It is now March, which means students are signing up for next year’s classes. When signing up for classes students are given the option to take selected honors classes. The honors classes offered for Middle schoolers are honors math classes. However, Upper schoolers have a larger variety. Upper schoolers are offered honors English, fine arts, language, math, religion and
science. Upper schoolers are also given the option to take an ACC class. ACC stands for advanced college credit. PA offers ACC in both language and religion.
To take an honor class, you need to apply. To apply for honors or ACC, students can fill out the application that was sent to every students’ school email. The application consists of questions regarding what class you are applying for, what your grade last semester was, your CAP scores from the last semester, and why you want to be in that certain class. Honors applications opened on February 9th and closed on February 20th. If students were not accepted into honors in February, then they can re-apply in the spring.
Commonly when students are debating whether to take an honors class, or ACC class, the main question is “what is the difference between honors or ACC and the normal class?” To answer this frequently asked question, several teachers have been interviewed.
Upper schoolers in 11th and 12th grade are given the option to take ACC Latin, honors French, honors Spanish, and ACC Spanish. Madame Heitzman was interviewed on behalf of the language department. She will be teaching an honors French class next year. “In honors French, the students will have a theme taken from the AP curriculum in which they will study throughout the first semester, and then in the second semester they will present,” says Madame Heitzman.
Maggie Murphy ’19 was one of the students who applied for ACC Latin. “I want to challenge myself academically,” says Maggie.
Honors Fine Arts
Upper schoolers, grades 9-12 are given the chance to apply for honors choir and honors theater & acting. Students in 11th-12th grade are given the chance to
apply for honors band and honors orchestra. Seniors are also given the opportunity to apply for honors studio art. Mr. Carillo is the choir teacher as well as the chamber choir teacher. This is the first year that PA has offered honors fine arts, so honors choir will include being in chamber choir. Mr. Carillo said the main differences between regular choir and honors is honors choir is a part of the chamber choir, which means you have to audition to get into the group and it includes additional practices outside of the school day, additional concerts and competitions.
Lauren Wall ’19 is one of the students that applied for honors orchestra. “I am taking honors orchestra. I chose this because I have been in orchestra for the past 9 years and I wanted to take on a challenge,” says Lauren.
Students in 11th grade and above are offered honors and ACC religion. Dr. Hippler says that historically, ACC for seniors meant that they complete a term paper in the spring. They did the term paper in the spring because 1st semester seniors are very busy. For Juniors they usually do a term paper on friendship in November. In the spring they do a sacrament paper, in which they respond to a church father and doctrine. This is the first year of honors so they are still working out the details of what honors will look like.
Students in 6th grade and above are offered honors math. For every regular math class, there is an honors class. Mr. Blackhawk, one of the math teachers says that the main differences between regular math and honors is in honors the students are given harder problems, the tests are harder, ans they move quicker, which means they cover more material.
Honors science classes are offered for Upper schoolers, 9th-12th grade. Mrs. Sheeann, one of the honors science teachers, says the biggest differences between normal science classes and honors is that in honors, the students are expected to be more independent, the class moves faster, and they cover more material in-depth.
Caroline Mahowald ’19 says, “I am in honors physics next year, because I was in honors bio this year, and I reapplied. I am taking honors physics because I think it looks good on a report card when applying for college and I want to challenge myself.”
Honors English classes are offered for all Upper schoolers. Mr. Schmalzbauer says that the main difference between honors English classes and normal English classes are how students are assessed. Students in honors are also expected to read additional texts over the summer.
However, students do not need to apply for honors if they do not want to.
“I‘m not enrolled for any for next year as of right now but I might apply in the spring. I feel like I am already well challenged in my current classes,” says Sam Young ’19. Like Sam mentioned, if students change their mind, or are not accepted in the winter for honors, they can reapply in the spring.
Honors is a great way to challenge yourself academically, and it is great that Providence has added additional honors and ACC classes for this upcoming school year.