Expanding AP in Des Moines

Des Moines Public Schools has long been an Iowa leader in offering high-quality Advanced Placement courses, with top students from the metro area studying at Central Academy. Today, the school district is in the midst of a significant expansion of AP course offerings throughout the district, with two goals in mind:

  • All five, comprehensive high schools will thoughtfully and carefully work to expand AP course offerings
  • All five, comprehensive high schools will work to create high-quality, sustainable AP programs

Additional details on the expansion of Advanced Placement includes:

Advanced Placement Course Offerings

All five, comprehensive high schools will work to incorporate the following course offerings by 2016:

AP English Language (11th grade)
AP English Literature and Composition (12th grade) 

AP Human Geography (10th grade)
AP Psychology (11th and 12th grades)
AP U.S. History (11th and 12th grades)
AP U.S. Government and Politics (12th grade)
AP Macroeconomics (12th grade)

AP Statistics (11th and 12th grade; pre-requisite is Algebra 2)
AP Calculus A/B, B/C 

AP Biology (11th and 12th grades; completion of biology recommended, but not required)
AP Chemistry (11th and 12th grades; completion of chemistry recommended, but not required)
AP Environmental Science (11th and 12th grades)
AP Physics B or C (11th and 12th grades)

AP Music Theory (11th and 12th grades)

AP Drawing (11th and 12th grades)
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design or 3-D Design (11th and 12th grades)
AP Art History (optional)

AP Spanish (pre-requisite is Spanish III)

Teacher Training

Teachers selected to teach Advanced Placement courses must be trained by the College Board. That includes:

  • Each teacher must attend a 4-day AP Institute prior to offering the course. 
  • In order to continue teaching an AP course, teachers must attend a training session once every three years (the minimum requirement) to stay updated with course/exam changes and participate in a professional learning community.
  • Ninth and tenth grade teachers in the four, core content areas should also be trained in Pre-AP strategies.  These two day training sessions provide knowledge of AP and content area instructional strategies to help teachers prepare all students for success in an AP course.  

Administrator and Counselor Training

A minimum of one member of the administrative team and one counselor must be trained as an AP Site Coordinator.  This one day training is offered in the summer and an important part of creating a high-quality, sustainable AP program in the high school.