PATERSON, NJ - Starting in the 2019 academic year students in Paterson’s “Choice” high schools will have the opportunity to participate in a “challenging program” that will allow them to develop research, collaboration, and communication skills to help them achieve success in college and in their careers.

According to Superintendent Eileen Shafer, the Paterson School’s Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma program will be on offer beginning in September and will equip the students “with skills that can enable them to have a very positive impact on the world.”  

The participating schools, including Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts, P.A.N.T.H.E.R. Academy, and The School of Business, Technology, Marketing & Finance are thematically oriented to particular careers and fields.

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“Students who participate will work hard and do more than what the state requires to finish high school,” Shafer said. “But meeting great challenges means great rewards. And students who meet the challenges of the AP Capstone program will be ready for college and able to achieve career success.”

The AP Capstone Diploma Program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. The first, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade “is a project-based learning course” in which students, choose and evaluate complex topics by learning to identify credibility and bias in sources and develop arguments in support of a recommendation to the issue they take on.

In the second component of the program, the AP Research Course, students build on skills developed in AP Seminar by learning how to understand research methodology and employ ethical research practices to design, execute, present, and defend a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest.

Students in the AP Seminar are evaluated on research reports, written arguments, and presentations completed during the academic year, while students in the subsequent AP Research Course receive a score based on their academic paper, presentation, and oral defense.

Students who score a three  or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma signifying outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who score a three or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research but not the four additional AP exams earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

“Making the AP Capstone Diploma available at Paterson’s Choice high schools meets the district’s objective to prepare our students for prosperous careers through academic rigor and developing essential skills,” said Paterson Public Schools Associate Chief Academic Officer Eric Crespo. “We encourage all Paterson students, whether they are in high school or looking forward to beginning high school, to consider the AP Capstone program as an investment in their own future successes.”

The other participating schools are:


·         Academy of Health Science (a.k.a. HARP Academy)

·         Garrett Morgan Academy

·         International High School

·         The School of Architecture and Construction Trades (at the JFK Educational Complex)

·         The School of Education and Training (at the JFK Educational Complex)

·         The School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (at the JFK Educational Complex)

·         The Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism School (at Eastside High School)

·         The School of Government & Public Administration (at Eastside High School)

·         The School of Information Technology (at Eastside High School)