Weighted Course Limit on Sophomores Is Necessary

Andrew Chen and Tatsiana Barysiuk

Some underclassmen are frustrated that they are only allowed to have two weighted courses in their schedule during their sophomore year. Although this is a lower number than most schools allow, it is a necessary restriction so as to not overwhelm students with a schedule full of rigorous courses.

Currently, most sophomores have only two options for weighted courses: AP Human Geography or Honors American History, and students who have met the prerequisites can take Enhanced Math III.

Underclassmen have fewer options because they do not have as flexible of schedules as upperclassmen, otherwise accommodating for a wider variety of available AP courses, according to the counseling department.

“Typically freshmen and sophomores have to complete general-ed requirements, and typically most people take their world language in ninth and tenth grade,” counselor Shari Markowitz said. “They also require PE to be taken in ninth or tenth grade, so there’s not a lot of space in the schedule to take a lot of classes.”

Courses are meant to build off of each other, and it does not make sense to take certain courses before others. Thus, there is a system of prerequisites.

“At other districts, [AP Human Geography] is offered to freshman year [sic], which is insane to me. I think students need to have a year of world history for this class to make sense,” social studies teacher Shameemah Motala said.

There are exceptions made to this rule in special cases. For example, if a sophomore has taken and passed their SAT subject test for a world language or decides to take a world language through blended learning, students are able to take on an extra course.

Having opted for taking a Blended Spanish course, sophomore Sai Anish Kuppili is in AP Statistics in addition to two other weighted courses, giving him a heftier course load than most other sophomores.

“I don’t think the limit’s bad because as sophomores we’re still getting used to it, and I think that we can’t really handle more than that,” Kuppili said. 

Kuppili also admitted that if there were more AP options available to him, he would not take more than his current course load.

In the end, the weighted course limit on sophomores is not really about restricting students from doing more, but about ensuring that students have just the right amount of course rigor.