AP classes and students spike in numbers

AP classes and students spike in numbers

AP physics teacher Mr. Brian Walsh teaches his 7th period AP physics B class.

Jordan Leal, Editor-in-Chief

Ludlow High School has more than doubled in AP classes since last year due to the school receiving a new grant, the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative, which now is fully funding math, science, and English based AP courses at LHS.

“The first part of becoming funded by MMSI meant that Ludlow High School must open the doors to all students for AP classes by having no requirements,” said director of guidance, Linda Duame. “The second part was offering students AP English junior year in addition to senior, and offering AP Statistics and AP Physics B.”

The grant required a 60% increase in student’s taking AP classes, and LHS has more than doubled that with a 130% percent increase. Last year 158 students took AP classes, and this year approximately 365 students are taking AP classes.

The grant also mandates that students in English, science, and math-based courses must attend three Saturday sessions from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various high schools around Western Mass.

“It [is unfortunate] to have to attend Saturday classes, but if you want to be competitive and successful in your AP class, and on the exam, then you need to push yourself and take all the extra help and practice you can get,” said senior Everett Dec who is taking a heavy load of AP classes that includes physics, biology, calculus, and government.

Duame explained that Ludlow High School has also dropped requirements into honors classes, although it is not required in the MMSI grant.

“The main reason why we opened up the doors for honors is now students can be better equipped for AP classes, and college courses in the future,” said Duame.

In addition to AP classes reaching the highest number of students at LHS, honors classes have also reached record numbers.

“I believe dropping all the requirements for honors and AP was a great idea,” said senior Nichole Martins. “Now students who did not do too good their freshmen or sophomore years can challenge themselves and take harder classes. By doing this, they’re showing colleges they’re committed and ready to show the best they can truly be.”

Although MMSI is targeted towards math and science, it also funds English because the founders of the grant, believe it provides an understanding and the needed skills for the basics of Math and Science.

MMSI does not fund language or history AP classes, but the department funds from the town and state still pays and covers any costs needed for the classes.

According to the guidance department, MMSI initially grants schools who show smaller AP numbers, Ludlow High School is now one of the schools out of the 60 they fund with the highest rates of change and interest in AP classes in such a short time period.


Class:                                                         student enrollment in year 2011-2012                                                  year 2012-2013

AP English lit./comp.                                                   6                                                                                                 40

AP French                                                                       0                                                                                                 10

AP Spanish                                                                    20                                                                                                12

AP Calc AB                                                                    24                                                                                                 48

AP Biology                                                                    40                                                                                                  51

AP Chemistry                                                               9                                                                                                     17

AP Government                                                          17                                                                                                     36

AP Physics                                                                 N/O                                                                                                   30

AP Statistics                                                              N/O                                                                                                   14

AP English 11                                                            N/O                                                                                                   24

AP U.S. history 11                                                    25                                                                                                     36

AP U.S. history 10                                                   38                                                                                                      51