Seniors again permitted to leave AP classes after testing

Lena Kogan, Staff Writers

There has been disagreement about the policy of seniors leaving AP classes after AP exams since the beginning of this year.  Three years ago senior experience became a mandatory program for all seniors, but this year the policy changed, requiring classes to continue to meet after the completion of the AP class curriculum.  However, after much opposition and debate, the policy was overturned and now seniors are exempt from attending AP classes after the AP exam.

The senior experience program became an optional part of the senior curriculum over 25 years ago, but only six years ago was it expanded to apply to non-AP classes.  Students have been permitted to leave their classes after the AP exams for the past several years if they were working on a project outside of the school or community until this year.

“We did it in the hope of improving the program and simplifying it,” said Assistant  Principal Mr. Craig Weiss.

After administrataion announced that students would be required to attend AP classes for the entire year, many seniors felt that this was counterproductive to the plans they had for their project, and senior Elana Galassi drew up a petition to revise this policy.

Galassi discussed this with Principal Ira Pernick and Board of Education members.

“A number of factors prompted revision,” said Mr. Weiss.

Mr. Weiss is the coordinator of the program and oversees the major elements of its organization and execution, as well as converses with AP students about their planned endeavors.

“I think it’s really important to seniors: the unique experience they create, it’s a non-traditional way to end senior year,” said Mr. Weiss.  “They’re ready for something different.”

Some faculty members still disagree about the details and various policy revisions regarding the senior experience issue.

“The initial idea behind the senior experience was to give kids who have become disenfranchised with school a chance to do something meaningful for their career path,” said Biology teacher Ms. Marla Ezratty.  “Students should choose how they want to enjoy the last half of their senior year, and making this mandatory is doing them a disservice as well as to teachers.”

Additionally, many teachers planned activities for their AP classes after the exams, and extended projects that will appeal to their interests in the subject.  However, this change guarantees students ample time to complete their senior experience projects and frees up mentoring time for faculty.

“This is the best solution we can have.  Right now this works,” said Mr. Weiss.