RUHS honored for AP access by Edwin Chavez
by Yasmeen El-Hasan
PHOTO BY JENNY OETZELL
Team effort. The Academic Decathlon team completed the second part of their competition this week on Feb. 3. According to senior Amanda Caceres, the team must place in the top 10 to reach the state competition. The team feels confident they will place in the top five. “I feel like we placed in the top five because last year we got fifth in the Super Quiz and second overall. This year we got sixth on the Super Quiz and I think we’ll be going to state,” Caceres said.
PHOTO BY VITORIA MAGNO
All the world’s a stage. From left to right, senior Jana Lipowski, junior Johnny Echevaria, sophomore Phoebe Reneau, senior Trevor Biggs, and junior Ashley Blackman all performed in the Laramie Project. Senior Jacob Harris, another performer, said, “I thought it went pretty well overall. The one thing that we could have worked on was our transitions. If everyone arrives a second or two late, the play gets longer and longer and people begin to lose interest and fall asleep.”
Students interested in computer science and programming will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge next year in a new AP Computer Science course, taught by math teacher Bill Dargen. “Students can investigate the field of computer science, find out what it takes to create computer programs, and see if it feels like a potential career path,” Dargen said. It is a full-year course that will cover the basics of computer systems and programming in the language of Java. A lot of online software is created through Java, so students will connect their learnings in the classroom with daily encounters on the internet. “Java employs the modern style of objectoriented programming and is constantly evolving to meet new challenges. It is an integral part of commerce on the internet,” Dargen said. “Even if I do not write programs for a living, I find that everything I do on a computer is easier and more logical because I understand how a programmer thinks.” The class is part of the school’s effort to improve their offerings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It aims to make to make students more competitive in the job market and for college. “Computers and related technology are part of nearly every field of work. Any knowledge one has above and beyond the average person is a competitive advantage in the world of work,” Dargen said. According to junior Will Tait, who plans to take the class next year, the school is
making a “great” choice by implementing the new course. “Everything is going to become computerized in the future. Understanding the core of how computers work will help us anticipate how advancing technology will continue to affect industry, privacy, security, and every other part of our lives even more than they already do,” Tait said. In addition, Tait believes that the class will not only be educational, but enjoyable as well. “Since this AP Computer class will be taught in Java, which is used in countless gaming and business apps, the curriculum will have a very practical usage,” Tate said. “Plus, I think that taking a class that counts for math and AP credit, and that is centered around something I’m interested in, will be tons of fun.” To take the class, a student must have earned at least a B in Algebra 2. Dargen believes that the requirements will affirm that the class is to be taken seriously by students. “Because [AP Computer Science] is a college level class, it requires a certain level of maturity and intellectual sophistication [that College Prepatory classes may not],” Dargen said. Dargen believes that this class is a “creative endeavor” for both him and his students. “I am super excited to teach it because it requires me to learn new things, which I love. Some students get very excited about the ability to bring their own ideas to life and they extend their learning beyond the classroom requirements,” Dargen said.
RUHS to introduce AP Computer Science to develop student skills and knowledge
Open access to AP classes at RUHS has proved itself a risk worth taking. RUHS was placed on the College Board’s Third Annual AP District Honor Roll in recognition of increased scores and enrollment in AP Courses. “[We] never [want] to be a school that limits its students,” Brandt said. “[These scores are] the result of hard work, talent, skill, and support.” Besides being placed on the AP District Honor Roll, RUHS has also consistently outperformed national and California standards in enrollment and achieved passing scores for five straight years. However, those results and placement on the Honor Roll have not been easy. The students who transfer to AP classes have a difficult time adjusting, according to AP Literature teacher Leila Williams. “Students who jump from a CP class to an AP class will be in an uphill battle,” Williams said.
In addition, the teachers have had to work harder as well to develop a curriculum for all of the students. “I take what I get, whether a student has weaknesses or needs to learn more, I deal with it by changing my curriculum to go with what I am given that given year,” Williams said. “I view that as my job every year…I’ve taught for 15 years and I haven’t taught the same curriculum ever.” The system of open access to AP classes shows that the school wants to encourage high achievement according to Brandt. With the expectation that students with high grades and test scores will be in AP classes, the open enrollment has been used to target students that are not obvious standouts. Due to its past success with open AP access, RUHS will continue to open it to its students. “If people are discouraging rather than encouraging, they’re never going to take those risks that lead [to these scores],” William said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brains. Warm Bodies, a romantic comedy with zombies, topped the box office this week. Starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, the story follows R, a zombie who regains his humanity after meeting and falling in love with Julie. Soon more and more zombies regain their humanity. However, the pair’s love is put in jeapordy as they are caught between agressive human forces and the zombies who still have not recovered their minds. To read the full review by Jewell Black, visit www.hightideonline.org
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