Dropping AP’s: Why do it and How to Know When You Are Ready

Status: RECORDED on OCT 07, 2015

$156 Non-Member

[$143.00 Gold Member]

For years, independent schools have touted the number of AP courses offered as evidence of the school’s “rigor.” This position has eroded as “rigor” is a word that has lost meaning in this decade. In addition, the local public school often offers more courses and allows students to take more of them as the matriculate. In response, top independent schools are beginning to move beyond AP courses—and the response from colleges has been overwhelmingly positive.

This Webinar will explore the issues around AP courses, highlight the reasons a school may elect to move beyond them and begin to develop their own high-level courses that may have more weight in the college admissions game while providing better education to your students.

You’ll Cover These Topics:

  • Explore the implications of doing so and relieve you of the myths that are perceived to handcuff schools
  • Identify the signs you are “ready”
  • Plant the seeds of what you might do instead

Run time: 60 minutes total. Webinars typically run 45 minutes with 15 minutes of Q&A time.

Who Should Attend: Upper School Division Heads, School Heads, Directors of Curriculum, and College Counselors.

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

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