Hybrid schedule screwed AP classes: AP test scores will be affected

Nathan Lokenvitz, a PV senior, student studies for his AP test through the AP classroom.

Alex Clemons

Nathan Lokenvitz, a PV senior, student studies for his AP test through the AP classroom.

Alex Clemons, Sports Editor

The hybrid schedule has caused AP classes to fall behind in their curriculum, causing some classes to have to rush through content. AP tests are coming up, starting during the first week of May. Some classes may not be ready for the AP test. 

This school year has been crazy due to COVID. For Pleasant Valley, students started in a hybrid schedule, a new format for both students and teachers.  This hybrid schedule had half the students going to school on Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday. And the other half of students every Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday. 

This schedule forced teachers to have to record and live stream their classes. This new format had many teachers struggling to keep up with their normal schedule. Many classes fell behind their curriculum, and this is especially bad for AP classes. AP classes need to teach all of their material before the AP test, so students are prepared for the test. 

Emmie Peterson, a PV senior, is currently enrolled in two AP classes. She is taking AP physics two and AP calculus. “I think hybrid will definitely effect AP scores…once we switched to in-person, I think the teachers realized how behind we were and we had to end up rushing the rest of the topics,” Peterson said. 

In AP calculus, the curriculum started with derivatives the first semester during the hybrid schedule. Once the in-person which occurred, the students started learning integrals. Students seem to know and understand derivatives better than integrals, Peterson stated. 

While in hybrid schedule, when teachers took more time per topic, students understood what they were being taught. And now with teachers having to rush though topics, students are struggling to understand and comprehend the new material. 

Many teachers had different ways of approaching the hybrid schedule. Ian Spangenberg, the AP physics one and two teacher, explains his way of teaching through the hybrid schedule. “For AP Physics 1 and 2, we were able to keep a normal-ish schedule through hybrid…I usually taught new things every day, rather than repeating lessons for A and then B day,” Spangenberg said. 

Lots of teachers fell behind due to how they would teach the same lesson to both A day students and B day students. This would put teachers behind in their curriculum and cause them to rush while in 100 percent in-person classes. 

Another concern is how seniors will perform on their AP tests when they lack the experience of taking a full three hour test. Last year, the AP tests were shortened due to the COVID-19 quarantine. This caused many seniors to miss out on the opportunity to gain the experience of taking a full AP exam. 

Spangenberg is not worried about how his seniors will perform on the test. “We take plenty of tests in class and I offered a full 3 hour practice exam.  So, I’m not too worried that AP Physics 2 students’ inexperience with a 3 hour test will bring scores down in any significant way,” Spangenberg stated. “Plus, most of my students have experience with long tests such as the ACT, SAT, PSAT, or other AP Exams.”

Many teachers had to adjust during the hybrid schedule this year, causing them to rush through the rest of the year. Some teachers are not worried about the effect on AP scores though, because they have been preparing for the test the entire year.