Is Everyone Really Ready for AP?

Laura Popescu, Editor-In-Chief

The Centennial school year has commenced, meaning students should be fairly used to their schedules, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. A change in course load requirements for the school has changed the outcome of many students’ plans.

CHS has focused on pushing students to challenge themselves academically through the addition of AP courses offered to all students. This year alone we have added an AP Art History course, which is allowed in periods 1 and 6-7. Both of these classes have exceeded the maximum capacity of students allowed in each class (40 people) which unfortunately meant some extra students were not able to take the course due to the amount of those who forecasted.

With that new addition, CHS has a total of nine courses that offer college credit through Advanced Placement.

With the push on students, of all diverse backgrounds, to take AP classes comes a bigger problem brought to them: the process of dropping-out of these courses are difficult and even nonexistent.

“We’ve always had a process where any advanced classes require talk between the parents, students, and teachers to see if the classes are the right fit for them,” explained counselor Sally Menolascina who has been dealing with schedule changes since early September. She added, “This year we have a form that involves administration as well to just make sure that the decision being made [to drop a course] is right.”

Students who wish to drop an AP course have to meet with both their parents and teachers before picking up a form at the counselor’s office to do so. The form asks for students’ reasoning to their decision and then will later be sent to admin for approval.

This process is certainly longer than in previous years, which arouses questions of why we are suddenly pushing advanced courses in the first place. Though the exact reason may be unknown, this year Centennial’s numbers for students in advanced classes have skyrocketed and will continue to be pushed for further years to come.

As a student currently enrolled in six of the nine courses offered in AP, I have come to learn that the workload can be overwhelming and can begin to interfere with outside endeavors. However, I am prepared and able to commit to what I signed up for.

Unfortunately, some students enrolled have been advised to take these courses yet are unprepared or don’t have the proper experience to take on the challenge. Being able to determine one’s strengths and course load is a crucial aspect for counselors to grasp and, though they try their best, sometimes the decision is ultimately up to the student and in no way should be tainted by a school’s requirement to push advanced courses on a high schooler.

All propaganda aside, Centennial’s AP system is very well structured and can provide opportunities for many of their students.  The only slight change this year is the amount of time it takes for a schedule change their classes (if one so desires to make that decision).

If you are currently enrolled in an AP course that you wish to change out of, staff advises you do it soon because the later a student waits to start the process, the harder your chances are to drop a class.