AP classes find alternate activities

Mary Corkery, News Editor

After AP tests, teachers come up with creative ways to use their class time without a curriculum.

To get college credit for Advanced Placement, or AP, classes, students must pass an AP exam, a cumulative test given at the end of the course. This year, exams took place the first two weeks of May, despite school not ending until June 2. AP Literature teacher Elizabeth Kelley-Hirata said that early testing has made it more difficult for planning because students are worn out.

“I do think that the shift in the calendar in the last couple of years has made it more challenging because there are more weeks after the exam and students are exhausted, because they have spent the whole year in really intense preparation for the exam,” Kelley-Hirata said.

For students such as senior Grace Bailey, it’s frustrating for exams to be so early because of all the spare time.

“It’s kind of strange how the tests are three weeks before school gets out,” Bailey said. “I wish that my AP tests fell later in the year or I wish that the school year ended earlier. It’s a lot of downtime. I’d rather be busy, personally.”

To keep students engaged once the curriculum has ended, teachers have been coming up with different activities. Science teacher Sarah Moonier’s AP Environmental class, for example, is providing environmental information to the Missouri Department of Conservation, which Moonier says is both impactful and fun.

“We have a stream team, so we do a lot of stream team litter pickups, water quality monitoring, and forest measures,

and send that into the conservation department, so it’s kind of less stressful, get outside, make a difference kind of

stuff,” Moonier said.

AP Statistics teacher Jamie Robertson and AP Calculus teacher Gayle Piepho have also opted to teach skills that go beyond the classroom after exams, Robertson said.

“[Piepho] and I, we’ve talked about doing some life skills, like maybe learning how to sew on a button, or change your oil, or things that maybe you weren’t taught in your normal classes in high school but are just good things to know for life,” Robertson said.

Robertson said that the calm after the AP test storm is beneficial because it gives hard working students a well-earned break.

“We also have worked really hard and not taken any breaks, so it’s kind of the payoff of it too. Like you work really hard but now we’re going to take a little break at the end instead of doing that throughout the year, so I don’t mind that it’s early May,” Robertson said.