By Scott Bowser
Periscope (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
For the 2016-2017 school year, several key changes are being made to CHS’s AP/Honors program.
To apply for AP and Honors classes, students will no longer adhere to the typical process of meeting grade requirements, receiving teacher recommendations, and submitting pieces of writing.
Instead “Students desiring to take an AP/Honors course in the four core subjects (English, math, science and social studies) must now complete the ‘CHS Honors and AP Contract,’” explained Social Studies department head Kevin Wagner.
Students will no longer need to have a prerequisite grade in a previous class, though they still may need to have taken certain classes to be prepared for the content of the course.
When signing up for an honors or AP course, students and parents will need to sign the agreement “that outlines the expectations for students,” said Principal Jay Rauscher.
These alterations grant greater access to these classes for students from “ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underserved,” added Wagner.
The expected benefit of this new policy is to “allow more students to choose a challenging curriculum and […] students who in the past may have not even attempted challenging themselves with one of these classes may now […] have an opportunity,” said McGowan counselor Amy Knapp.
Additionally, AP and Honors students share a similar positive view.
Junior Kate Erfle, who is currently enrolled in five AP/Honors courses, believes “it is absolutely a positive change…to allow students the opportunity to be challenged academically.”
Similarly, junior Bart Winn, also taking five AP/Honors classes, is glad students who “want to push themselves in the upcoming year get a chance to do so.”
With a much larger influx of students expected to apply for AP and Honors courses next year, many will likely have never taken one in the past and be nervous about the rigor.
For this reason “students may withdraw from the course up to the mid-point of the first marking period [with parent and administration approval],” according to Rauscher.
However, the administration is confident these changes will continue to encourage student achievement and success.
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Hankard