LAHS hosts AP Night for students, parents

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By Katherine Wang

Los Alamos High School hosted its annual Advanced Placement (AP) Night on Feb. 11. The event gave students and their parents, insight into the 21 AP courses offered every year, including foreign language, science, English, history, art and music.
The LAHS AP program is available to challenge sophomores, juniors and seniors who want to learn more in depth material about the subjects they love. Courses are not offered to freshman. The classes often place teens in environments that mimic what they will experience in college.
Students who participate in the AP program are noted to do better at the university level.
At the end of each school year high school students take AP exams for the courses they applied for to test how well they understand the material. The test is scored on a scale from one to five with one being the lowest, five being the highest. Depending on the school a student applies to, he or she is often able to get college credit as long as he or she passes the test with a score of three or higher.
Students who tackle AP courses must have self-discipline and drive. “I expect my AP students to work hard and have their eyes wide open to learn about how to survive at the college level with a rigorous college curriculum,” AP German teacher Anita Boshier said.
Often times, the teens must go beyond what they learn in class and make observations about the world around them. “I want to see total motivation and genuine interest ability to manage their time interest beyond the textbook. I want somebody who is curious and maybe reads about psychology in the news,” AP psychology teacher Lynn Ovaska said.
To help students meet these standards, instructors constantly improve the way they teach course material to create the best learning experience. The revamped class stigma is helping teachers close the academic gap between LAHS and more competitive schools in the nation by convincing teens to pursue the challenge of an AP course.
Typically, students increase their AP workload once they become juniors and seniors. Senior Colin Redman has taken seven classes, while junior Nicholas Wilde has taken four. Sophomore Louisa Bellian is currently taking AP human geography and plans to take more in the next two years. All three believe that the AP program will help them develop the skills they will need to be successful in college. “I took APs because I would learn a lot from the advanced curriculum. The AP experience shows you how to handle college level classes and survive the material,” Wilde said.
Next year, teens can look forward to AP studio art, a new course which will be taught by fine arts teacher Mary Grace.