Making the switch

The Gifted and Talented Program at SHS is being replaced by a new program called pre-A.P.


Jordin Baker

Students in English teacher Sam Hanley’s G/T class do a poster activity around the classroom. The course content will soon be changed to fit the new pre-A.P. class.

As the new school year is in full swing at SHS, the Gifted and Talented Program is no longer available. Its place is being filled by a new program in the upcoming years.

 “We wanted to normalize the instruction so that everybody is getting the same preparation for the A.P. classes they are going to take,” Principal Brian Knight said. 

The G/T program will be replaced with a new one called pre-A.P. This new program combines G/T English students with honors English students. English teacher Brent Bockelman believes that this change will benefit all upper-level learning English students in the long run. 

“It’s going to help them in the future, and we’re hoping that it will pay off on the back end by the time they’re juniors and seniors,” Bockelman said.

This decision has been discussed at a district level. SHS is the first high school to make this change in Perry Township. 

“It’s something that the principals from the high schools suggested and got approval from (Assistant Superintendent) Robert Bohannon,” Knight said. 

Sophomore Macey Lukas is a current G/T student herself. She is interested in how pre-A.P .will be taught. Either way, Lukas believes that it will be successful.

“We are so used to being in G/T, and I’m a little curious on how pre-A.P. classes would work, like if it works with the standards or agendas that we have now or not,” Lukas said. “It’s going to be a weird change, but it will be great.” 

The shift from G/T to pre-A.P. was made to benefit the students at SHS. Class sizes will be more equal. In recent years, the number of honors students has been increasing, while the number of G/T students has been decreasing. 

“When we were looking at it last year, our honors classes would’ve been probably a little bit over 30, while our Gifted and Talented classes would’ve been in the twenties,” Knight said.

Sophomore Lily Prawat, who is also a current G/T student, believes that combining G/T and honors kids is beneficial. 

“I think it is good that honors and G/T are getting pushed together because a lot of the work we did was the same anyways,” Prawat said. 

Class numbers aren’t the only reason for this change. Honors and G/T students will be taught the same curriculum and instruction. This gives students who are planning on going to A.P. English classes the same knowledge and preparation as their peers. English teacher Sam Hanley believes that it is important to prepare all of these upper-level learning students in the same way. 

“I think that pre-A.P. gives us an opportunity to streamline the curriculum to make sure that everyone is prepared for A.P. in the same way,” Hanley said.  

Freshman Jackie Coy was a G/T student in middle school. She is currently taking pre-A.P. and says she can barely find any differences between the two class types.

“It kind of feels the same, but there’s just a different name,” Coy said. 

As the shift from G/T to pre-A.P. progresses, junior Makenzie Braun feels that this change should not take place. 

“We should keep the G/T program,” Braun said. “A lot of students need more one-on-one time to learn better, everybody learns differently.”

The English teachers who are teaching pre-A.P. these upcoming years are Bockelman, Erin Ancelet and Amanda Osborn. All of the changes that follow the shift from G/T to pre-A.P., are meant to educate upper-level learning students in the same way. 

“A lot of our kids in the G/T and honors end up in that AP track, so putting them together and giving them the foundation will help them in the future,” Hanley said.