AP Classes Fall Behind Due to an Abundance of Snow Days

With three snow days, an accelerated release, and a delay at HHS in the past month, AP teachers are scrambling to meet deadlines to ensure their students are prepared to take AP tests in May.

Photo: Ben Scire
Gabby Thompson
Ben Scire before school.

AP Government and Politics teacher Stephen Simoes noticed a tremendous impact the snow days had on his course.

“I think [snow days] impact AP classes more than others because we don’t get the days back. Plus, we lose the continuity,” Simoes said. “The biggest thing is every snow day is a full day that we will not be able to review.”

Snow days create such a problem among both AP students and teachers because the lost days can’t be made up. This calls for both parties to compensate for the lost time.

AP Psychology teacher Jennifer Griffey commented that the progression of her AP class has been greatly affected.

“With the snow days, all of the classes aren’t in the same place, and we try to keep them in a similar spot,” Griffey said. “In some classes, I’ve had to move faster on things, and put more responsibility on students to learn information outside of class.”

Photo: Jennifer Griffey
Gabby Thompson
Jennifer Griffey before teaching her AP Psychology course.

Not only do teachers endure the effects the snow days have on class time, but AP students have needed to adjust to these undesirable circumstances as well.

Senior Ben Scire, who is taking five APs this year, thinks the snow days have placed a burden on students, including himself in all of his AP courses.

“Snow days have definitely created a struggle for us students. The AP teachers can’t take away the work. They give it to you to complete at home,” Scire said. “It just adds a heavy load onto the student.”

Strict deadlines that need to be met seem to be the underlying cause of why everyone is frantic when full days of school are lost, according to junior Tess Papagni who also is currently in five APs.

“Even when we have a snow day, we still need to do the same classwork and homework that was planned for that day to stay on schedule. So it’s technically the same amount of work we would typically have, but having to do the work of an hour-long class at home. Plus homework on top of that feels like a lot more work,” Papagni said.

Although snow days are not ideal for neither teachers nor students, there is a certain expectation that comes along with being an AP student.

Photo: Tess Papagni
Gabby Thompson
Tess Papagni during lunch before going to AP Spanish.

“In an AP class, the expectation is that we have highly motivated students who are fully capable of learning information for themselves,” Griffey said. “So, especially in AP Psych, I would pick and choose the units that I feel confident that students can learn on their own. So while it isn’t always preferable to have students learn some things on their own, I know that they are absolutely capable of mastering an understanding of certain concepts.”

All of the rushing in AP classes ultimately only occurs to ensure student preparation for exams in May.

“In the end, we aren’t at a place where we’re really worried,” Griffey said. “We’re actually ahead of the game, kind of, but if we were to have more snow days that is certainly problematic.”

While Griffey feels as though the setbacks from snow days have not knocked AP Psychology off track from learning everything by the exam date, Simoes feels differently about his AP Government course.

“We’re definitely not on track. A full two and a half weeks behind last year, so we’ll have to figure something out,” Simoes said. “I’m fearful that [the snow days] are going to impact this year’s test course. This seems for whatever reason to be the worst year in terms of lost class time.”