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Pelham Memorial Touts College-Level Classes

PELHAM, N.Y. – Parents of Pelham Memorial High School students filled the middle school gym Wednesday night for the annual advanced placement (AP) and college level course meeting. The supervisors of each department described the coursework and requirements for the 25 different courses being offered in mathematics, English, art, science, social studies and world languages.

Some of the courses offered to the Pelham students that meet the necessary requirements are calculus, studio art, forensic science, European history, intermediate French, and English language and literature. Pelham Memorial is working in conjunction with Syracuse and SUNY Westchester in order for its students to obtain college credit at not only those schools, but many others as well.

Gene Farrell, director of guidance, spoke about how taking these classes could benefit students in the future at college and lead to rewards, such as "double-majoring, studying abroad and graduating early."

Pelham Memorial students are reaping those rewards, he said, with 50 percent of juniors and seniors taking AP classes. In addition, 92 percent of the students scored a three or higher – out of five – on the AP exams last year, which is a Pelham Memorial record.

Farrell said he is overjoyed with the number of students that enroll in the AP and college level courses.

“It speaks really to not only just opening access to students, getting more students to take it, but we’ve still been able to maintain that high level of achievement we’ve been seeing in these standardized tests,” he said. “It’s an overall win-win because we’re getting more students to get involved with it and we’re not dropping off in really their success level.”

The guidance director said he believes the success was based on the work of the Pelham School District teachers.

Brian Terry, the supervisor of science at Pelham schools, spoke at the event about the eight AP and college level science courses being offered during the 2012-2013 school year. Afterwards, he said how proud he was of the teachers and students success.

“It means that the teachers in the lower grades are doing a fantastic job and really building a strong foundation to have them be successful at that level,” Terry said. “Also, even our goal in high school is to get them ready for college. They are, in high school, taking a college level course and are succeeding.”

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