The Lake Breeze Newspaper

Volume #98, Issue #6

Lake Breeze Newspaper

Andrew Becker, Web Edition Editor

February 22, 2013

Sophomores Choose Challenging Courses

Story by: Courtney Roszak

The class of 2015 is proving that grade level does not matter when it comes to taking advanced placement/honor classes.
With the Social Studies curriculum redone this past year, sophomores now have to take two semester long courses, World History and American Civics, instead of the previous year long required course, Western Civilization.
These new classes give sophomores an option to opt out of the American Civics class and take AP Government and Politics, an honors level course.
Many upperclassmen are upset about this new change, claiming that underclassmen are not going to be able to handle the challenge of an AP or honors class.
Senior Stuart Schmidt, who was in the AP Government and Politics class thinks differently. “I think it is a good opportunity for underclassmen to get their foot in the door.”
Counselors and teachers agree that if the students are up to taking that challenge of a college level course they encourage it.
AP Biology teacher Brian Henriksen stated, “I do notice that some do struggle with the work load and the difficulty and complexity of the curriculum (but this also applies to some seniors). In my personal opinion, there are many juniors and sophomores who are mature enough and have the study skills and intellect to be successful.”
Advanced Placement is a nationalized curriculum, so it is not adjusted for underclassmen. It has standards and benchmarks that cannot be altered.
“Our department (the Social Studies department) has adopted a policy of offering opportunities to high level students at South, rather than hold them back in lower level classes,” commented AP Government and Politics teacher Josh Kestell.
I think that giving sophomores the option to take AP classes is a good thing, as long as they are up to the challenge. AP classes are more challenging because they are a college level course.
Students/sophomores must have a good work ethic and be ready to put more work in to be successful. Sometimes receiving a C in an AP class is better than an A in an easy class because it challenges them.
Age does not matter when it comes to AP classes, as long as students in the classroom are optimistic and can handle the rigorous course work. Any student at any grade level can be successful.

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