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AP Government Offered to Seniors in 2017-18

'AP Gov. For All' plan morphs into plan for most seniors.

Principal+Smalley+plans+to+present+to+the+idea+for+the+new+AP+Government+and+Politics+class+to+members+of+the+SJHHS+PTSA%2C+ELAC%2C+and+Principal%27s+Student+Council.+Informational+presentations+will+be+given+to+juniors+in+their+U.S.+History+and+APUSH+classes%2C+according+to+Social+Science+Department+Chair%2C+Charlie+Briggs.+The+new+course+will+be+year-long+and+not+include+AP+Macroeconomics%2C+although+that+course+will+still+exist.+Students+wishing+to+level-down+must+do+so+through+their+guidance+counselors+and%2For+through+Aeires+within+the+first+six+weeks+of+the+2017-18+school+year.+File+Photo.
Principal Smalley plans to present to the idea for the new AP Government and Politics class to members of the SJHHS PTSA, ELAC, and Principal's Student Council. Informational presentations will be given to juniors in their U.S. History and APUSH classes, according to Social Science Department Chair, Charlie Briggs. The new course will be year-long and not include AP Macroeconomics, although that course will still exist. Students wishing to level-down must do so through their guidance counselors and/or through Aeires within the first six weeks of the 2017-18 school year. File Photo.

Principal Smalley plans to present to the idea for the new AP Government and Politics class to members of the SJHHS PTSA, ELAC, and Principal's Student Council. Informational presentations will be given to juniors in their U.S. History and APUSH classes, according to Social Science Department Chair, Charlie Briggs. The new course will be year-long and not include AP Macroeconomics, although that course will still exist. Students wishing to level-down must do so through their guidance counselors and/or through Aeires within the first six weeks of the 2017-18 school year. File Photo.

Aleck Mardirrosian

Aleck Mardirrosian

Principal Smalley plans to present to the idea for the new AP Government and Politics class to members of the SJHHS PTSA, ELAC, and Principal's Student Council. Informational presentations will be given to juniors in their U.S. History and APUSH classes, according to Social Science Department Chair, Charlie Briggs. The new course will be year-long and not include AP Macroeconomics, although that course will still exist. Students wishing to level-down must do so through their guidance counselors and/or through Aeires within the first six weeks of the 2017-18 school year. File Photo.

Dylan Robinson, Staff Writer

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A new level of U.S. Government will be offered for seniors starting next year. In addition to the current semester-long Government / Economics flip and the AP Government / AP Macroeconomics course, most seniors will now take the new year-long AP Government class.

Seniors not wishing to take AP Gov. must level-down through their academic advisor.

In previous years AP coursework was a completely optional route for those who were looking for a challenge or the extra GPA boost associated with the classes. The hurdle in the way for most students was how difficult these courses appeared.

Under the new initiative, opening up AP to more of the senior class will properly prepare them for college rigor and dispel the belief that some “are not AP students,” AP Gov. teacher John Baker explained in a document obtained by The Express.

The philosophy behind this shift is founded in an effort to bring rigor to all students and to give more students the necessary college-ready skills to thrive after high school.”

— Marc Patterson

SJHHS’ principal, Jennifer Smalley, is actively supporting the plan, believing every student should have the ability to experience the thoroughness of AP.

“Sometimes students are reluctant to attempt an AP class and we believe AP Gov would be a good intro to the rigor required in college,” she said.

In order to bring more students the experience of an AP course while still satisfying those who are content with regular classes, SJHHS is implementing the new AP Gov. class as an option bridging the gap between the current classes’ contrasting levels of difficulty.

“The philosophy behind this shift is founded in an effort to bring rigor to all students and to give more students the necessary college-ready skills to thrive after high school.  A year of Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics will not only help them understand the United States Constitution, the American political system, and civic responsibility, but will also provide them with necessary college-ready skills like close-reading of primary sources, analyzing visuals and synthesizing information to create evidence-based arguments,” said Marc Patterson, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education.

The new AP Gov class will be the default for seniors heading into the 2017-2018 school year with the ability to level down or up. The established, more challenging alternative to the class as of now, AP Gov/Econ, will still be offered as it stands. Selecting this course will yield dual AP credit for participating seniors whereas AP Gov. will offer one AP credit like all other AP classes offered as well as the GPA boost associated with these courses.

“Supports will be in place to assist all students,” Smalley said. “We believe students who are willing to try and do the work will be successful in this course.”

The move to place seniors in the new AP Gov. course comes after sometimes contentious debate within the History / Social Science Department. Teachers were divided on the idea of having all seniors take AP Gov., initially proposed as “AP Gov. for All” by Baker.

Having three levels of Gov. represents a compromise made by administration after a meeting held on Dec. 22 so that teachers could weigh in on the new concept.

Social science teacher Nate Roberts said the meeting was important to have. “I felt that the History department should discuss, sit-down together and talk about what is in the best interest of all of our students and how we can support them with this new idea and new venture,” he said.

The new class would be a year-long and focus on government and politics with economics appearing at the beginning and end of the year and many of the details are still being worked out such as who will teach it and the exact sequence and content of each unit.

“Gov. is not that rough,” said Riley Glenn, SJHHS alumni. “It’s a lot of memorization. Most seniors could handle a year-long AP Gov. class.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “AP Government Offered to Seniors in 2017-18”

  1. Del dinger on January 24th, 2017 2:49 PM

    My daughter will be a senior next year. She is in Iep program. I do not want her to take this class she needs to be in the regular class. This class will not be right for her. I hope you have considered this for the iep students

    [Reply]

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