Story and Photos By: Cas Powell
With the 2018-2019 school year came a series of new AP courses at WCHS. These Advanced Placement classes offer a more rigorous take on English, technology, history, and science than the average classroom holds. For an added bonus, most AP courses count as a college credit should the student pass the nationwide end of the year AP test.
AP Language and Composition is taught both third and fifth period by Jared Criswell. Typically, this class stands in the place of English 101, should the student pass the AP test. The course focuses on rhetoric. Primarily, the students will learn how to analyze sources and understand why the author of the piece wrote in the manner they did. Students explain not only the why, but how the rhetorical strategy the author implements is effective.
AP Literature and Composition takes place fourth period in Jeremy Barnett’s room. Students examine literature of various genres in a college-like setting. “It includes intensive study of representative works from various genres, periods, and cultures, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit,” Barnett said when asked about his course. “Students learn to read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work's complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form.” Students also learn about the historical relevance and timeliness of the piece. Writing in AP Literature and Compositions consists of essays analyzing the text as well as creative writing assignments, such as response papers.
AP Environmental Science is offered second period. Taught by Brenda Hoover, the class is considered an alternative for the freshman science credit of Environmental Science. Students who make a 3 or better on their end of course AP test are likely to receive college credit for it. During the class, students learn how to do environmental math problems without the use of a calculator or other technology. They learn all laws regarding environmental issues, and all of the pollutants affecting the environment.
AP World History is taught by Montana Daniels during sixth period. “AP World History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university world history course,” Daniels said. “In AP World History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.” In the class students learn to become historians themselves, gaining the knowledge of and implementing skills used to analyze sources, prepare historical arguments, and examine change over a course of time.
AP Computer Science Principals can be found upstairs in Marsha Bertram’s room during third period. Students in this class can expect intense hands-on activities that require advanced computational thinking. These students will be put to the test with various lessons teaching them about the intricacies of how the Internet works, and the more technical side to the science behind it (and other related topics). Students extensively study Internet protocols, and how they do exactly what they say.
Throughout WCHS, students are leaping for the chance at more rigorous courses. "I'm very excited to see how the AP program will better prepare our students for success in postgraduate studies. We want to make sure our students are ready for the demands of college, and participation in the AP program will certainly help them prepare," said WCHS Principal Justin Alley. "These classes are very rigorous and demanding, however, the hard work students put in these will certainly help them on down the line." Thanks to the implementation of the new AP classes, those desires are being met. Students taking the courses can rest assured they will graduate prepared for college, with experience and credits under their belts.
AP Language and Composition
AP Language and Composition is taught by WCHS English department teacher, Jared Criswell
WCHS Sophomore Emily Combs researching for an assignment
WCHS Sophomore Laurie Abbott reading the class' book of focus
AP Language and Composition students listen to a lecture
AP Literature teacher Jeremy Barnett giving instruction
Barnett assists Zeth Denney with an assignment
Searra Phelps works on a paper for AP Lit
AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science and Science Teacher Brenda Hoover
WCHS Sophomore Evan Taylor listened to an overview of an upcoming test
AP World History
AP World History Teacher Montana Daniels
WCHS Sophomore Shawn McCartt focusing on the first AP World History test of the year
WCHS students Daniel Ward (left) and NAME (right) demonstrated their knowledge on the test
AP Computer Science Principals
AP Computer Science Principals Teacher Marsha Bertram giving instruction to student Andrew Worley
Students (l-r) Andrew Perdue, Gabby Foster, and Luke Bethel worked on a presentation for the class
WCHS Junior Crystal Lair working on a project in the class' main tool, code.org