Last spring CHS announced the introduction of its first AP course for entering freshmen: AP Human Geography. The idea was met with uncertainty, but CUSD pushed for the pilot course and selected Government and Politics teacher Bill Schrier to take on the adventure.
Despite some students feeling slighted, administration hand-picked 34 Carmel Middle School students based upon their prior academic performance to participate in the pilot class.
“Everyone was pretty good with it,” CHS freshmen counselor Jennifer Goodbody says. “We had to re-look at it once when we realized that we really hadn’t made this offer to the private school students coming in.”
Two months into the course, the students and teacher alike are loving class.
“I can’t wait to see them every day, and at the end of the period I feel so excited and invigorated,” Schrier says. “I feel really blessed to be able to teach this class.”
In the class, freshmen learn how to read maps. Not just things like where the legend is, but how to look at a map more in depth.
“It’s pretty cool because we’re learning how maps tell stories and why the map is there,” CHS freshman Evan Patel says.
One of the common held concerns for this course was if 14-year-olds would be able to handle the curriculum that most 19-year-olds take in college.
“I haven’t been in a class where the kids are obviously so into the material and so open about it and asking questions,” says current Stanford student Ariane Knapp, who has been helping in the class. “Even in college it’s really unusual, so it’s really cool to watch.”
Students in the class knew very well what they were getting into.
“It’s what’s expected from an AP course,” CHS freshman Alex McGrath says. “It has the normal course load of an AP course.”
Although the typically government and politics teacher knew little about the material, he is enjoying the challenge of mastering the subject.
“I have tremendous amounts of homework,” Schrier says. “Learning the content at a level I can teach it, it’s just far different than learning it as a student.”