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Many Lincoln students take college route with AP classes

Despite the increase in work, students across Lincoln County have signed up to take Advanced Placement classes.
These classes follow the same curriculum a college class would, and if students pass AP tests at the end of the year, they could save thousands of dollars by receiving college credit.
“I just don’t want to spend eight years in school,” said Jesse Rhodes, an AP student at North Lincoln High School. “I’ve already been in school enough.”
Bright students, such as Rhodes, often find their AP classes to be a breath of fresh air.
Every student in the class has to have a certain level of prerequisites, including introductory classes in the subject and a high grade point average.
“I do like (AP classes),” said Katie Zubko, a student at North Lincoln High. “In easier classes you have people who don’t want to work really hard so they don’t apply themselves as much as you do.”
Katie finds that in her AP classes she has to work much harder to keep up with her fellow students. Sometimes that means as much as four hours of homework a night.
Students in these classes often receive more reading, more homework and more in depth lab work.
“The difference is night and day. The expectation is that students already know the honors curriculum,” said Keith Hilderbran, an AP Chemistry teacher at West Lincoln High School.
“Those students are supposed to come to class with that knowledge and then we go into more depth and more detail.”
Nearly all students in AP classes are college bound, and many of them have ambitions of attending prestigious schools and taking on challenging careers.
Trying to keep up with some of these students is not an easy task.
“You don’t want to throw kids in there making C’s and D’s, but a kid might not have all A’s and really had the potential and not challenged themselves,” said Jane Parker, counselor at East Lincoln High School.
“I think our goal is to challenge kids, but not get them in over their heads. It’s kind of a fine line there.”
It’s not just taking AP classes that poses a challenge, teaching the classes is an undertaking as well.
“These are the best kids. They know more chemistry than even the rest of the science faculty,” said Hilderbran. “It’s a challenge because you never know what they’re question is going to be. You’ve got to be willing to say ‘I don’t know. Let me look that up.’”
For teachers the reward for teaching college level courses is working with bright kids who need little discipline.
For students in the class, the rewards include weighted grades, which result in more impressive college applications as well as a possibility of receiving college credit.
“There are kids that get those credits, and they can go into college as sophomore standing,” said Laura Thornhill, a counselor at North Lincoln High. “It definitely gives them the advantage.”by Sarah Grano

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