Rumors about class level changes circulated for weeks as word leaked concerning OHS’ transition from a four-level class academic system to three-level system. The most distinct change in the transition is the elimination of honors classes in several departments, accompanied by a new emphasis on AP and dual-credit courses. This transition became official at the site-based council meeting, and will become effective the upcoming year. Mr. Hume, who presented the changes to the site-based council, said, “Through these changes we would like to deliver the best possible instructions to meet every students needs at every level.”
The changes affect incoming Freshmen the most. Those who choose the advanced pathway in social studies will now be required to take AP Human Geography instead of Honors Intro to Social Studies. Freshmen will also now be expected to take AP Environmental Science or Project Lead the Way Biomedical instead of honors biology. But there is good news, incoming Freshmen will not have to endure the tedious class that is Digital Literacy, as it is no longer a graduation requirement.
There are several new opportunities for rising sophomores. Honors English ll will no longer be an option. Those who desire a more challenging class have the option to take AP Literature. This set of circumstances is similar for social studies, honors world civilization will no longer be an option, instead AP European History will be the class for students who enjoy more rigor. In science, advanced students have the option between AP Biology or PLTW Biomedical ll. “I don’t like the schedule changes because I feel like I am being forced to take more AP classes. I don’t want to take all the AP exams. Honors is just a better fit for me, and many other students,” says Kara Bane, a rising sophomore.
For upcoming juniors all departments besides math will be affected. Instead of having the option to take honors English lll, AP Literature will be the advanced option. As it has been, the highest level of US social studies is APUSH. For the students who are currently suffering in physics or chemistry, the transition will cause you to rejoice. Students are now required to take physics OR chemistry, not both anymore. AP Chemistry or AP Physics are the options for those who desire a more difficult classroom experience. The Project Lead the Way biomedical pathway will continue with PLTW Biomedical lll being a science option.
Incoming seniors will also experience a change in all departments besides math. Dual-credit English 101/102 will now be offered at the school. AP Literature or AP Language is also an option for advanced students. AP Government will again be offered, and honors government will no longer be an option. Seniors also have the option to take college world history for college credit. For those who have a passion for economics, seniors still have the option to take CP economics, or a new option, AP Microeconomics. Seniors will have the option to take college biology or college chemistry, along with the choice to take AP Chemistry, AP Physics, or AP Biology. The PLTW pathway will conclude with Biomedical intern. Kennedy Jackson, rising senior, said “I feel like this change is very complicated and is not being explained to anyone. I understand the possible reasons behind the change, but I wish I was more informed.”
The responses to the changes have varied greatly. “It is a good change for the more intelligent kids, as they can now challenge themselves with AP classes. However, for students who struggle more or are average the change leaves them with limited options,” said Ella Bartholomey. “I think it will be common that students find CP classes too easy, but AP classes too difficult, and there are no solutions being presented for this issue,” replied Ella Bartholomey, sophomore, when asked about her feelings concerning the change.
Addison Callis, sophomore, finds the change overall negative, “I understand where the administrators are coming from, but I think it will be more difficult to schedule for most students.” Love it or hate it, the changes are happening, and will soon become reality when scheduling takes place this week.