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Johnson Motors - 877-816-0659
P-O school district promotes AP classes
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
By Liza Matia Staff Writer
PHILIPSBURG - New graduation requirements are driving the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District to push Advanced Placement classes more than ever.
Last night, the district held an "AP Night" for parents and students interested in enrolling in the advanced placement courses. Currently, the district offers five AP courses, but plans to have 11 available next year. As long as there is student interest, the classes offered next year include U.S. history, U.S. government, world history, chemistry, physics, biology, English III, English IV, Spanish, statistics, and calculus AB.
According to High School Principal Sam Witt, this year's eighth graders would be the first students to take the Keystone Exams, which they would be required to pass in order to graduate. Witt noted, however, that AP exams could be taken in lieu of the Keystone Exams. Each AP exam costs $80 to take. Students would have to earn a score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, in order to earn college credit for the course.
In addition to earning college credits and meeting graduation requirements, students could also save money on college tuition. The courses would allow them to better manage the course load once they got to college and could open the doors to dual majors.
P-O also offers dual enrollment courses, in which students could earn college credits. The district has partnered with Mount Aloysius, Lock Haven and Penn Highlands to offer such courses. Each course costs $45. Witt said that 11 students enrolled in the dual enrollment courses last year and 48 are currently enrolled. He anticipates that the district would offer at least five dual enrollment courses next year.
Valerie Dixon of Lock Haven Clearfield spoke of the benefits of AP courses. Dixon said she reviews stacks of college applications each year and those with AP courses stand out.
"AP is a phenomenal opportunity," she said. Dixon said AP courses show that a student has tried harder, has the motivation to move on and has given it their all.
"You never know what you can do until you try," she said.
Dixon explained that AP courses teach students what to expect in college. She said the benefits outweigh any negative consequences. When she sees that students have taken AP courses in high school, she feels they are better prepared to balance the workload and adjust to college.
P-O plans to offer an informational session on the Keystone Exams in January.
Dotts Motor Company - 814-765-9681