Jordan High School will offer a new Academic Path to Excellence (APEX) program beginning with the freshman class of 2014, requiring students to take seven classes a day and at least four Advanced Placement courses before graduation.
The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education at last week’s regular meeting considered a recommendation to replace Jordan’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program with the new APEX program. After hearing public input, the board adopted a revised recommendation to run IB and APEX concurrently for one year. In 2015, the school board will revisit the matter to determine whether IB is attracting enough students to remain intact, though eleventh graders in the IB program would still be allowed to finish their coursework for an IB diploma as seniors.
The addition of the APEX program is part of a comprehensive school improvement effort at Jordan, including a $135 million renovation of the campus that started this year, and the addition of specialized academic programs in recent years. Jordan’s graduation rate of 85.1 percent last year was up 8.1 percent in just one year and now far surpasses the state average of 78.9 percent.