TURNERS FALLS — Superintendent Richard Martin and Principal Brian Spadafino are pleased to announce that the Franklin County Technical School recently completed a successful year of Advanced Placement course offerings, with plans to expand the program next school year.
FCTS currently offers AP courses in English and computer science. Testing this year began on Wednesday, May 4 and concluded Tuesday, May 10.
The school has been actively building its AP course curriculum for several years.
“Coming off of COVID we weren’t really sure what the interest level would be in AP courses, but our numbers were very good,” Principal Spadafino said. “Just this year alone we have 31 juniors taking AP English courses, which is a very strong number. It’s all about giving kids as many opportunities as we can, and AP courses can open a lot of doors.”
Students have adopted the school’s philosophy as to why AP courses are important at the tech school level.
“More and more students are becoming interested in AP as they start to see the value in it, and it’s certainly gaining momentum,” said FCTS Dean of Students Amber Crochier. “We try to take a holistic approach to education, and so our courses must hit the state standards as well as take into account a student’s shop component. When you add it all up it proves to be a very rigorous workload, and our students have consistently shown that they are up to the challenge.”
For FCTS students, AP courses are taken concurrently with shop courses on a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule.
“Essentially students are doing twice the work, and that really says something about not only their academic skills, but also their commitment and dedication,” Principal Spadafino said. “That can go a long way on a transcript.”
Next school year FCTS will implement an AP Government and Politics (U.S. Civics) course as well.
“The course involves a lot of speaking and debate, and the course work will be accessible to a lot of the types of learners we have at the school,” Principal Spadafino said. “All AP instructors must also be certified with the state to teach their respective courses, so there are a lot of professional development opportunities for teachers as well. It’s a terrific sign that our school’s AP program is headed in the right direction.”