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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-4:45:22A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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SIS celebrates academic triumph after the wrath of Yutu

IN every adverse situation people make choices about how to overcome the obstacles in front of them.

For Saipan International School, the first choice was to move the debris and open school. The SIS community came out in force. Parents, students and staff moved debris, cleared classrooms and cleaned everything, allowing SIS to open. Open it did but without power or the Internet, a 21st century standards for education. So students went back to paper and books. This was “do-able” for most classes but proved a challenge for the AP classes.

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Saipan International School students, teachers and parent community made the difficult choice to persevere after Yutu.  SIS photo

Advanced Placement or AP classes are taught at beginning college level. They are content dense, accelerated and demanding in the best of times, but without internet, they become that much more challenging. SIS students banded together in coffee shops, around iPhone hotspots, at McDonald’s and even outside under a shady tree to get their studies done and to meet the varied challenges of AP Calculus, AP Human Geography, AP Language, AP German, Japanese and Spanish, AP Seminar, etc. The teachers also worked to make sure the students had the high quality, critically demanding lessons required to prepare for the exams.

It worked! For the fourth year in a row, SIS students improved the percentage of passing exams. This is no small accomplishment. SIS students are academically motivated. The majority of juniors take between one and four AP classes and go on to take the exams in May. This year SIS offered AP Seminar to 10th grade as well, expanding the pool of test takers to younger students, given them the opportunity to be AP Capstone graduates before their senior year.

AP and College Board publishes each school’s “passing rate,” the rate of passing tests to those test taken. This year SIS’s passing rate was over 80 percent. This is particularly impressive in light of the number and diversity of exams taken by SIS students and by challenges faces by students and teachers in preparing for those exams. SIS’s results were generally above the CNMI and national average in every category of exams and often above the international average for several categories including AP Human Geography, German and Japanese.

AP Seminar, the first class of the AP Capstone Diploma, stood out for its 100 percent pass rate. Unlike some classes, taking the exam is a requirement of the class, so 100 percent of the students who choose to take the class, took the test. Their average school was over 3.8, almost a full point higher than that national average. SIS is the only school in Micronesia approved to offer the AP Capstone Diploma and is excited to welcome these students into the second class of the program, AP Research. With the addition of AP Research, AP Physics and AP Biology, SIS high school students currently have the choice of 11 AP classes during their high school career, more than any other school in the CNMI.

SIS students, teachers and parent community made the difficult choice to persevere after Yutu and proved that effort, enthusiasm, creativity and hard work result in success!