ConnectEd Spring 2016 - Page 3

3 AP, IB exams free for GISD students Did you know the average three-credit hour class at a four-year Texas public university costs $1,500? Garland ISD offers several opportunities to start saving money during high school. In addition to dual credit classes, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) can also reduce the number of college courses needed. Beginning this spring, the district will pay for all AP and IB exams. After evaluating fees from 2014-15, GISD’s Board of Trustees approved more than $281,000. Nearly 40 percent of the 5,956 AP tests taken last year yielded a 3 or higher, which can be exchanged for college credit. Take advantage of free exams by registering for AP via campus websites before March 18. Students who already registered for IB exams should contact Rebecca Tisdale for a refund. Several study sessions are also available. Check with counselors for details. Technology giant Google recently selected eight GISD schools to pilot a new virtual reality experience—the Expeditions Program. Students visited faraway destinations, such as the Palace of Versailles, by looking through a cardboard viewer with a smart phone inside. Their future started at four years old From half-day prekindergarten classes to a Montessori magnet program, parents of four-year-olds have options in Garland ISD. Cisneros and Parsons prekindergarten schools give students a head start to education with hands-on learning activities, field trips, reading instruction, social interaction, gym class, cafeteria meals, etc. They also offer Spanish and Vietnamese bilingual classes. The district’s new Montessori campuses, Herfurth and Luna elementary schools, provide individual discovery-style learning in multiage classrooms. Eligible four-year-olds can attend GISD schools free of charge, and new students should enroll at the Manuel and Maria Valle Student Services Center. Elementary Choice of School for 2016-17 opens March 17. Those interested in Montessori must pre-enroll at the Student Services Center by March 13. For families with older siblings, Secondary Choice of School is currently underway. Campus selections should be made via Skyward Family Access or paper forms before Feb. 26. spring 2016