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Raising the bar
Turlock High adds four more advanced placement courses
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Turlock High School is continuing its quest to raise the bar on academic excellence by expanding its Advanced Placement program.  THS currently offers 15 AP courses and is adding four new ones in the 2012-2013 school year: AP Psychology, AP Macroeconomics, AP Human Geography, and AP Environmental Science.

THS AP Coordinator and Assistant Principal Marie Peterson attributed the seed for the recent expansion to the AP Annual Conference she attended last summer in San Francisco.  Peterson learned that the College Board offered 34 AP courses and that several of these could be added to Turlock’s schedule utilizing expertise of current staff.

THS Principal Dana Salles Trevethan said she was excited about the opportunity to expand the AP program and together they worked with staff to bring these courses to fruition.

 “Increasing our AP courses supports our leadership team's vision of higher expectations and rigor for student achievement as well as our Strategic Plan's emphasis on academic accountability and opportunities for all students on campus,” said Trevethan. “Our staff and students have proven their expertise, scholarly aptitudes, and relentless efforts, and implementation of Advanced Placement courses will further support our students' college-going mindsets.” 

THS freshmen will have the opportunity to start an AP pathway during their first year by enrolling in AP Human Geography.  This course, taught by THS social studies instructor Matt Rosengarth, will utilize a classroom set of Netbooks to help students study where humans, their activities and institutions, such as ethnic groups, cities, and industries, are located as well as the purpose behind these settlements.

AP Macroeconomics, a semester long course, will be offered in tandem with AP American Government.  According to THS social studies instructor Rex Rabine, AP Macro will allow students to link together the knowledge base they build in AP Government with economic causes and consequences of policy on all levels. THS social studies and AP Psychology instructor Ryan Tribble said he believes THS’ expansion of the AP program will allow UC-bound students the opportunity to take more rigorous courses while still in high school to be even better prepared for college.

Ryan Hollister, THS science instructor and WildLink advisor, said he hopes that the new AP Environmental Science course will broaden student understanding of the environment, with an emphasis on the Central Valley, to prepare them to scientifically and objectively offer solutions for a sustainable, higher quality of life for the community. 

 Plans are underway to further expand the THS AP program in 2013-2014 with the possible addition of AP Computer Science and AP Art History.  Based on a survey of the AP Course Ledger, by 2014, THS would offer more AP courses than any other high school in Stanislaus County.