Palmer’s Pre–AP/Incentive Program provides a rigorous experience for motivated students. This Program includes the core subjects of English, Social Studies, Math and Science; however study in these areas will be enriched through critical and creative thinking skills, field studies, group presentations, independent research and further study in areas of special interest. In addition, students will undertake an accelerated curriculum in Math, Science and Social Studies (please see below for more details). Pre-AP/Incentive students will take their remaining courses in regular classes, such as French, Music, Art, Technology Education or Physical Education, for example.
Grade 8 to 11 Pre–AP/Incentive subjects prepare students for their potential enrollment in Grade 12 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, thus providing students with university level learning and advanced preparation for the rigors of post secondary study. Please refer to the section on the Advanced Placement Program for more details about AP.
Students in the Pre–AP/Incentive Program also have the opportunity to expand their personal profile in areas of leadership, physical activity, outdoor education and community service/volunteerism. Specifically, the aim of the Pre–AP/Incentive Program is to engender the following characteristics: self-reliance, perseverance, creativity, excellence, social responsibility, leadership, adventure, and fitness of mind and body. In summary, the goal of the Pre–AP/Incentive Program is to develop well-rounded students who will continue to flourish in their post secondary life and beyond.
Students in the full Pre–AP/Incentive Program enroll in all four academic subjects. While Incentive English and Social Studies proceed at the normal one-grade-level-per-year pace, the curriculum is accelerated in Math and Science.
In Math and Science, Pre–AP/Incentive students will complete the Grade 8-10 courses in two years, finishing their course work by the end of Grade 9 and writing Provincial Final Exams in the two subjects. Consequently, students will be a year ahead in their Math and Science education, so that in Grade 10, Pre-AP/Incentive students may enroll in Enriched Math 11 (or “regular” Math 11) as well as Chemistry, Physics and/or Biology 11. In Grade 11, students may then choose to take Math 12 as well as various Science 12 courses, and ultimately enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses in these subjects in Grade 12.
In Math, it is also an expectation that students take part in one major math contest each year while in the program. In Science, students annually undertake a major Science Fair project in Grades 8 through 10, with the top projects moving on to compete at the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair.
In Incentive English and Socials, students undertake more in-depth learning, discussions, group, and/or individual projects than in the regular courses. Writing assignments are generally more frequent and demanding. In addition, students are encouraged to develop their public speaking skills by joining the Debate Club. In Incentive English 10, students are required to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip (optional in Incentive 11 and 12) to experience top calibre classical and modern stage presentations as well as to gain an introduction to theatre-craft. In Grade 12, Incentive students may then enrol in the university preparatory AP English 12 course.
Throughout all Incentive and AP courses, students are provided with opportunities to develop and improve on their creative as well as critical thinking skills, both of which are equally important in the development of a well-rounded student and individual.
The progression of courses in each subject area in the Pre–AP/Incentive Program is summarized in the following table: