My previous submission about this subject was ignored/not posted. The structure of the American Studies class needs to be looked into. Unlike every other class at Shen, there is not a separate honors class, but instead honors and non-honors students are placed in a class together. They receive one instruction, but honors kids are given much harder tests and so much extra work that there are only 6 out of 60 kids left doing the honors option. There were initially 25-30 students that started out in honors. (This is in one section/period but the numbers are similar in another section of this class.) Some of the students that have dropped were taking AP World last year, but dropped honors in American Studies because of the extreme amount of work the teachers have decided to give the honors students. Even after so many kids have dropped honors, the teachers are still actively discouraging students from continuing honors by repeatedly telling the students that honors designation does not matter to colleges, they only look at GPA. This is in stark contrast to what Shen has always told students; that they should take the most rigorous courses that they can be successful in. It is also not what any of the colleges that we have visited thus far have said; they do look at more than just GPA and are looking for students who challenge themselves. It seems these teachers view the honors students as a burden and extra work so they encourage the dropping of the honors designation. Maybe if there was a separate class for honors students, that you would get teachers who actually believe in and support the honors program.

Written by on December 4, 2017 in Grapevine

A.  An enriched Honors curriculum is offered to students enrolled in American Studies to provide the opportunity for students who have the interest, ability and motivation to explore topics studied in both English and U.S. history in greater depth.  Honors students are required to complete additional and/or different assignments each quarter, including essays and tests.   Please contact the high school principal to share your concerns.