By CARL E. FEATHER
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — The Buckeye Local Board of Education approved three new advanced placement classes for the 2012-13 school year at Edgewood.
The three offerings will bring to seven the total number of AP classes offered at the high school next year. The new AP offerings are English/composition, American history and statistics. Existing AP courses are in chemistry, biology, English, literature and government. They will continue to be offered to students in the coming school year.
Principal Karl Williamson said that the district’s superintendent, Joe Spiccia, expressed to him the need for more AP offerings as Spiccia became familiar with the district and set goals for his first year as superintendent.
“We need to improve our AP selections and this will be the perfect start,” Williamson told the board.
The district has already begun promoting the new classes to students.
“I do want to see an increase in the number of students taking the AP test,” Williamson said.
AP classes have been offered at Edgewood for more than a decade. They are a notch above honors classes and, in some cases, can provide college credit. Williamson said awarding credit depends on the university’s policies and how well the student performs on the AP test, which is administered in May.
“The potential to earn college credits before stepping on campus is huge,” Williamson said of what motivates students to consider taking the rigorous courses.
He said the academic challenges inherent to the courses is the other reason ambitious students reach for the high standards. The option is open to all students with the drive to excel.
Each student who signs up for an AP class meets with the teacher ahead of scheduling to make sure the student understands the high expections and work load involved in the course.
Cost to the district will be minimal. Existing staff will be used to teach the three new courses and a combination of digital and traditional resources used. Students are required to take the AP exam, which costs about $100, and lab fees may apply to some courses.
Williamson said he hopes to add an AP math class, probably calculus, and offer an AP option for freshmen for the 2014-2015 school.