Pre-IB, AP or…both?

Selected RHS incoming freshmen can now take AP U.S. History instead of the honors or on-level class. English 9 will be the only pre-IB class offered at RHS starting next fall.

The IB program does not require pre-IB courses and is encouraging MCPS to remove these course titles. In the upcoming school year, the only pre-IB course in the MCPS scheduling system will be pre-IB English. However, this course option will be eliminated in a few years.

Pre-IB courses are not required to participate in the actual IB program. Following her first two years in honors classes, senior Kate Lipman was granted permission to participate in the IB program, despite not taking the pre-IB courses.

“I was prepared through non-IB classes for all of my IB classes, except for a few things in English,” Lipman said.

Overall, honors and pre-IB subject areas will now be blended, which consequently discontinues the pre-IB program.

“I don’t think it will harm the IB community because the students are still going to be together their junior and senior year,” said IB Coordinator Laurie Ainsworth.

Up until now, RHS students could not take their first AP class until sophomore year. Starting fall semester 2014, RHS students will have the option to take AP U.S. History freshman year.

RHS social studies teacher Steve Watson will teach the selected students in the freshman class.

Senior Danny Hoffman took Honors U.S. History his freshman year, studied for the AP test independently and received the highest possible score of a five on the test.

“Having the AP U.S. History college credit will … allow me to take more advanced history classes in college earlier on,” Hoffman said. “Taking the class as a freshman would be a good introduction to what AP courses are like.”

Collaboration amongst RHS teachers and Earle B. Wood MS social studies departments has occurred this year in order to plan for next.

“They are good changes for Rockville [which] open up access to rigorous courses for students and give more course choices during scheduling,” Principal Billie-Jean Bensen said.