Many of Galileo’s staff are concerned about an alarming number of Galileo students who requested to drop honors and AP classes this year. Although actually dropping an AP or honors class can only happen on a case by case scenario, the counseling office is trying to create a new policy which will prevent students from trying to drop these classes.
Galileo is looking to other schools for examples of how to handle the high number of students requesting to drop. “We followed Lincoln’s new implemented plan, which is a task force on how to enroll and support students,” said counselor Ms. Marshman. There has also been conversations about contract between parent, student, and teacher, as well as providing more education to students on the workload of an AP course.
One of the main reasons the school is concerned about students dropping classes is because of the problems it creates in the master schedule, which is created in May. When students drop, it affects class size, creating a domino effect of unbalanced class sizes.
There is not a particular reason why there is a such a high number of students dropping this year compared to other years. Students ask to drop for numerous reasons, some say it is too hard, or too much work, or there is a scheduling issue. “There can be a lack of motivation or time involved, can’t versus won’t put in the effort,” says Ms. Marshman.
“I dropped AP Calculus because of my ADHD, I can’t pass a class with 90% of the grade as tests when my ADHD makes tests hard. The process has been hard because I feel bad I’m quitting, although Ms. Sanchez and Mr. Ring are helping me,” said senior Eric He.
Another student, senior Aaron Tsai said, “I dropped AP Statistics because I didn’t understand his teaching style, I took the class because I wanted to try an AP class and I like math.” In terms of the process of dropping he said, “The process was easy, I went to Ms. Sanchez and talked to Mr. Page, so it was a pretty fast process.”
Senior Leo Sack dropped AP Government and Economics. He said, “I dropped because there is one Chinese 3 class and they are both at the same time and I needed Chinese for UC requirements.” The process of dropping was not easy for Leo, “I had to go to every teacher and get a list of all classes, each subject, and make my own schedule, which took over a week to do.”
Teachers have differing opinions on students who drop classes. “I think they’re being honest and I like it but I wish they would’ve been honest before they sign up for the class,” said AP World History teacher Mr. Cossey. He tells his students that is is going to be a difficult class and students often have confidence and after a couple of weeks they say it is too hard of a class. “I don’t mind if students drop, I would rather students enjoy school then torture themselves,” said Mr. Cossey.