Bridgeport High's AP Programs Continue to Thrive

By Vincent Pinti on September 15, 2018 via

Bridgeport High School has a very adept program of classroom opportunities for its high school students. Trying to make sure every students gets the resources they need to get into the college or program of their choice is a primary goal for every educator. This school offers a stream line of Advanced Placement courses, not only allowing teenagers to excel at a faster rate, but a chance for them to boost their GPA and cut out certain college classes, which could save thousands of dollars in tuition. 
These classes have been in place for some time offering many skills for Bridgeport’s students, “An AP class is a higher order thinking class comparable to a college course by completing an AP exam at the end of the year. The rigor of the classes prepares students for any level of coursework in the future, and we recommend them to students who want to challenge themselves. We offer twelve classes here and the program started with English Literature and Calculus AB. The block scheduling at our school not only has enabled students to take multiple a year, but to take the extensive prerequisites needed to excel in these courses. We hope to exceed every year on these exams, they really are a good reflection of the school but also makes our students’ college resumes a lot stronger” said Assistant Principal, Renee Mathews.
It makes one wonder how it has changed across the board, even for new AP teachers, “Last year was my first year, and I had taught AP statistics. I was very nervous and had to take some of Mrs. Mathews’ classes. Following in her footsteps were big shoes to fill. Not only was she such a phenomenal teacher, but the expectations are just so much higher for both the teachers and the students. I not only had to teach them content in a class that they likely had little experience in, but I had to teach them the format of writing that scores well to national professionals. I had really great, hard-working students last year, and I was thrilled to see that they put in the work and accomplished a seventy-eight percent pass rate for the exam. I am always shooting for higher though. We want to see every student succeed,” said Miss Natalie Hathaway.
Also a first year AP teacher last year, Mr. Brian Elliott experienced another great year in the English Language Department, “I really love teaching AP classes because you get such ideal students who are always prepared to absorb new information and learn. I get to go much more in depth with these kids because so many of them take the extra challenge because they genuinely love to learn. For the class I teach, it’s a lot more specialized with a laser focus on skills development in argumentative writing, which is something I especially enjoy. Despite this, at the beginning, I was very nervous trying to live up to the expectations of this and the great strength of previous AP English Language teachers. As I went to more meetings and seminars for teachers of the class, I felt much more relieved seeing that I was following similar strategies and developing them to meet the needs of my students. I was very enthusiastic about the results, when they came out last summer, and we were well above the national average, but I am still ready to exceed that and push for better.”
Bridgeport’s continues as a powerhouse for education in the community, even as new faces take over daunting curriculum.
Editor’s Note:Vincent Pinti is a student in Mr. Brad Bonnenberger’s journalism class. These stories are submitted to, and not assigned by, Connect-Bridgeport for publication. Photos by Kobe Insani, Elijah Kintz.

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