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Sullivan West looks to future with review of past and present; Advanced Placement and PEP programs examined

By Linda Drollinger
January 15, 2014

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — As Sullivan West Central School District (SWCS) readies to prepare its budget for the upcoming school year, administrators and school board members began the process of program review at the board’s January 9 meeting. Presentations by recent alumni and Dr. Lynda Bracken of the physical education department were intended to aid the board in its assessment of the effectiveness of the Advanced Placement (AP) program and the physical education program (PEP).

Three 2012 alumni who had participated in the high school’s January 8 Alumni Day addressed the board, entertaining questions from board members afterward. Asked by board members about their interaction at Alumni Day with current junior and senior SW students, the alumni, all of whom are college sophomores in good academic standing, responded that the students seemed much more interested in hearing about dorm life and social aspects of college than in academic challenges faced by alumni. The board then asked specifically what AP courses the alumni had taken while at SWCS, how well those courses had prepared them for college work and, in hindsight, what the alumni would have done differently with regard to AP courses. Although those questions evoked varying responses from the alumni, they all felt that AP courses were excellent preparation for college study. And they each admitted that, given the opportunity to relive their high school experience, they would have taken more of them. The AP program suffers from chronic low enrollment that administration, faculty and board members would like to see reversed.