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From The Desk Of Dr. Charles Murphy

Over the last few years, Island Trees has encouraged our students to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. These are the most rigorous classes offered in our school district and the ones colleges covet the most. Happily, we have had many students take up the challenge and succeed. As a result, these students have placed themselves in a very advantageous position in the college selection process. 

Recently, I have been asked questions like this one: “My child is an average/good student and hopes to gain admittance to a competitive college, but AP classes are too challenging for her. If this is the case, what kind of high school program should my daughter take?”  

In this situation, our guidance department would create an “Advanced Regents” diploma schedule for your child. This is a step up from the typical high school diploma now called the “Regents Diploma” (New York State Education Department has engaged in a little word play. Years ago, students graduated high school with either a high school diploma or a Regents diploma. The new “Advanced Regents” diploma is really what was once called the “Regents” diploma and the new “Regents” diploma is more in line with the old high school diploma (though a little more challenging).  

An “Advanced Regents” diploma requires students to pass the following eight Regents exams: English; Global History; U.S. History; Science (2) (Life science and Physical science); Math (3) (Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2/Trig); and a foreign language requirement. The “Regents” diploma requires five passed exams: English; Global History; U.S. History; Science (1); and, Algebra. Competitive colleges desire students who take an academically oriented high school program. 

Therefore, it is important for students to include core curriculum classes into their annual schedules – the “Advanced Regents” sequence is the recommended program to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, students who avoid the more rigorous math and science sequences will find themselves coming up short in the college admissions process. If you have any questions about this, please contact Mr. Grande or your child’s guidance counselor.