APUSH Class Prepares for AP Test in May

Emily Burns and Hannah Thomas (Juniors) working on their APUSH assignments.

Photo by Kristen Schuette By: Kristen Schuette, OHS Torch Reporter            

For the 2017-2018 school year, the Advanced Placement U.S History class switched from two semesters to one; the shortened time is pressuring the students to learn all of the information before the AP Exam in May.

Principal, Dr. Jodlowski, said the change was made due to a new law, which requires students to have a semester of civics before graduation. He felt that the class was not meeting the new civics requirement and decided to make APUSH only one semester. OHS added a separate and new civics class this year.

The students and teacher, Mr. Jones, have mixed feelings about the class being shortened. Students in the class now spend an average of 1-2 hours a night working on homework for the class. Many students are taking other AP classes or participate in other extracurricular activities,  making time for homework and studying challenging.

Another change made to the class was transitioning it to standards based grading. APUSH is the first class AP class make the transition to standard based grading.

APUSH teacher Mr. Jones said he decided to make the transition to standards based grading now because that is the path that the school is moving towards. He said this year is a new start for the class with new books, new students, and a new time frame.

“It certainly makes having a good grade in the class harder. The only thing that is graded is our tests. But the point of the class is to learn, not get that ‘A’, which is a new concept for me this semester,” said sophomore Grace Melick.

Even with the two major changes in the classroom, many of the students enjoy the class and feel that they are gaining the knowledge that they will need to know in May.

“Mr. Jones does a great job at teaching the class and is one of the best teachers I know. He does a great job at delivery all of the information that we need considering the shortened class,” said Junior,  Walker Spaulding.