Okeeheelee MS Students Perfect Language Exam Pass

Okeeheelee MS Students Continue Tradition of Perfect Language Exam Pass Rate
Posted on 07/29/2020
Okeeheelee MS

For the fourth consecutive school year, Okeeheelee Middle School has offered an AP Spanish course in which students take the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam administered by College Board, to assess the quality of education in the school’s Dual Language Program. In each year of the course’s existence, the school has achieved a 100% pass rate on the rigorous annual exam.

“It is proof of the excellence of the International Spanish Academy,“ said Jorge Montero Morales, the International Spanish Academy Coordinator. “After offering the course for all these years, we have established a culture of success and a pattern of recognition within the school and the Academy for the students.”

Frank Argain is the eighth grade Assistant Principal at the school and was previously given the task of recruiting the best students from the International Spanish Academy (ISA) to encourage their enrollment in AP Spanish. During his tenure, he has witnessed the program’s growth and student success.

“We recruited 14 of our brightest eighth graders, and 100% of them passed the exam,” Argain said. “When the seventh grade students heard about this opportunity, many of them spent the summer preparing to take AP Spanish in the fall. We continued to grow the program to this year where we presented 65 eighth graders for the exam, and all of them passed.”

Okeeheelee’s AP Spanish Language and Culture is equivalent to an intermediate level Spanish college course. Students cultivate their understanding of Spanish language and culture by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations.

They explore concepts related to family and communities, personal and public identities, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, and global challenges.

“I am incredibly grateful to lead a school that offers this opportunity to students,” said Elizabeth Morales, the school’s principal. “We strive to challenge students to reach their highest potential, and this is one of the ways in which Okeeheelee students prove that the sky is the limit!”

Many of the school’s students are inspired to take the course, to be part of the special recognition that comes with a consistently successful pass rate. Upon entering the school in the sixth grade, several already have a goal in mind to take the course and maintain the exam pass rate streak.

"Hard work really pays off and we have all given our best,” said Irene Collado, the AP Spanish teacher. “It is my second year at Okeeheelee Middle, and second year in charge of the AP classes and I'm immensely happy about my students’ results. I’m looking forward to our next year in the AP program in the ISA.”

Ultimately, the school’s goal is to have all eighth graders take AP Spanish. That would swell the course enrollment number to approximately 185 students each year.

“It means the world to me to lead a group of students who are willing to stretch themselves for excellence,” Argain said. “These same students often take honors classes in other subjects that are above their grade level, so this is right in line with their high-achieving mentality.”

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