Rest In Peace, Advanced Placement Classes. Our family was among many South Cheatham families who attended the Cheatham County School Board Work Session tonight, and heard the news that Advanced Placement [i.e., AP] classes will indeed no longer be offered to students at. Board Member Collins noted her confusion over the matter of doing away with AP classes, as she stated that the Board and Dr. Webb had made the decision to do away with AP classes at a retreat “over 14 months ago.” Apparently, Dr. Webb touted Dual Enrollment [i.e., DE] classes over AP classes, both at the retreat and at the work session tonight, and the Board followed the advice of their educational leader. The board also noted that at no time did they vote to do away with AP classes. Rather, this was the decision of Dr. Webb. When the board asked Dr. Webb this evening if he “had a meeting” with administrators at HHS regarding ending AP classes, Dr. Webb stated that no such meeting took place.
Dr. Webb noted that Dual Enrollment classes are high quality classes, and noted that very few teachers at HHS were in fact qualified to teach DE at this time. Dr. Webb stated that he would have to make the “tough calls” in terms of staffing changes at HHS to meet the need for teachers qualified to teach DE classes. He stated he sent county representatives to both Belmont and Vanderbilt to recruit teachers who met the qualifications to teach DE. The board then stated their concerns that county teachers would love to have the qualifications to teach these DE classes, but it would require the teachers to pay for these classes on their own. Board Member Lavender asked Dr. Webb to consider somehow providing money for teachers to take these necessary classes to pay for DE certification. Please note that teachers are required to have 18 hours of specialty education in order to qualify to teach DE classes.
Dr. Webb then stated his concern over a “rumor” that students at HHS would “be in front of a computer” next year, while being taught a DE class through a teleconferenced teacher from Nashville State. He noted this rumor was false. Rather, a “supervisory” teacher would be in the room to assist students while they teleconferenced with this Nashville State educator at a computer.
The question also arose regarding how many DE classes the county would pay for, per semester, per student. Board Member Proffitt noted that a new fund of money was made available, through a grant courtesy of A.O. Smith, that would provide extra DE money to the county’s students. How much money was unclear, and how many classes would be paid for through both the county and the grant money is reportedly unknown at this time.
I could probably go on about this work session all night, but I’ll end this post with a few notes:
- If the board and Dr. Webb knew 14 months ago about dropping AP, then why did the county inform every high school except HHS? Clearly, neither the staff nor the community at HHS knew anything about it.
- The county has stated, via several emails that we have received, that they will pay for 2 DE classes per year, per student. However, the grant from A.O. Smith may change how many classes the county will pay for next year. Meanwhile, Dianne Williams is working with us on getting prices of DE classes, and we’ll post those costs here as well when we receive them.
So, RIP AP. May your light shine brightly in other counties who appreciate your Wondrous Glory.