The Case of the Disappearing GT Classes


Katrina Bucher, Staff Writer

Junior year. College is contemplated, classes become harder, and everything becomes more real.  Something that has changed as students become upperclassmen is the classes that are offered. GT options for classes such as Calculus, US History, English 11, and Spanish 5 disappear, as well as Physics, which offers GT but the AP and GT classes are intermingled and basically the same class.

Junior Anish Gandhi said the transition was major from GT to no GT options.

“I’ve been taking GT level classes for a long time, and it’s been hard to shift from the atmosphere of GT classes to AP classes,” explained Gandhi.

It’s no secret that AP classes require a lot of work, and students are put in a tough spot if they don’t want to be in the AP level class, but don’t succeed in the honors classes.

Junior Vicah Blair commented on the struggle it can be when picking classes and how sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

“I decided to take AP Physics, because I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t ready for it at the time, and dropped down to honors. I wish I had something in between,” stated Blair.

The disappearance was sudden for juniors, and they don’t really understand why the change even happened.

“I’m kind of unsure why they thought to take out all the options. My guess is to prepare you for college and to push you, but that may not work for everyone,” stated Gandhi.

AP English 11 teacher Rachel Wilkinson explains how the change may be to push students, but also for other reasons administratively.

“Often, it’s a lot easier to just teach 4 AP classes than two GT and two AP, so scheduling may be a factor,” explained Ms. Wilkinson.

Social Studies department chair Courtney Fleming described how at least for social studies it isn’t really about staffing, but more about getting the students ready for college.

“I think the counties looks at it as if by junior year, if you’re GT, then you can infuse yourself seamlessly into the Advanced Placement curriculum,” stated Ms. Fleming.

While Gandhi and Blair both describe how the transition can be tough, how do teachers think students are adjusting overall?

Wilkinson describes that the change is tough for English, but that isn’t how it’ll always be.

“No, [I don’t think the students are adjusting well], but writing takes time, and everyone thinks they may already be good writers, so it’s a big change that just needs some time,” Wilkinson explained. 

So, while it may not be seamless, don’t be afraid to take a challenge and try an AP class. You can always decide what’s best for you, whether that be in honors or AP. You got this, juniors.