum for gifted and motivated students who want to excel beyond the constraints of the local curriculum offered by the school district.
Laptop computers are being purchased for the high school and designated for this program. They are housed in the library or other accessible area allowing students to check out a computer for use during the school day or to take home in the evenings or weekends. Teachers of the gifted, counselors, or other designated personnel at the high school assist the students in registering for courses and monitoring their progress.
Equipment and Support
The Lewisburg Area School District has a wireless network infrastructure with the bandwidth necessary to support the laptop computers used for this project. The school uses Apple Macintosh (MacBook) Computers for students and teachers.
Through January 2011, the Green Dragon Foundation provided $18,540 in support of this program. Additional funding is needed for future students to participate.