Advanced placement, or AP, courses, seem to be a hot topic for the district.
Castronovo said many times students sign up for AP courses, and while in the process of applying to colleges may learn the course will not be accepted for college credit. She said while the main reason students are drawn to these courses is to receive early college credit, she believes students also need to view the courses as a method of preparing for college-level work. She said many times, once students realizes they will not receive credit, their interest wanes and many times they refuse to take the AP exam at the end of the course. Castronovo and Kavanugh said despite the money and time involved in taking the exam, they are adamant that it is a vital part of the process.
"Every year we fight with students and parents about taking this exam if the credits aren't being accepted by the student's future college. Parents don't want to pay the fee. At the start of the course, we make it very clear that AP classes end with the AP exam. It is what the learning process is about. It's foolish to take a college level course, work hard all year, and then not be properly assessed by the exam," said Castronovo.
Castronovo said while she knows many of the neighboring districts do not feel as strongly, she said this something she is not going to waver on.
"It is about commitment. It is about these students testing themselves to see if they are ready for the work that lies ahead in college. It's important," she said.
A post 2007 graduate survey indicates that out of 217 graduates, 186 plan to further their education. Close to 55 percent plan to attend a four-year school and almost 45 percent plan to attend a two-year college.
"Overall, we are really happy with the numbers," said Castronovo.""