The Advanced Placement (AP) students at Milford Senior High School have been preparing for the AP exams since their junior year and are currently taking those tests this week to determine whether those courses will count towards college credits next year as they attend colleges across the country. Sacrifices by both teachers and students over the past several years have resulted in record breaking results in Milford as they received a 71% pass rate on the AP Government and Politics exam and a 79% pass rate on the U.S. History exam last year, exceeding averages for both statewide and national exam pass rates.
Milford Senior High School offers AP Government and Politics, English Literature, English Composition, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics and Calculus. The Advanced Placement courses are set at a higher standard than regular eleventh and twelfth grade classes and prepare students for college and life after graduation.
“The kids who take these AP courses have a better transition to college,” commented teacher Gretchen Pikus. “They are held to a higher quality standard for their work.” Mrs. Pikus took over the AP Government and Politics class from Mr. Husbands after he was promoted to administration. Mr. Husbands has worked diligently to prepare these students for the exams over the past several years.
Advanced Placement students are able to take up to 3 classes as a Junior and 5 classes as a Senior. For their reward of receiving college credits for passing the AP exams, students in these classes give up many hours each day and some times other commitments such as social freedom and playing sports.
“You have a lot to get through but not a lot of time to do it in,” commented Senior Rose McFassel. “I spend three to four additional hours each night on my AP studies but I do it because that is what I expect from myself.”
The pervasive characteristics that seem to be present among the AP students at Milford High are the drive to learn and the ability to hold themselves accountable for the level of work they put into the program. Just as college students are challenged to take responsibility for their studies, these students are learning accountability at an early age.
“I think we will be more prepared for college than our other classmates,” commented Kimber Walker. “If I do not turn in my assignments no one calls my parents, I simply receive a zero for the assignment.”
The desire for success is what drives these teenagers to put aside personal wants and focus on academic excellence. An avid athlete most of his life, Robert Volm gave up being a member of the track team this year to focus on his exams. With that cost, however, came reward as Robert Volm, found out this semester he was accepted to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“It is difficult to keep up with the challenging work; especially as a senior,” added Mr. Volm jokingly. “Although you have been accepted to college you must maintain that higher standard you set for yourself.”
As these students take the next step into their future they will be met with national and international competition in their diverse fields. They have made all the preparations and sacrifices necessary for success, now it will become time to put all that hard work into practice.