Personalized, career-focused education on campus or online

Course Descriptions with Consultant Information

Classes that are offered:

Biology | Calculus AB/BC | Chemistry Computer Science | English Language | English Literature | European History | French Language & Culture | Latin | Spanish Statistics | U.S. Government & Politics | U.S. History

Advanced Placement Summer Institute class



The AP Biology Summer Institute is designed for both experienced and new AP Biology teachers. We will focus on techniques to introduce and reinforce all aspects of the AP Biology curriculum framework (the four “Big Ideas”, the seven Science Practices, the Learning Objectives, etc.) with a particular emphasis on moving your lab program toward guided, student-designed, inquiry-based labs. Participants will engage in an extensive hands-on lab experience, which will include lab prep, experimental design, data analysis, and presentation. Labs will include those found in the AP Biology Lab Manual, as well as many alternatives. During the week time will also be devoted to teaching strategies (including using case studies and POGIL), course design, how to develop a syllabus with the new framework, the AP exam, textbook selection, and lab equipment requirements and ordering information. Participants are asked to bring their 2018-19 academic year calendars, a calculator, their own laptop (if possible), and a favorite lab or other activity to share.

Pam Bryer is an Introductory Biology Instructor and the Director of Laboratories for the Bowdoin College Biology Department. As a College Board consultant for over 15 years, she has conducted AP Biology workshops and summer institutes around the country. She has taught microbiology, marine biology, and/or general biology to Upward Bound high school students every summer for thirty years, conducted Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) sponsored summer workshops for high school teachers, published articles on simplified lab techniques for introductory/AP biology, and presents at local, regional, and national conferences. Pam is currently the Maine representative to the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).


Calculus AB/BC

This workshop will concentrate on AB topics and will cover BC topics as requested by the participants. This session will familiarize participants with the Redesigned AP Calculus Framework that went into effect in the Fall of 2016, as well as thorough coverage of the concepts and content of both Calculus AB and BC. Strategies for successfully teaching all the major topics in the AB/BC Framework using multiple representations (graphical, numerical, algebraic and verbal) will be emphasized. Resources, activities and supplemental material that promote student understanding will be provided. Participants will have hands on experience with AP Free Response and Multiple Choice questions with attention given to assessment of student written responses. Methods for using both the TI84 and TI-Nspire graphing calculators will be utilized as well as demonstrations using Desmos. Emphasis on topics will be guided by the needs of the participants.

Dennis Donovan has been teaching AP Calculus AB and BC since 1997 and AP Statistics since 2002 at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA. He is a College Board consultant for AP Calculus and has presented at numerous one-day and two-day workshops and AP Summer Institutes. Dennis has been an AP Calculus reader from 2005-2014, his roles have included: table leader and question leader. He became a co-author on the Barron’s AP Calculus Review Book for the 13th edition. He has presented at many Saturday study sessions for student review in both AP Calculus and AP Statistics for NMSI and the Massachusetts Math Science Initiative. Dennis is also a T3 Regional Instructor concentrating on the TI-Nspire. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Mathematics for Educators from WPI.



Chemistry participants can expect an extensive overview of the current AP Chemistry course implemented in 2013/14 according to the new AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework. We will prepare for the emphasis on inquiry learning that pervades not only the new curriculum framework, but, particularly, the laboratory portion of the new course. Participants can expect exposure to resources such as POGIL, the Science Writing Heuristic and the 5 and 7 E models and their use in planning to teach and prepare laboratory and classroom experiences using various levels of inquiry.  Sample questions representative of the new exam style will be studied as well. We will also practice writing assessment questions that will elicit students’ inquiry skills and we will convert former multi-topic AP examination questions into inquiry style questions. Participants will perform ten laboratory exercises with various levels of inquiry. Several of these will be taken from the brand new AP Chemistry Inquiry Based Laboratory Lab Manual. In addition, participants will practice converting some of their current favorite experiments from standard laboratory format to both guided and open inquiry styles. Taught by Cheri Smith.

Cheri Smith is the science department head at Yale Secondary School near Vancouver, British Columbia where she has been teaching AP Chemistry since 1988. She has worked for the College Board as a consultant in Pre-AP Science and AP Chemistry for two decades conducting workshops across Canada, the US and the world.

Cheri has assisted in editing and writing the Special Focus materials for the College Board’s AP Chemistry workshops and the reviewing of materials for the AP Central website. Currently, she is one of the writers of the College Board’s AP Chemistry Inquiry Based Laboratory Manual. Additionally she is an author of four chemistry texts, including AP Chemistry 1 (Big Ideas 1, 2 & 3) and AP Chemistry 2 (Big Ideas 4, 5 & 6) which were released in 2016.

She has been an AP chemistry exam reader, table leader and question leader since 1998.


Computer Science

The course accommodates participants with different levels of familiarity with Java and OOP.  We will study classes and objects, constructors and methods, abstract classes and interfaces, inheritance and polymorphism, strings, 1D and 2D arrays and ArrayList, and other topics specified in the AP CS A Course Description.  We will discuss the College Board’s course audit process, work with the College Board’s exemplar labs (Magpie, Picture Lab, Elevens) and other materials, including the multiple choice and free-response questions from past exams, and share techniques for teaching Java in high school.

Maria Litvin has taught computer science and mathematics at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, since 1987. She is an Advanced Placement Computer Science exam reader and table leader and, as a consultant for The College Board, provides AP training for high school computer science teachers. Prior to joining Phillips Academy, Maria taught computer science at Boston University. She is co‑author of several leading AP Computer Science textbooks, including C++ for You++ and Java Methods: Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures.  She is also the co-author of Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java (since 1999) and Mathematics for the Digital Age and Programming in Python. Since 2014, as a facilitator, Maria has trained over four hundred New England elementary school teachers to introduce computer science to students in grades K-5.  She is the faculty advisor of the Coding Circle community engagement program at the neighboring Boys & Girls Club, which introduces coding to elementary school children. Maria is a co-author of the Continental Math League’s computer science contest for elementary and middle school students.


English Language & Composition

Participants in this course will consider various approaches to designing and teaching AP English Language and Composition. Course content and activities will address the substance and philosophy of the AP English Language course and its relationship to the comprehensive end-of-course examination. Key AP course elements, including the study of rhetoric, argumentation (including source-based argumentation), image-based texts, and various forms of “the literature of fact” will be the addressed and explored. A major focus will be the development of course units and assignments that occasion rhetorical awareness and the development of student skills involving close reading and purposeful writing. Each participant will review model course syllabi and give shape to a course syllabus of their own that is appropriate for his or her particular teaching situation. Each participant should bring curriculum materials that will be helpful in course development, especially nonfiction texts. As a result of taking this class, participants will be poised to develop course content that helps students build proficiencies associated with the AP English Language and Composition Examination.

Claudette Lachance Brassil taught AP English Language and Composition as well as Pre-AP English courses over 39 years at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham, Maine. In her school district and state, she pioneered the College Board’s Pre-AP/Vertical Teams concept in English and her practice as a collaborator and mentor served as a model for her faculty colleagues. She has conducted AP English Language and Composition course development workshops as well as Pre-AP English/Vertical Teams sessions in Canada, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine and the University of New Hampshire, she is a National Board Certified Teacher and a recipient of an NCTE Teacher of Excellence Award.


English Literature & Composition

This week long course is designed to benefit the both the inexperienced and experienced AP Literature and Composition teacher. Using contemporary and classic literature, we will explore instructional strategies and assessments tied to the AP Literature and Composition Exam. During the week we will examine seminar approaches, poetry, short works of fiction, major works of fiction (novels and drama), grammar/syntax, and writing.  We share our current syllabi and course design and tweak the areas we want to strengthen. The workshop will be largely hands-on and differentiated to the degree needed. We will combine our collective experience to plan for a productive 2018-19 school year.

Rebecca McFarlan is a National Board Certified teacher who has taught English on both the high school and college levels for 36 years. She has 30 years of experience teaching both the AP English Literature and the AP English Language courses. For the past 14 years she has been a reader and more recently a table leader for the AP English Literature Exam. Currently she teaches at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati, OH. In addition to full time teaching duties, she serves as Instructional Leader for grades 9-12 and Program Leader for K-12. She is a College Board Consultant for AP English Literature, AP English Language, and PreAP English. Over the past 18 years she has facilitated workshops both nationally and internationally. Rebecca has conducted several workshops in China focusing on both AP and PreAP English curriculum for Chinese students. For the past six years she has served as a coach and mentor to other College Board consultants. In 2011 she became a College Board consultant trained to work as an English coach with districts on a sustained basis. Rebecca co-authored the article “Bridging the Grammar Gap: An Interdisciplinary Approach” which appeared in The English Journal in January 2003. In 2004 she received the Martha Holden Jennings Master Teacher award. She has developed three online workshops for AP Central and has worked on the development of several PreAP workshops.


European History

AP European History provides a rich interdisciplinary experience for students, and prepares them for most college level humanities courses as well. The workshop is designed to enable both new and experienced teachers to plan an effective and dynamic course. The workshop includes strategies to help students to learn the content, 1500 to the present, and all aspects of the course: politics, economics, social history, intellectual history, art history, and historiography. Participants can learn how to structure the syllabus to include appropriate activities and assessments, as well as content. An explanation of the AP test and scoring will include in depth training of the Document Based Question and guidelines for the Short Answer, free response, and multiple choice questions.  Numerous handouts will supplement the explanation of teaching strategies, especially involving the critical thinking skills vital to the course. Participants will also engage in abbreviated simulations, role plays, and student centered activities.  Discussion is encouraged, and teachers should bring textbooks, relevant materials, books, films, and strategies to share. The participants will receive a flash drive of hundreds of sample lessons and materials. The instructor will focus on the latest changes to the course and exam, and ways to enable students to succeed, especially in terms of the writing components of the exam.

Dr. Lenore Schneider earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Duke University and her doctorate from Carnegie Mellon. She has taught AP European History for twenty-five years at New Canaan High School, and has served as Reader and Table Leader for the AP Exam essays. She also served on the AP European History Test Development Committee, and in 2016, the AP European History Standards Setting Committee. She has taught AP workshops and institutes at over twenty sites, including several institutes in Europe, Japan, and China, and has traveled to fifty-three countries. She has also mentored AP teachers and College Board consultants and is currently serving on the College Board Advisory Board. Her specialties include writing skills to help students to succeed on the essays, and student centered activities such as simulations and role play. She also teaches AP World History and has trained AP consultants, as well as served as a Table Leader at the exam scoring for APWH.


French Language and Culture

The AP French Language & Culture workshop is designed:

  • To provide the participants with ideas and techniques (Vertical Team Concept) – To prepare the students from the basic level to the New AP French test.
  • To familiarize participants with the content and the structure of the different components of the New AP French Language test.
  • To present the three modes of written and spoken communication defined in the Standards for Foreign Language learning in the 21stCentury.
  • To familiarize the participants with the Presentational, the Interpersonal and the interpretive modes of Communication in Speaking and Writing.
  • To share materials and techniques that will assist the participants to understand the new approach and will help their students to succeed on their 2019 AP test.
  • To present the cultural approach and material to be incorporated at all levels of instruction.
  • To present the websites available and how to integrate the authentic material in their daily teaching.
  • To present the six essential themes and the sub-topics recommended to be integrated in the daily instruction.
  • To provide the participants with time and opportunity for collegial interaction and exchange of successful strategies.
  • To help the participants with the preparation of the new syllabus for the College Board Audit.

Mona Mulhair has taught French at Gavilan and Cabrillo Community Colleges and presently teaches AP French language and literature at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek. She has been the World language mentor for the District and is presently the department chair at Las Lomas. She has been appointed as a reader and consultant for the College Board since 1995. She was a member of the test development committee and has been a table leader since 2001. She has conducted several curriculums and grading workshops nationwide as well as internationally: Paris/France and Montreal/Canada. She has presented the five-day workshops at Monterey, San Diego, Stanford, Redondo Beach California, Bellevue Washington, Tucson Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, Texas, Montana, Hawaii, and Paris France. In 2002, Mona presented French AP language and Literature in the First National AP Conference in Chicago and was certified as a National Consultant Leader for the College Board. She was teacher of the year for the Acalanes District in 1994 and has been the recipient of numerous Awards of Excellence in her field. In 2005, she authored the French Study Guide of Candide, Voltaire. In 2007, she authored and compiled the French Language Guide for the College Board and the AP workshops. In addition, she was nominated to serve on the National Academic Council of the College Board. In August 2010, she was asked to conduct a special workshop for the French consultants, preparing them for the 2012 new AP French Language and Culture test. She may be contacted



In 2013 there was the first administration of what was then called “the new AP Latin”.  We will look back at each exam and determine what we see in the essay questions as well as how the short answer questions have developed.  We will dissect the test format and practice scoring some of each type of free response question (literal translation, short answer & essay).   We will read excerpts from both Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and talk about & develop instructional strategies for themes and contextualization.  This week is intended to help both new and experienced teachers have any & all questions about teaching the course answered AND prepare and share materials which integrate the question types into everyday instruction.  Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or a flash drive. If you have any questions or seek more information, contact Jill Crooker:

Jill Crooker taught Latin, all levels including AP Vergil and AP Latin Literature, for more than 25 years at Pittsford Mendon High School, N.Y. She has served as Reader, Table Leader, and presently Question Leader for samples for more than 15 years. She has conducted numerous AP summer institute sessions and has led professional development workshops in Maine and New York, as well as at The American Classical League Institutes for many years. She has written extensively about assessment for all levels of Latin.


Spanish Language and Culture

Using the Backwards Design process, this summer institute will re-examine participants’ AP Spanish Language and Culture course to better align with current Advanced Placement Program expectations. The course will provide sample materials and classroom activities relating to the 2018 exam. Participants will be asked to actively participate and share best practices with the entire group on a daily basis.

Topics will include the following:

  • Foundations of Advanced Placement
  • Using project-based learning (PBL) a way to integrate and develop language skills
  • Developing Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) activities
  • Integrating STEAM topics in the World Languages Classroom
  • Developing and integrating the three modes of communication; Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational
  • Putting the Curriculum Framework into practice
  • Instructional Design and Management
  • Developing new ideas using the recommended AP Themes / Contexts and Essential Questions
  • Teaching and Developing Culture in the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course
  • Reflecting on current AP Program, how to involve all teachers, developing an AP Vertical Team
  • Using authentic resources
  • Building proficiency across modes of communication
  • Integrating authentic literature in the AP Spanish Language and Culture course
  • Applying the scoring criteria to student samples

María Vázquez currently teaches AP Spanish Language, Spanish IV and Arte y Cultura at Millburn High School in New Jersey. She studied in Madrid and Salamanca, and is a graduate of Seton Hall University, with degrees in Spanish Language & Literature and Secondary Education. Maria has been a College Board national consultant for over 25 years. She has conducted over 100 AP workshops and summer institutes throughout the United States and in Europe. Maria received the Advanced Placement Recognition Award from the Middle States Regional office. She served as Co-Chair on the AP Spanish Language Test Development Committee, and currently is the Assistant Chief Reader at the AP Reading. Former Consultant for Pearson Publications: AP Spanish Preparing for the Language Exam 2007©, Teacher’s Guide – Lesson Plans: Abriendo Paso-Lectura 2007© and 2012©; Abriendo Paso-Temas y Lecturas 2013©; Research Consultant for Abriendo Paso-Temas y Lecturas. Co-author of El Movimiento Poblacional College Board Curriculum Module2012©.



This AP Statistics workshop is an intensive five-day program that will provide an overview of statistical ideas and concepts and give valuable resources and instructional strategies for teaching AP Statistics. We will cover the four principal areas of the AP Curriculum: Exploratory Analysis, Data Collection, Probability, and Statistical Inference. Participants will be given instruction on content, classroom activities, teaching strategies, time management, uses of technology, review for the exam, cumulative projects, and exposure to previous AP questions. There will be a discussion of AP goals, resources, and equity issues, the course audit, and recommended textbooks. This workshop will be valuable not only to teachers planning to teach or already teaching AP Statistics, but also to Pre-AP teachers who through vertical teaming can help prepare and encourage students to take AP Statistics.

More specifically, the following topics will be covered in some detail:

1) Exploratory Analysis: graphical displays including dotplots, bar charts, histograms, stemplots, and boxplots; numerical summaries including median and mean, range, interquartile range, variance, and standard deviation; bivariate data including scatterplots, correlation, the least squares regression line, the coefficient of determination, and residuals; and categorical data including frequency tables and Simpson’s paradox.

2) Planning a Study: simple random sampling, sampling error, sources of bias in surveys, and stratification to reduce variation; observational studies vs experiments; blinding, doubleblinding, blocking; random sampling vs random assignment.

3) Probability: multistage probability calculations, discrete random variables and their probability distributions, simulation of probability distributions, and means and standard deviations for sums and differences of random variables; normal distribution; sampling distributions of sample means and sample proportions.

4) Statistical Inference: confidence intervals for means and proportions, difference of two means or proportions, slope; hypothesis tests including null and alternative hypotheses, P-values, one and two sided tests, Type I and Type II errors; tests for a proportion, for a mean, for a difference, and for a slope; chi-square test for goodness of fit and chi-square test for independence; the t-distribution and associated single sample and two sample t-procedures. Much of the above will be presented and illustrated in the context of activity-based examples.

Dr. Martin Sternstein, Professor Emeritus at Ithaca College, received his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and his doctorate at Cornell University. He spent two years in West Africa as Fulbright Professor at the University of Liberia. He has strong interests in national educational and social issues concerning equal access to math education for all. He has been a Reader and Table Leader for the AP Statistics exam, has given over 50 College Board Pre-AP and AP workshops, and is the author of the Barron’s AP Statistics review book. He was profiled in Princeton Review’s “The 300 Best Professors.”


United States Government & Politics

This course is designed for educators who are new to US Government and Politics as well as for experienced teachers in search of new materials and strategies. Detailed information about the new frameworks and the new testing format for 2018-2019 will be highlighted. We will examine each of the 5 new units in detail as well as trying interactive lessons that span units and call on the same type of knowledge and skills used in the Free Response Questions. We will also share approaches for this course that are effective with students from different academic backgrounds. Although the nation’s founding documents remain unchanged, policy, legislation, court decisions and political trends are constantly evolving. Updated curriculum, both in electronic and hard copy form, will be made available for all sub-topics. This course will examine our political landscape from multiple perspectives, ranging in time from the founding of the Republic to the results of the 2016 election and beyond.

Bob Baker has taught almost every course offered in the social studies curriculum over the last 34 years, and US Government and Politics is his favorite. Recently retired from Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, he is an AP Reader and consultant, as well as a self-confessed recovering political junkie. He has led teacher workshops across the US, and has compiled a wide repertoire of approaches to this dynamic course.


United States History

This course will provide teachers with the tools they need to design or revise an effect AP US History course. Throughout the week teachers will explore AP History disciplinary practices and reasoning skills, along with the historical periods, concept outline, and thematic learning objectives.  Participants will understand how to use activities that organize the concepts and essential questions to develop students’ proficiency in the historical disciplinary practices and reasoning skills identified in the curriculum framework.  Participants will work on a course plan that will help them decide how they will teach the practices and skills and the what content they feel will best allow their students to apply the practices and skills they need to be apprentice historians.  In addition participants will review the AP US History Exam, including an understanding of the scoring guidelines for the Long Essay Question and DBQ. This will include the reading and scoring of sample essays from the most recent exam reading. The curriculum framework and exam scoring guidelines have undergone revisions over the last three years so this course will also provide participants with the latest revisions. Participants are encouraged to bring books, supplemental readings, lessons, and any other materials they think would be valuable to share with other teachers.

Jim Glinski has over 40 years of experience as a teacher and department chairperson at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA.  For over 20 years he has been a reader and table leader at the AP US History Exam Reading; taught numerous AP US History and AP European History College Board workshops and Summer Institutes; and been the recipient of the College Board’s New England Region Advanced Placement Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching.