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School administration found auto enrolling students in AP courses

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Senior Aubrey Wood sitting with a stack of Advanced Placement (AP) books.

Senior Aubrey Wood sitting with a stack of Advanced Placement (AP) books.

Naomi Heuer

Naomi Heuer

Senior Aubrey Wood sitting with a stack of Advanced Placement (AP) books.

  They’re sitting alone, scribbling furiously in a notebook while periodically flipping the pages of a nearby textbook. The room is silent, albeit for the ticking of a clock and the faint sound of pencil on paper. By the time they finally close the book, it’s late.
  This is the reality for many Advanced Placement (AP) students. Hours upon hours of studying and homework.

  Some of the students faced with this problem are students who had no intention of taking AP courses in the first place.

  School administration has unfairly taken it upon themselves to enroll any students they see fit in AP classes, despite the student’s wishes. Many of those that are auto enrolled in these classes are freshmen who are forced to take AP Human Geography or sophomores enrolled in Pre-AP English.    

  Sophomores like Blake Perrins, who said he had purposely not signed up for Pre-AP English because of difficulties faced in his English class last year, and that he was shocked to find the class appear on his schedule this year.
  “I was kind of surprised,” he said. “I kind of had a hard time in my regular English class the previous year and I wanted to change my schedule…[but my tribe teacher] told me stuff like, ‘it will prepare you for college and it will help you later depending on your career choice.’”

  Because of that, Perrins ultimately decided to stay in his Pre-AP English class.  
  But for students like senior Aubrey Wood, the trouble with auto enrollment began earlier, in her freshman year with AP Human Geography.

  “[The administration] called my parents and said I wasn’t taking hard enough classes so [they] auto enrolled me in all the honors classes and AP Human Geography,” said Wood. “[They] said at Kamiakin we pride ourselves in taking harder classes.”

  Wood remembered feeling frustrated as a result of the administration’s decision.  

  “I was really ticked off because it’s my classes. I chose what I wanted to do. [They] shouldn’t be calling up my parents saying ‘You need to take harder classes,’” she said.

  During her freshman year senior Alyssa Tobon experienced similar treatment, and said she too feels that students should have more say in the classes they take rather than the administration.   

  “I wouldn’t recommend placing students in AP classes because it’s easy to end up getting lost if you’re not really prepared for it. When a student picks their own schedule they usually know what they should be placed in,” Tobon said. “Another student with grades like mine in middle school could have easily flunked [AP Human Geography]. It all depends on the person. But the school should consult with the student before changing their schedule. Why let students pick their own classes if the school changes it?” 

  Counselor Joanna Conover, who deals with both students’ classes and AP testing, said even she isn’t sure why students are auto enrolled in AP courses.

  “I’ve heard that could’ve been a thing with administration and the middle schoolers, putting kids in because their scores are high. When you guys register with us we put in your selections, and it puts it in [to PowerSchool]. I don’t know why anything ever changes,” she said.  

  Because of scheduling conflicts, school administration could not be reached for a comment.

  But still, why does this happen?  

  “I think it’s a status thing. They try and bring up their stats on how many kids are in their AP classes, but really, as soon as the kids are in it, they want to get out, and [the administration] won’t let them get out, which will give the school itself more Fs,” Wood said. “Instead of forcing it on kids, ask. Forcing it makes them not want to do it at all, and they’re not going to pride themselves in their work if they’re going to have this super hard class that they know they can’t do.”

  Students should not be forced to take classes they never signed up for, especially more rigorous courses like AP. If a student wanted to take AP, they would’ve enrolled for it. If the school administration can take anything away from this, it’s to be more considerate of students before signing them up for classes.  

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School administration found auto enrolling students in AP courses