What is AOIT?

The Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) is a small learning community in which a cohort of 90 students have core and IT classes together. Academy teachers and students work together to integrate technology into their curriculum and develop interdisciplinary projects. Class sizes in AOIT are comparable to same class sizes at AHS.

Who is AOIT for?

Under current school board policy, only students assigned to Apex High School may apply for and be admitted to AOIT. All rising freshmen assigned to AHS may apply. AOIT is a four-year program so students cannot be admitted to AOIT after their freshman year. Students must be on the standard course of study and should enjoy using technology; prior technological expertise is not a requirement for admission.

Is AOIT only for students interested in IT careers?

No. While many AOIT students are interested in IT and engineering careers, the skills students will learn in AOIT are transferable to most any career choice. Technology is everywhere!

How are students admitted?

A lottery is used to fill all spots with a maximum of 90 students. If more than 90 students apply, the lottery is used to determine the order of the wait-list. Students may be brought in from the waitlist over the summer before their freshman year or during the school year if a spot opens.

How many students typically apply?

For the Class of 2023, there were 110 applicants who applied for the 90 spots.

Why is a lottery used?

According to school board policy, a career academy should be homogeneous to the school’s student population. A lottery is the most equitable method to achieve this. Interest in IT and grades are not a factor in admittance.

Can my student take honors or AP classes in AOIT?

Yes. In core AOIT classes, such as English, social studies and science, students will be in combined classes of academic and honors depending on teacher recommendations. Teachers will differentiate assessments for the academic and honors levels. From tenth through twelfth grades, students can take AP courses (these classes are outside the AOIT cohort). Taking these AP courses does not change their status in AOIT.

Can my student take other elective courses?

Yes. While five IT courses are required, students have the opportunity to take a variety of other elective courses. AOIT technology courses, which fall under the category of Career and Technology Education (CTE), meet the following graduation requirements:

2 Elective credits of any combination from either:

– Career and Technical Education (CTE)
– Arts Education
– Second Languages

4 Elective credits strongly recommended (four course concentration) from one of the following:

– Career and Technical Education (CTE)
– Arts Education
– Any other subject area (e.g. science, mathematics)

Is AOIT more difficult?

No. All courses follow the NC standard course of study. What will be different is the integration of technology into core classes, interdisciplinary approach/teaching, and project-based learning. Work-based learning and 21st Century Skills are also a strong point of focus in AOIT courses. AOIT students will have many projects that involve working in teams and giving presentations.

Are there any conflicts with athletics or clubs?

No. AOIT students may participate in athletics and/or clubs at AHS, or any activities that take place after the school day. Many AOIT students participate in athletics and/or clubs.

Are there any conflicts with marching band?

No. Marching band takes place after school. Many AOIT students participate in marching band.

Are there any conflicts with AOIT and performing arts courses?

Because performing arts courses are often required for two semesters per year and because they are often only scheduled during one period, they may conflict with AOIT courses. Because there is a new master schedule each year, it cannot be guaranteed that there won’t be conflicts over the four years. AOIT students can sometimes fit in one semester of band as freshmen and one or two performing arts courses each year thereafter.

Because of conflicts, if performing arts are a priority, we recommend those students not apply to AOIT.

Are there any costs or fees to be in AOIT?

Incoming freshmen are required to purchase an AOIT shirt (approximately $27); all students are required to pay expenses for field trips. The inability to pay will not have any impact on student participation in AOIT. Funding is available for these situations.

Can my student drop out of AOIT?

We typically have a wait-list for AOIT program enrollment, and we do not fill spots after a cohort’s freshman year. We expect students and their parents/guardians to seriously consider their decision to enroll, because we expect a four-year commitment to the program’s responsibilities and requirements. Most of the time, conflicts with a student’s obligations have been worked out to allow students to meet AOIT goals and stay in the program. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the student and parent must submit a letter to the Apex High School administration requesting to drop AOIT. The decision to drop will be made on a case-by-case basis.