Schedule limits AP options


Lauren Benchoff

Danielle Larrabee had to decide between AP Biology, and AP Language and Composition.


When it comes to classes, many students find that pushing their academic abilities with advanced placement, or AP classes, is best for them. Many do it for the challenge, while others do it in hopes of scoring high on the AP test to gain college credits.

But this year, some students  found the school either did not offer the AP courses they wanted, or were unable take the classes due to scheduling complications.

With the cuts of both AP World History (Regions and Cultures) last year, and AP U.S. History this year, students who hoped  to either place out of college history classes, or take a more advanced class, were left with few alternatives.

“I was aggravated,” said NHS vice president Christian Sanfilippo. “It takes away from the students who wanted to take a fourth year of history.” 

GHS has run AP U.S. History for the past twenty years.

“The students were disappointed, and I was disappointed,” said social studies teacher Tim Kearns

Principal Cook said he plans to offer the class again next year.

“I was not principal when the decision to cut US History was made due to low enrollment,” said principal James Cook. “At the beginning of the year, I met with the history department to talk about recruiting and creating a plan on how to get more kids enrolled in the AP Histories. We plan on running it next year.”+

History was not the only department with cuts to its AP class scheduling. Through this past year the English department has been hit hard. With one teacher cut last year, and another teacher on sabbatical this year, the department had to reduce their section offerings by 10, including one section of AP English Language and Composition.

In the past, this accelerated English class had typically been offered for two blocks, reducing the amount enrolled per block. However, Juniors who signed up for this AP English have to be apart of a class of nearly 30 students, since only one section is offered this year.

“The size of our English class makes it hard to concentrate because there are so many kids,” said Hunter Wieckowski. “The rest of my AP classes are small.”

Another conflict is the single D block AP English class conflicts with the newly moved D and C block AP Biology.  

“I had to chose between AP English Language and AP Biology,” says junior Christopher MacDonald who wanted to take both classes. “Between the two I chose biology. “

As for the other AP Biology students, those taking the double block class running C and D block, students had to rule out the option of other AP courses, including AP Calculus and AP English Language.

“I was really excited to get into these difficult level courses because I want to challenge myself while still in high school and achieve a lot before college,” said junior Ericca Nolan. “But my choice of classes was not available to me. I had to change my hopes for my junior year.”

“I was disappointed,” said class of 2018 president Danielle Larrabee. “Now I have to take an easier math class since only AP and CP1 Calculus is offered.”

The students weren’t the only ones slightly disappointed. “I wanted more time in the morning to prep for AP Bio,” said AP biology teacher Mrs. Lichtenwald. “But they gave me the prep block in the afternoon so the change does not benefit the class.”

The scheduling change, while inconvenient, was made with science students in mind. By moving the previously A and B block down to C and D, it would give students the opportunity to take two advanced placement sciences ranging between Biology and either Physics or Chemistry.

“There is a lot of change in the school this year, but that still shouldn’t cause so much turmoil for the students who are trying to push themselves to achieve more in class,” said Nolan. “When deciding the schedules for the students as a whole, the school may want to consider running different AP subjects at different times so that students can push themselves in as many areas as they want.