Accelerated Math and Science is a new program at North Garland that allows students to complete advanced math classes in a shorter amount of time.
As described on the school’s website, AMS was made to provide students an opportunity to advance faster, allowing more math and science classes to be taken throughout high school. However there are different opinions and misconceptions surrounding the successes and failures of this program.
Audrey Smallwood, the MST and AMS coordinator, explained what AMS is and the progress it has seen in its three years.
“AMS is a nice complementary branch of MST,” Smallwood said.“AMS was made for students who go above and beyond and excel in math.”
Smallwood said that the idea came after GISD found Townview, a school in Dallas, that specializes in science, engineering, and math. This school provides advanced math classes at a faster pace for their students in separate academies within the school. Similarly, AMS has tracks one to three that focus on different paces. Track one is the slower pace and track three is the fastest. This allows students to personalize their schedule in AMS.
The teachers who create these advanced learning environments see a difference in performance with AMS students than other students. Dr. Bobby Scallan, an AMS teacher, described what he enjoys about teaching AMS students.
“The students, of course, they are smart and have a great work ethic and, mostly, they remember stuff. It’s a breath of fresh air,” Scallan said. “You just know with AMS kids that you are more than likely not gonna have to review them.”
Scallan believes AMS has succeeded in advancing students in future math skills.
“This year we implemented courses we have never had before,” Scallan said.“The program is growing, we are getting more students all the time. Evidently the word is out that it’s a good program.”
A few AMS students described what their overall opinion about AMS was. Christina Matthew, a sophomore in track one, talked about her overall experience with AMS.
“In the long run I think it’s worth it but sometimes I think that it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of stress,” Matthew said. “I feel like we should have more decisions on what we want to do. Everyone learns a different way.”
Next to her was Marlon Mata, a sophomore in track two, who stressed over the issue with juggling life along with AMS.
“For people like me that are in band, which has practice every single day, I will have to hurry up and finish my homework along with the AMS homework. Overall, a very good program but for some people it can be a struggle,” Mata said.
The future of AMS includes a larger focus on accelerating the science branch of AMS.
Smallwood has been working on some ideas such as providing summer school biology for incoming Freshmen and in the works of allowing Richland Community College classes for seniors in the following years.
“I hope that AMS continues to grow and benefit more kids around the district. I hope that we develop more mathematicians and scientists,” Smallwood said. “I hope that by introducing challenging and relevant courses, our AMS students progress further in their college and career pursuits.”