Two years ago, the Marshall School science department made the bold decision to offer an accelerated curriculum to all our students. As a school, we are convinced that success for our graduates depends on deepening their core competencies in math, science, and technology — a goal that aligns with our mission to educate global citizens.

Results from our just completed course registrations would indicate that this bet is paying off, as enrollments in higher-level science courses are skyrocketing.

Course 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
AP Biology 0 17 38
AP Chemistry 6 4 24
Physics (any level) 44 54 69

All Marshall students now take biology in 9th grade and chemistry in 10th grade. This is the normal sequence for science courses in high-performing states like Massachusetts, but it is one year accelerated from the normal sequence in Minnesota public schools. As a result, Marshall students have the opportunity to take physics as well as another higher level science before graduation — or even double-up and take two AP science courses in one year.

Marshall remains committed to the AP route for its college-level courses, as we believe the program is both challenging and transferrable. A great number of our students look to colleges outside of Minnesota, and the AP remains recognizable to the largest number of schools around the US.

This trend is creating higher expectations among Marshall students about what they can accomplish in high school. That positive peer pressure creates an expectation of academic excellence that is contagious.

Laptop Leaders
Likewise, next year the school is taking another bold step by introducing laptops into the US program. We believe that integration of technology is essential in preparing students to be successful in college and beyond.

To support this initiative, the Marshall technology staff is recruiting students to serve as technology ambassadors next year. Calling themselves the Technology Brigade, we can expect some fabulous things from this new corps of student leaders.

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