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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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Assistant+Principal+Anna+Koltunova+starts+the+presentation+to+the+students+and+parents+on+Nov.+28+for+the+AICE+Cambridge+informational+meeting+in+the+auditorium.+Starting+the+presentation%2C+she+informed+the+parents+on+what+Cambridge+is+and+how+students+can+benefit+from+the+program.
Emily Haas
Assistant Principal Anna Koltunova starts the presentation to the students and parents on Nov. 28 for the AICE Cambridge informational meeting in the auditorium. Starting the presentation, she informed the parents on what Cambridge is and how students can benefit from the program.

MSD holds Cambridge Night informational session to discuss new AICE program

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School held Cambridge Night in the auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6-8 p.m. The event was an informational meeting for parents and students discussing the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education classes being offered at MSD, beginning next school year.

Assistant principal Anna Koltunova and guidance counselors Veronica Melei and Melanie Taylor were key speakers. The meeting was split into two sessions, one for the classes of 2027 and 2028 and another for the classes of 2025 and 2026.

The AICE program is an accelerated learning program offered through the University of Cambridge in which students can take more rigorous, college-level classes for an opportunity to earn college credit. AICE classes will have a weighted GPA like Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment courses.

Students who choose to take AICE classes also have the chance to earn an AICE Diploma as a supplement to the standard high school diploma. To receive this diploma, students have to receive a passing score on seven AICE exams within three years. Each passed course is considered one point. Earning the AICE Diploma will also qualify students to receive a 100% Florida Bright Futures Scholarship without a minimum SAT, ACT or CLT score.

This diploma track will only be offered to students currently in eighth and ninth grade, as there needs to be enough time to take and pass all seven courses. However, current sophomores and juniors are allowed to take AICE classes for college credit or a GPA boost, but there will be no opportunity for an AICE diploma.

“I think the AICE program is going to be a really exciting opportunity for our students,” Koltunova said. “It’s going to give a great opportunity for incoming ninth and tenth graders, especially because of the diploma track, and we will be more competitive with the rest of the school district since some high schools are offering [AICE] now.”

AICE classes are divided into four groups: Science and Math, Languages, Arts and Humanities and Interdisciplinary Skills Based Courses. There are three required classes to earn the diploma: Global Perspectives and Research (not a part of any group), Thinking Skills and English General Paper.
At least one point must be earned from Science and Math, Languages and Arts and Humanities, and a required two points must be earned from Interdisciplinary Skills-based Courses. MSD students will have to take eight AICE courses within the three years to ensure that there is enough opportunity for earning the required seven points.

To introduce the AICE program at MSD, three courses will be offered beginning next year: AICE General Paper, AICE Thinking Skills and AICE Marine Science. AICE Thinking Skills will not be offered to the classes of 2025 and 2026. The remaining 12 classes are planning to be incorporated into MSD within the next two to three school years.

“We want to give our rising freshman and sophomores ample opportunity to receive their credits and earn their diploma,” Melei said.

While both AP and AICE classes provide college credit, they differ in the teaching and exam styles. AP classes, endorsed by the College Board, are more standardized and exams are mainly multiple choice with some writing elements. On the other hand, AICE exams are primarily essay and free response based, with no multiple choice aspects. AICE exams are also broken up into two parts over two days, whereas AP exams are on one day and last from two to three hours.

“To me, AICE classes look much more fun because I am an essay writer, so I would think I would perform better on the free writing exams,” MSD parent Nick Rajwany said. “Since my child will be a junior and is only being offered two classes, I think he should stick with AP courses. But the Cambridge program would [be] great for people looking to get ahead with a more unique exam format.”

For students deciding between AP and AICE classes, it is recommended by guidance to assess one’s individual skill set and interests to see which courses will work best for them. They should also visit their prospective college’s website to see acceptance of course credits.

“Every student is different, and what they are looking for is different,” Koltunova said. “If a student has any questions or needs help in their decision, they should go to their guidance counselor to try and find out whether or not it’d be a good thing for them.”

Current sophomores and juniors looking to take AICE classes can select them on their course cards for the 2024-2035 school year. Rising freshmen and sophomores looking to take the class for the AICE diploma will need to submit an application in addition to making the selection on their course card. Applications will be found on the MSD website sometime in January.

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About the Contributors
Lydia Varghese, Reporter
Lydia Varghese is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She enjoys writing and listening to music.
Jasmine Bhogaita, News Editor
Jasmine Bhogaita is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and she is a News Editor for Eagle Eye News. She is involved in the ISA and Book Club at MSD. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends.
Emily Haas, Reporter
Emily Haas is a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She enjoys taking photos, playing with her dog and listening to music.  
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