Valley Stream’s high schools earn recognition
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The feedback from graduates about the district’s AP program has been very positive, Pompilio said, noting that several students have returned boasting of how their high school education prepared them for college. Odell added that many students have entered college with sophomore standing because of the credits they earned from taking AP exams.
One more point that the administrators said is impressive is that AP students in the northeast have one less month to prepare for their tests than other areas of the country. The tests are given in May, which is the end of the school year for regions where classes start in August.
“You really have to hit the ground running in September,” Odell said, “because the pace of the curriculum moves very, very fast and it’s a very challenging curriculum.”
The new Common Core Learning Standards, which have been implemented nationally, focus on college and career readiness. In the age of diminishing financial resources for schools, non-mandated programs like AP courses could be on the chopping block despite the purpose they serve. Heidenreich said that these high-level courses are, and will remain a priority in the Valley Stream Central High School District.