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Goodbye mixed English classes

Honors/CP mixed English classes will no longer be offered at PV

Students+participate+in+the+current+Honors%2FCP+class.+
Students participate in the current Honors/CP class.

Students participate in the current Honors/CP class.

Alysa Mehl

Alysa Mehl

Students participate in the current Honors/CP class.

Kelsey Hagen, Staff Writer

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PV senior Josh Smartenko is a fan of the Honors/CP mixed English class. It is a chance for him to see friends that he might not normally be with in his other classes. Starting the following school year, the Honors/CP English classes will no longer be an option.

Currently, PV juniors and seniors have the option to take an English class that combines both CP and Honors English students into one class period.

However, the Board of Education determined that it would be split up into separate Honors and CP classes for next year at their meeting on May 15.

This year was District Supervisor of Instruction for English, Art, & Media Virena Rossi’s first year back working at PV. Since this year was a curriculum evaluation year, she took the opportunity to evaluate the Honors/CP English classes.

When I had started at the beginning of the year, it was brought to my attention as a concern from both teachers and students that the intention had been to raise the level of rigor with the CP classes by combining them, and I think that some of the Honors students felt that while they may have helped the CP, it wasn’t helping the Honors classes,” she said.

Alyse Herburger is  a senior currently enrolled in the Honors/CP English class. As a junior, she  took AP English Language and Composition and did not find the transition from her last class to this class difficult. For Herberger, this is easier than most of her other classes. However, she notices a disconnect between the students in the honors section and those in the CP section.

“A lot of kids I know, we came from AP English and we didn’t want to necessarily take AP Literature, so we were put into Honors,” Herburger said. “It’s just not anything against people in CP, but being in AP and then talking to someone who’s in CP who just hasn’t experienced as much as we have, it’s hard. There’s not really a medium there or a basis.”

According to a survey conducted by The Smoke Signal, 14.8% of juniors in the Honors section and 6.7% of juniors in the CP section do not enjoy how the class is set up.

Both groups of students taking the class think that the workload varies from light to normal. But some Honors students do not like the fact that they have more work than the CP students while in the same time period.

Multiple students noted this concern, with one writing that a negative of the course is “having the same time as CP but with more work” and another expressing their dislike for “knowing that I am doing more work than other kids in the class.”

However, students do like that they are able to see different people than they normally see in their classes.

“What makes me like it is that I get to see people who I haven’t necessarily seen before in my classes, because a lot of the times when you’re taking Honors and AP classes, you stick with the same group,” Alyse Herburger said.

Ultimately, the negatives of the mixed classes outweighed the positives.

Rossi says this consensus was made because while the setup of the class may have worked for the CP students, it did not seem to be working out as well for the Honors students, among other reasons.

The fact that none of the other disciplines have combined classes, I think is also a factor in wanting to keep things separate,” Rossi said. “If that’s how we’re doing it in math, then we should be doing the same thing in English.”

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Goodbye mixed English classes