District Aims to Remove Pre-AP Courses

Katie Huffman, Executive Editor

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Taking away opportunities for students seems to be a new goal for Bullitt County.

It has recently been revealed that the district plans to remove the option of taking pre-AP classes from students, in return, making every grade level take the same common core classes.

Pre-AP classes are currently offered to both middle and high school students. Although the curriculum may be the same as a general class, the environment and energy within the classroom is significantly different. Following through with this decision would be a mistake for the district and would be detrimental to the educational experience of all students.

I have continuously taken pre-AP courses throughout middle and high school for a multitude of reasons. In middle school, the classes gave me the chance to earn high school credits early on and grouped me with students who shared the same work ethic as myself. The people that I was in class with all cared about their education, which positively influenced me as a student. No student is guaranteed this experience in a general level class. In high school, pre-AP classes prepare students to take AP classes. Being taught as the college level courses that they are, AP classes require far more responsibility and accountability than a regular class. Without pre-AP classes to prepare students for this experience, we could not be as successful as possible in AP classes.

At the time that I was in middle school, there were Algebra 1, English 1, Survey of Social Studies, Spanish 1, Geometry and Integrated Science classes available. That is a total of six credits we had the opportunity to receive before entering high school, which would then allow us to take sophomore or junior level classes as freshmen.

Students don’t take pre-AP, or even AP, classes simply because it might look good on a transcript. We do it for the opportunity. We do it for the experience.

The students I have been surrounded by within these classes and the higher level of responsibility that teachers require, have shaped me into the driven and accountable student I am today. If I had been placed in general classes, I would not have been able to push myself out of my comfort zone and achieve more than what is normal. Coming into high school, I had two classes where I was the only freshman because of the credits I received in middle school. For the extremely shy and introverted freshman I was, this was not the ideal situation. But I knew I was capable and I knew that it would open up more opportunities for myself my senior year.

Back in September 2018, the beginning of my junior year, I turned down graduating at the end of this school year although that option was available to me. One of the academic requirements for being eligible to graduate early in Kentucky states, “Student schedules may reflect the accelerated pace of Early Graduation, for example, you may have sophomores may take US History (a course usually taken by juniors).” It then goes on to state, “Students in middle school may take courses and exams prior to entering high school.” If I did not take high school classes in middle school, I would not be on the “accelerated pace” that I currently am.

Like the example given in the quote above, I took AP US History as a sophomore last year, but without the pre-AP program this would not have been possible. Receiving high school credits in middle school now gives me the opportunity to take more college classes my senior year, ultimately saving myself money for down the road. Not having pre-AP classes would shut down my opportunity to achieve more than the average student.

The classes I am enrolled in set me apart from everyone else. The district may think this is a bad thing, but why should I be forced to be like everyone else?

I am not a regular student who only takes general classes. I do not want to be that student now, and I did not want to be that student my freshman year. If the district removes pre-AP classes from schools, students like myself will be forced to take classes that they don’t want to with the possibility of being surrounded by students in general classes who don’t have the same academic priorities. From my experiences, I know that there is a fine line between the attitude and motivation of students in general classes and those in pre-AP or AP classes.

To the adults who will ultimately make this decision: take our point of view into account. Do not make us feel like we have to do what everyone else does. Do not make Bullitt County a place where students can’t achieve more than what is the standard. Do not limit the courses we can take each year. Do not take away pre-AP classes.

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