More students equals more AP classes

Matthew Stranzl, Reporter

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Advanced placement classes always carried the stigma of appealing to overachievers, but the stigma seems to be going away.

Everywhere a student turns, they hear someone mention the load of classes they’re taking, whether it’s APUSH, AP Art or Calculus – it seems like everyone is taking at least one.

Here, as the student body increases every year, so does the AP enrollment.

According to the school’s principal’s secretary Jolie Jacobs, the school’s current enrollment is 1,200.

The senior class consists of 240 students, while the freshmen, sophomore and senior classes all have 330+ members.

AP classes have become a societal norm. Doubling up is common, with many students including multiple AP classes in their schedules.

Students aren’t one-dimensional, they have social lives, family matters, jobs, sports, clubs and many are involved with sports and jobs, so some see AP classes as too demanding a workload.

AP classes in the English department have seen an explosion in enrollment. AP Language & Composition is spread across nine periods; four more than last year, totaling 236 students.

42 of them are part of the ComAcad English, which recently assimilated into the AP Language Composition curriculum. Greg Doherty said he wanted the merger to assist a dilemma many students had, that dilemma being that students who wanted to take AP Language were unable to since the ComAcad English class interfered.

AP Literature, taught by Eugenia Ives, has one more section than last year, the three sections hosting 84 students.

AP Economics classes are a new addition, for the first time offering classes that specialize in the macro and micro aspects of the discipline. The class has two sections with 49 students.

AP Statistics has two sections, AP Calculus A/B has three, AP Calculus B/C, a more difficult variant, has one section, adding up to 140 students.

In the science department, AP Chemistry has two periods with 38 students and AP Biology has three sections with 78 students.

AP U.S. History, taught by Francis Salle, has 64 students in 3 sections.

AP Spanish Composition, taught by Manuel Castro, has two periods with 32 total students.

There are three AP Art classes; each of which are one-period affairs: AP Two Dimensional Art, AP Drawing and AP Ceramics. The three of these total to 59 students, who are all taught by the Cederstrom sisters, Martha and Ben.

AP Computer Science, taught by Rod Milstead, is the only AP technology class and has 26 students.

Not having enough demand for a second section, late applicants to the class have been turned away due to a lack of computers, but another section will likely be added in upcoming years.

Student interest in AP Computer Science stems from programming’s appeal as a career and as a form of creative expression.

Milstead was pleasantly surprised by the increasing interest, saying that just four years ago “he barely had enough students for one period.”

AP classes originate from the Kenyon Plan, a program funded by the Ford Foundation after World War II that allowing high school seniors to take college level courses.      AP classes have no extra cost, but taking the test to receive college credit costs $92, a fee that increases by dollar increments each year.

These classes have been administered by the College Board since 1955, with the last decade showing a dramatic increase in enrollment.