By Sydney Gusmer, Staff Writer
COVID-19 has challenged teachers across the country in teaching Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Virtual classes and shortened schedules have significantly decreased the amount of time teachers have to prepare students for the exams in May.
Trinity Hall, however, has risen to this challenge by adjusting the schedule for weekly Campus Connection days to provide additional class time for AP classes in an effort to diminish the instructional impact the COVID-19 pandemic has created this year.
From September to December, these Campus Connection days allocated time for virtual advisory, community, class and club meetings as well as other grade-level on-campus activities. These Campus Connection days have been crucial in maintaining our sense of community during the pandemic but have taken away from valuable class time.
The reformed Campus Connection days, effective January 2021, consist of SAT/ACT prep classes for juniors and add back the much needed learning time for rigorous AP courses. Although some students are opposed to spending additional time on the screen, AP teachers feel that this class time is critical and will set Trinity Hall students apart from those at schools that don’t provide additional time for AP courses.
“The students really need ample time to practice applying both the skills and concepts.”Nicole Sadowski, AP Calculus teacher
“The students really need ample time to practice applying both the skills and concepts,” said Nicole Sadowski, who teaches both levels of AP Calculus. The additional class time provided by Campus Connection days eases the pressure on teachers who carry the extra stress of preparing students for their AP exams in a timely manner.
“AP teachers can use this extra class to engage students with different learning opportunities to assess their understanding in a low stakes environment where misconceptions can be addressed, skills can be improved and content retention can be enhanced,” Sadoswki says.
With the addition of AP periods on Campus Connection days, teachers now have the time to successfully broaden their students’ understanding of the college-level subjects and the format of the AP exams. As junior Sanan Guekian explains, these additional AP periods “allow us to review the test structure and specific questions so we know how to approach them on test day.”
Trinity Hall students are known to be successful in AP exams, and high scores produced by AP students in the spring will be a testament to the great benefits of these revised online school days.