Eagle education ASCEND-ing to new heights

Working with the AP Capstone course, the new ASCEND program helps PHS students strive and prepare for college

By Angelique Cuadrado, Reporter

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The ASCEND program is a new program to Poinciana High School, which was created by Assistant Principal Erica Walters and former Principal Michael Meechin. Walters approached Meechin about developing a course that helped students meet college readiness goals through intensive instruction.
“(We talked about) implementing the AP Capstone program and looked at the parameters that AVID has always started with and decided this would help grow an academically challenging community,” Walters said. “We also wanted to start small with 25 freshmen in each new ASCEND cohort.”
Summer Zevallos is the ASCEND counselor. She chooses the students to be in the program based on their academics and how they perform in their classes. Students start off as a freshman and work to stay in the ASCEND program until they get their Capstone diplomas as seniors.
“Our goal for the ASCEND program to help the students at the top of their class, to able to compete with the students that are graduating with an IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma,” Zevallos said. “The Capstone program is like college boards answer to the IB program.”
The ASCEND program prepares students for the Capstone program. It helps students develop the skills they need to graduate with the Capstone diploma.
ASCEND is trying to better its program by seeing what the students need and what it needs to do to better the program because the program itself is only two years old.
Students chosen into the ASCEND program need to be competitive and have the drive to get into the academic courses they want when they go to college.

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