The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

December 5, 2013

Grand Valley Advanced Placement classes are hard work but provide students an opportunity to earn college credit

ORWELL — This year, Grand Valley High School has introduced three new classes to its schedule, all Advanced Placement classes. With AP Calculus, AP 2-D Drawing and AP English Language and Composition now offered to students, those wanting to challenge themselves and gain collegiate benefits from the experience are able to take advantage of these new opportunities.

In the past, calculus has been taught at Grand Valley for many years, but this year the class has evolved into an AP class. This class overwhelmingly has the most students of the three AP courses. Taught by Donald Dingman, calculus students are expected to keep up with the demanding pace of the lesson in order to perform adequately on tests, which are the sole factor upon which their grades are based.

Said Dingman, “My favorite part of teaching this class is establishing a rigor that challenges students to go above and beyond.”

With so much resting on test grades, Dingman offers some cushion. Students are allowed rewrites on tests, where the student fills out a worksheet detailing why they missed points and how they would have completed the problem correctly.

“Mr. Dingman is a really good teacher; he goes through the material really well,” said senior Josh Forristal. He added, “Rewrites help, too!”

Come May, calculus students who opt to take the AP Calculus test will put their year’s worth of knowledge to the test. Students who pass this grueling test will receive college credit for their efforts.

Significantly smaller in class size, AP 2-D Drawing has only two students. Over the past summer, this AP class required that students who wished to take it complete 20 sketches, five projects and a museum visit. With school in session, these students now have weekly sketches and one project due approximately every two weeks.

According to AP art teacher Anne Peters, “The biggest challenge is the huge amount of work that is required, and making sure the students get the work completed, get the work photographed and get the work uploaded.”

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