Purnell offers each student a wide variety of academic experiences and challenges. Each student works with her advisor to prepare an academic plan that will ensure a balanced, interesting, and appropriate program for her particular talents and interests. The teachers utilize best teaching practices which include:
- Multiple Modalities of instruction
- Differentiated Instruction
- Multiple types of assessment
- Guided Lecture Notes
- Verbal and written directions
- Chunk assignments including frequent due dates and frequent checks for understanding
- Incorporation of accommodations, interventions, and modifications
- Agenda written on the board
Additionally, each student participates in grade-based seminars, including topics in Wellness, Affinities, Diversity, and the College Process.
Why don't we teach to Advanced Placement, Honors or other standardized tests?
Our goal is to teach students to be life long learners with the ability to research, analyze, and present their thinking in coherent and compelling ways. None of this can be measured by standardized tests such as the APs, which are necessarily designed to teach students how to answer finite questions which others have posed. It is clear to us that colleges understand our program, because our students do well in today's competitive college process.
Links to articles:
"Some Private High Schools Drop AP Courses: Defections Rise Amid Complaints That Curricula Are Too Rigid; What Colleges Say They Want"
"The Real Reason Private Schools Drop AP Tests"
"Are Advanced Placement Courses Diminishing Liberal Arts Educations?"