The AAPLE Academy asks its students to be Academic Leaders, representing leadership through academic performance and civic responsibility. This requires that students take leadership positions in sustained service experiences that benefit the community. One of the central goals of AAPLE is to enrich the lives of students and in turn have our students enrich the lives of the community. It is true that the AAPLE Academy raises the standard of academic achievement and scholastic excellence at San Marcos High School, but held as equally important is exposing students to rich local service and leadership options and curricular enrichment opportunities. The value of this exposure is the depth by which students become involved and aware of the gifts our local community culture has to offer, and the further differentiation of AAPLE students in prominent university applicant pools.
The AAPLE Academy includes 33 freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior students (a total of 132 students). Each class of AAPLE students acts as a grade level cohort that matriculates through the AAPLE academic pathway, leadership program, and service work together. While students in each cohort have very similar coursework, only one class is taken with all AAPLE students. This single period acts as the students cohort class and taught by an Academy teacher. Each AAPLE student will have one AAPLE cohort class each semester in the areas of leadership integrated English, Science, or History.
Cohort teachers integrate leadership curriculum, projects, and enrichment experiences into traditional grade level curriculum. This model allows Academy students to maintain their pursuit of important electives such as the Fine Arts and other amazing courses at SMHS. Cohort teachers commit to addressing the academic and leadership needs of the students and the extracurricular demands required to deepen their respective courses, prior to volunteering for AAPLE cohort teaching position. Each cohort teacher continuously meets with the AAPLE Director and the lead teacher to continuously integrate leadership curriculum, discuss cohort enrichment opportunities, and strategize the development of student Leadership portfolios.
AAPLE students are required to participate in a student run, service or organizational leadership committee each year. Each committee is overseen by the Student Leadership Council, made up of elected cohort class representatives. Student committees are run by a student chair that facilitates activities of the committee. There are currently 15 student run leadership and service committees. Examples include the CyberTutorial committee, Senior Living Tech Coaches, AAPLE Kids Caring Day, and many more.
AAPLE students participate in annual large and small group teambuilding activities that further the development of their leadership skills, enhance the relationships of the AAPLE community, and deepen the students connection to AAPLE staff, parents, and each other. Students work together with their grade level cohort group on various classroom and program projects throughout their AAPLE experience. Teambuliding enrichment is designed to build a family or team atmosphere and strengthen the bond between the students in the cohort.