Good idea? Schools allow seniors to drop classes for sleep

In a program designed to help teenagers get more sleep, seniors in Fairfax County, Va., can opt out of as many as two first-period classes as long as they are on track to graduate and can find their own way to school.

About 650 students or 5 percent of the 2014 seniors in the county are participating.  In Fairfax classes begin at 7:20 a.m. In other nearby counties, classes begin at 9 a.m.

From The Washington Post:

“Fairfax’s “opt-out” program — unique in the Washington area — is a first step toward giving county teenagers additional rest. Parents and advocates for later start times have been arguing for years that early school starts are detrimental to teen health and that even an extra hour or two of sleep could make a real difference. Critics have said that changing the schools’ schedules would be expensive and a logistical nightmare, requiring more buses and more time spent battling traffic on the country’s most congested roads.

“School Board member Sandy Evans (Mason) said the program is a “modest step” in her quest to push back the first bell in high schools by at least one hour after years of failed board attempts to change start times across the county.

“Evans said that the senior opt-out program was created after a February School Board meeting and that the program formalizes an unofficial practice parents had employed. For years, Evans said, some students got out of first-period classes after their parents got a note from a doctor citing health reasons requiring their children to get more sleep.”

Students and parents are noting higher energy levels, better moods and the ability for the students to get through classes, activities and homework. Opponents of the plan think that the students sleeping in are missing opportunities to take AP or other challenging courses to impress colleges.

My favorite part of the story is that parents used to send in doctor’s notes to excuse the students from first period citing the need for more sleep.

So what do you think: Would like the option of your senior sleeping in? Do you think it would help their endurance and mood? Would you send in a doctor’s note to get that time? Should all high schools starts later to work with teenagers’ sleeping patterns?

63 comments Add your comment

[...] effort pushing for later school start times. About 650 students — 5 percent of the …Good idea? Schools allow seniors to drop classes for sleepAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 2 news [...]

Atlanta Mom

September 29th, 2013
10:46 pm

The reason HS classes start so early, is so that athletics can have after school practices. The tail is wagging the dog here.
Start HS at 9 or 10 and let the extracurriculars figure it out. The fact that 100 percent of the student body is held hostage to 10% of the “student athletes” is criminal.

[...] effort pushing for later school start times. About 650 students — 5 percent of the …Good idea? Schools allow seniors to drop classes for sleepAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 2 news [...]

C from Marietta

September 30th, 2013
12:02 am

What’s up with that? I didn’t have a problem getting out of bed to make it to school. That’s messed up. All that’s doing is allowing them to be lazy.

Seventh Scent of a Wayward Tire.

September 30th, 2013
12:11 am

Must be a lot of hungover students that need extra sleep.

fjeremey

September 30th, 2013
4:36 am

This is right in line with cognitive psychology. Their brains are not fully “awake” until 9/9:30. We should have the option available for all of high school, at least. We can easily put together a slip schedule to accommodate early and late risers, and athletes’ practice requirements. At 14 students are plenty old enough to catch a later bus on their own or even walk or ride a bike to school. If they miss, then it is their consequence to bear.

Real Life

September 30th, 2013
5:15 am

Not a good idea at all. Exactly how is the preparing these students for college which will not be as understanding? You might be able to choose your class schedule in college but chances are you will have early morning classes regularly–especially when you are freshman. Part of the maturing process is learning to follow a schedule–even if that means classes at 8AM. Teach them in high school it is okay to skip classes because they are sleepy and we are giving these students a very poor lesson in life.
And if we start school later for these students then parents will start complaining school goes on too long and their kids do not have enough time for activities or just getting together with family or friends. I wonder how much of this is to do with all the technology available today and the fact that many parents are unwilling or unable to limit time on all the devices they provide their kids?

catlady

September 30th, 2013
5:49 am

I’m sure their employers will do the same!

Maybe just go to bed earlier, with electronics off? Worked for me and mine.

Mayhem

September 30th, 2013
6:03 am

I wish I could opt out of going to work until 10. I sure could use some additional sleep myself.

This is crazy. How are these kids going to be ready to face the world when Momma is crying they need more sleep? Get up and go do what is needed to become successful!

Bisnono

September 30th, 2013
6:32 am

College classes don’t start at 7:20–never before 8am. And most of the time classes are offered at a variety of times during the week so you can choose what fits your schedule. I very rarely had to start classes before 9am, which was great because I was taking 18 credits a semester and working part-time, so would study late into the night. And for you snarky people, not everyone is a morning person. You call people lazy and then ask why some people can’t just get up and be ready to start class by 7:20? I could just as easily make fun of YOU for being in bed by 9pm, which is what most of my friends who are early risers do. Everyone is different, so stop acting like just because you’re up with the roosters, you’re somehow a more productive and more valuable worker or student than someone who is a night owl.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
6:40 am

@ Who let the dogs in…please read my comments to you on the previous post before your start with me here.

When I was in HS….A LONG TIME AGO…the bus came at 8:00. Our bus comes here at 6:30. HS is 3 miles away. Ours was 15 miles away. YES my two did get up and make it. The actually got themselves up, as neither are morning persons nor breakfast eaters. I got up with each of them and tried to chat. Got dirty looks and, ” Mom, just go back to bed we do not need to talk!” They had a power bar or Carnation instant breakfast and ate that on the way. ( DB this is one area that we differ on but I did try to offer breakfast and that flopped at 6:00 a.m…haha).

When I was in HS…A LONG TIME AGO…I only needed 3 classes to graduate my Senior year. The principal and I had a chat and he agreed to let me take four classes because he did not want me to slack and not be prepared for college. I went to work at Wal Mart at 1:00. Then I stayed out of school for an entire year as my parents did not plan on helping me pay for college and I did not have enough $$. I worked at Wal Mart. I was fine in college. I also worked at Wal Mart all the way through college.

1. many college classes are offered in the afternoon and evenings
2. many jobs do not require you to get up at 5:45
3. maybe we should have HS overnight as some folks work the graveyard shift and kids would prepared then?

Parents and student will complain until the end of time. Are the students just lazy or truly needing the sleep? I felt that mine learned a lot about responsibility by getting themselves up in HS and getting to the bus without my direction or driving themselves. They were also tired. My son told me that he had to get his room mate up the entire first semester of college. I told him to stop. I have also heard of parents who call their kids at college to get them up. HUH?

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
6:55 am

@ Mayhem…there are days I start work at 10:00. I am self employed. You said you were thinking about it and if:

“I wish I could opt out of going to work until 10. I sure could use some additional sleep myself.”

You should! You had mentioned a food service for meals? That would allow you to perhaps sleep in?

I am working in my PJ’s today.

HB

September 30th, 2013
7:13 am

Preparing kids for college and work does not require classes that start at 7:20. Most jobs and college classes start at 8:30 or later (and if you live on campus, there’s no commute to factor in), and adults need fewer hours of sleep than teens.

Seriously?

September 30th, 2013
7:19 am

All of my classes at UGA started at 7:50 (my choice but I had to work my entire time in college). I don’t get why a) HS starts sooo early. I started around 8 or 8:15 here in GA. b) why parents would allow their kids to miss educational opportunities for sleep, regardless. My kid would never be allowed to participate in this nonsense.

FCM

September 30th, 2013
7:28 am

@ HB I am positive I need more sleep than my teen. I am always tired.

Atlanta Mom has it right. When I was in 7th grade (1982-83) we were in school before the HS and home earlier. They changed it to accomodate the various sports practices at the HS. So now, the MS gets up for “clubs” and goes in at 8:15 (parental drop off) and comes home around 5PM. They want a snack but dinner is just a bit away, they want to have some down time …which of course cuts into the homework, forcing them up later (most I know are going to bed around 11).

There just has to be a better solution. I would not be in favor of mine opting out.

Some Cobb Schools are doing their HS “Review” for rising Middle School studnents this week. Doesn’t that seem early?

Once Again

September 30th, 2013
7:41 am

Opt out of government schools entirely. Your children will be FAR better off for your efforts and your show of concern for their safety and well-being.

HB

September 30th, 2013
7:42 am

I didn’t understand. So Seriously? and FCM, you both think 7:20 is too early, but you wouldn’t let a Senior opt out of an elective to get more sleep? Why not? I used 8 HS electives for band, but most kids didn’t. My friends who were not in band and took more academics than required to graduate were still having to hunt for electives to take to fill their schedule senior year. Opting out of 1st period seems like a good solution.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
7:48 am

@ Seriously…the answer is bus routes. There are probably 3000 students at our local HS. Those buses serve ES and MS too. Just getting 25 buses in and out of the school parking lot takes quite a while! You also have hundreds of kids who drive and parents who drive their kids. In a simpler world, students walked to school. The ES bus picks up here around 7:30. School starts at 8:10. It is a bit over a mile to the school from our house. NO sidewalks either. Someone did not think it through.

I had to go to Cobb County one January day when it was 25 degrees outside. I allow myself 90 minutes to go 45 miles to Cobb at 7:45 a.m. I COULD NOT GET OUT OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD as all the Mommas were driving their kiddos as they did not want them to stand out in the cold. There is only one drive in and out. I called my school and told them the dilemma. They understood!

Thanks for working during college. My two did it. I did it too. Not very popular, as I am told.

Seriously?

September 30th, 2013
8:06 am

I think it’s too early but I think the more important thing is to get all of the education that you can. The kid can just suck it up and go to bed at a decent hour. Fortunately, we’re not involved in football or band, the extras that seem to be the greatest time suck so we don’t have that pressure. I’m much more concerned with AP classes/joint enrollment classes than I am with the possibility (which doesn’t exist in our school) of missing a morning class period.

guest

September 30th, 2013
8:06 am

I guess it would make too much sense for these kids to just go to bed earlier if they want more sleep. Might as well let them come late; it’s not like they’re learning anything anyways.

FCM

September 30th, 2013
8:06 am

@ HB our HS starts at 8:20 so I am not seeing this as a real issue in my world, however if school starts at 7:20 I expect you to be there at 7:20. I don’t have to agree with it I just have to abide by it. I am with Seriously? “why parents would allow their kids to miss educational opportunities for sleep, regardless” (and we know I seldom agree with Seriously?).

MJG…I could believe it took you more than 90 min to get into our ES parking lot. Not well thought out at all.

My ES gets on the bus at 7 and school starts at 7:55. There are 2 bus “loads” run each morning for ES. Carpool line is a nightmare!

None of the Cobb Schools start at 7:20 so maybe Fairfax, VA should just look at the timing in general?

Cobb’s earliest start time is 7:45 for ES.

Techmom

September 30th, 2013
8:17 am

I think it’s a fine idea. Seriously, most seniors don’t need those extra classes and they certainly don’t need to be overloaded with AP classes (hello, that’s what college is for). Most already drive themselves to school so it isn’t like they’re creating more traffic and since they’re coming in at non-peak times, they’re actually helping things out.

Last year my son needed 4 classes to graduate… so he took Art 1, Mentorship (i.e. free labor for the school) and weight lifting. There was no way he was going to take an extra AP class. Mentorship was his first period so half the time he did take a nap. I’m sure he would have been more comfortable in his bed for the extra hour though.

HB

September 30th, 2013
8:27 am

But if the school is saying opting out of 1st period, then you don’t have to abide by it, right? It’s no longer a rule that the student must be there.

I guess senior year for many is different than it was at my school. Seniors who were not in band and took all the advanced classes were having to fill their schedules with at least one class, that while not necessarily useless, was not something I’d be concerned with them missing out on (like Party Foods). Some kids did joint enrollment and were required to drop 3 consecutive periods to do so, but most couldn’t because even if they had 3 electives to spare, they had to give up something else they wanted to take, like AP English, to free up 3 consecutive classes. If a kid had 5 or 6 hard classes, I wouldn’t care if they dropped a 6th or 7th course and the homework that goes with it senior year.

homeschooler

September 30th, 2013
8:27 am

I think it’s a great idea. I don’t see how it differs from kids who get out of school early each day like so many did when I was in school senior year. I actually chose to combine all my needed classes in the first semester of 12th grade and was out in January. I worked the second half of my senior year and then still walked with my class. The schools should provide options as long as they are reasonable. I don’t think HS starts too early in Cobb but 7:20 is early! My first child, who is an early riser, would do well going in late because he would do his homework before school. He completes his homework twice as fast in the morning as he does at night. Not because he is rushed but because his mind is fresh and he functions better at 7am than at 7pm. (I do too). My daughter, on the other hand, stays up late and sleeps late. Drives me crazy because I don’t think it’s the make-up of a functional person but I’m learning that it really works for her. I homeschool her and we get all her studies done between 10am and 3pm. People are different and giving teenagers options could be the key to them finding their way and finding out who they are. Sure they will have to follow rules and schedules when they are adults but the key is finding what works for them. Maybe my daughter will be a doctor or nurse who loves the night shift. Maybe my son will run his own business and do all his work before 3pm so he can be home with his kids the rest of the day. Not everyone lives a “work 8 to 5 on a time clock” lifestyle. In fact, it’s becoming less and less common.

K's Mom

September 30th, 2013
8:28 am

@Bisnono, the last 2 years I was in college, ALL of my morning classes started at 7:30 am. I was in the business school too and several of my professors expected us to be dressed for a business meeting…so that shoots that theory down.

I think this may actually be a good idea. My senior year, I had completed all of my course work to graduate in college prep with the exception of an English class, History Class and maybe one other that I cannot remember 20 years later. I completed Math and Science requirements the year before. So I had too many electives. I wish someone had told me I could have joint enrolled and taken some of my core college work that year along with HS.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
8:30 am

@ FCM…what does this mean:
MJG…I could believe it took you more than 90 min to get into our ES parking lot. Not well thought out at all.

Schools like to have me visit before lunch and that means 9:30 or 10:00. Not sure what else I can do in this traffic. Stay in a hotel and bill them…haha! I do not come to Cobb unless I can get two shows. Too far to drive for a thirty minute show. I do have schools in your area though. I am just back from a week of shows in JAX Florida. NO TRAFFIC. I drove 70 MPH on I95 from the beach and loved it. This was at 8:30 a.m.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
8:33 am

@ K’s Mom…my daughter is business and in Terry at UGA and has no classes that early. She is a Senior. She is not an early riser. She can do it, if she has too. She had a job that required her to be on site at 6:00 a.m. and she did it. Never missed a day.

Annie

September 30th, 2013
8:42 am

I actually went to high school in Fairfax County and had class start at 7:20. My house was 10 minutes away from the high school, but the bus picked up at 6:35 am. Luckily, senior year my parents let me drive “the third family car” so I would leave around 6:50 instead.
Middle school (7th and 8th) starts around 9, and elementary school started around 8 am. So staggering the buses and dealing with traffic definitely affects school start time.
I do wish they would switch high school with one of the other schools though; I remember easily waking up at 6 am when I was 7 years old, and remember struggling to write history essays in first period during high school.

Techmom

September 30th, 2013
8:50 am

My son is a freshman in college and due to a new[ish] program for freshmen, he’s in what they call a “Freshman Learning Community”. He takes 3 of his core classes with the same group of students. When he registered for the community, he was automatically registered for those 3 classes; the earliest of which starts at 11am. He is not a morning person, never has been, never will be so this worked out great. He has yet to miss a class. He knows that he may not be as lucky his sophomore year but for now, we’ll take it.

I did joint enrollment my senior year of HS. The college was still on quarters so I took 8, 9 and 10am classes 5 days a week at college, went to HS for 1 class (an elective nonetheless) and then left for work. We need to stop assuming that school is a one-size fits all answer.

ATL Born and Raised

September 30th, 2013
9:30 am

I don’t remember what time classes started in HS. Maybe 8:15? I drove myself to school so I cut it as close as possible everyday to get as much sleep as possible. Now I have to be at work by 9 and I live about a mile away from the office, so I don’t get out of bed until at least eight. In college I never scheduled a class before 10am except my first semester when I had a class at 8:30am three days a week. I went exactly three times: the first day, the midterm, and the final. Early mornings are not for me.

mother of 2

September 30th, 2013
9:33 am

My kids would love this idea! I don’t have a problem with it. Joint enrollment can be tough with morning traffic. When students are in college, they can wake up a few minutes before class starts, throw a hat on, and head off to class. The whole traffic thing goes away if you live on campus.

Maude

September 30th, 2013
9:43 am

Sure these young people are ready to enter the work force and we all know that jobs are scheduled around the need for the employee to sleep.

Maude

September 30th, 2013
9:43 am

Enter your comments here

Denise

September 30th, 2013
9:49 am

Not being funny, asking a real question. What is first period in the senior year? Is it homeroom/study hall or an actual academic class? That may make a difference. For sure I would say “miss it” if it’s just homeroom or study hall. Homeroom was a waste of time and I studied at home. But if it is a real academic class the students that actually needed the class would not be able to participate in this new rule. No fair but…life isn’t fair, deal with it.

FYI…I am NOT a morning person. I get to work between 8:30-9 most days. Today about 9:15. We have flex time, thank goodness. I’m sure when I get a new position it may not be so flexible so I will need to adjust but right now I am happy. The “morning people” here that get to work at 6 go to bed at 9. I might not get home until 9.

buckheadgirl

September 30th, 2013
9:52 am

All three of my children attended Fairfax Co schools while we lived in Alexandria, VA for a job. The children and parents in the county are highly motivated. The system has an entire middle school and a high school along with whole elementary classrooms which are limited to gifted students only. To be considered gifted enough in Fairfax Co most students score in the 99th percentile on their standardized tests. The ‘regular’ kids are by far and away ahead of their peers throughout the United States. I think offering to chance to begin the school day later for students such as these who do not need filler courses during their senior year is an excellent idea. I trust that many of them will not use this as additional sleep time but rather for class preparation on some days.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
9:58 am

@ Maude…we all know that jobs HAVE ALL DIFFERENT SCHEDULES and it sometimes has nothing to do with sleep unless you are pilot and in the hot seat for the red eye from Maui to LAX. In that case, you will need your sleep but can arrive at the airport around 7:00 PM for your flight and everyone is thrilled. Boarding for passengers begins around 8:00 PM or so.

janice

September 30th, 2013
10:06 am

@motherjanegoose – i have a job that expects me to be at my desk ready to work. i get up at 4:30 am because i have to be mentally awake enough to deal with the crowded atlanta roads even at 6:10 am. i’m tired, i go to bed early, simple solution!

all those centuries ago when i was in highschool in the 70’s, and i lived up north, our start time was first bell at 8 am. end of school day for highschool was 3:30. and we went to school 180 days a year versus what a lot of kids do now. we also didn’t get off for the least amount of precipitation.

poor child can’t get up in time for class….another way of not making them responsible.

janice

September 30th, 2013
10:07 am

oops 7:30 am is my start time!

Techmom

September 30th, 2013
10:16 am

@Maude – Lots of professionals work different shifts other than the typical 9-5. I actually run into this issue more and more. We have 6 assistant Scoutmasters in our Troop and only one of them works “regular” business hours (me!). We have a pilot, air traffic controller, truck driver, firefighter and a safety instructor who travels to different job sites for his company.

@Denise – When I graduated 15 years ago, my HS had made a change to when “homeroom” period was b/c so many kids were late all the time; we went to 1st & 2nd period and then homeroom. My son’s high school didn’t have a separate homeroom, their first period class is considered their homeroom and when announcements get made. They were on a funky modified block-class schedule too… basically the only class they went to every day was their 1st period and then the other classes they went to were longer but they only went to the remaining classes 4 days a week.

K's Mom

September 30th, 2013
10:19 am

@MJG, I did not go to UGA. I went to another SEC university, but all morning business classes started at 7:30 or 10am and were in 2.5 hour blocks. So saying that no college classes start that early is not true.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
10:43 am

OOOPS…If I said NO college classes start that early I APOLOGIZE to everyone here. I do not remember saying that.

I took college classes myself, that early, because I worked in the afternoon. I also know that my son took classes that early. I believe I said that my daughter does not have early classes and that she is a Senior in a business major at UGA. Her classes are all over the map. I often cannot remember her schedule. Glad I do not have to keep up with it.

Personally, my ideal schedule is to wake up at 7:00. Putz around until 8:00. Hop in the shower and get dressed. Leave at 9:00. Home around 1:00. I am lucky I can do this 70% of the time.

I had a meeting on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. in Florida. I was 5 minutes away. I arrived at 7:30. The AV equipment was not ready. The AV tech did not know how to get it ready. I had it in my contract and was told, on Friday afternoon, that everything was all set and the Tech would be there on Saturday morning to handle everything. I set up on Friday to be certain that I would be ready. I am OCD about being prepared for a room full of educators.

On Saturday a.m. I was really thinking about this comment posted on Friday:
C from Marietta
September 27th, 2013
3:09 pm

@ motherjanegoose

Sounds like you have trust issues.

When you work with all sorts of people YOU MAY HAVE TRUST ISSUES, due to the fact that things often fall apart. You do not even know whom you are working with until you arrive. It is easier to trust those who prove to be trustworthy. We started 30 minutes late and it was not my fault.
Oh well…live and learn!

Richard

September 30th, 2013
10:44 am

What’s not mentioned is that there is room for major cost savings for high schools here: bus routes, number of teachers, operating costs of the building, etc.

My problem here is that if these are students who don’t need all the high school classes to graduate, why aren’t they being encouraged to take college classes at a local college and opt out of high school classes entirely? Taking college classes is much better than AP for several reasons: doesn’t rely on one test for credit, better preparation for actual college, allows the student to set their own schedule. They could still do any of the after school clubs/activities they choose.

Let’s say you had a student who could opt out of two classes and take 5 during their senior year. Why not take 8 classes at a local community college (4 per semester), get the HS diploma anyway, and have 24 credit hours to transfer to college? Certainly beats the 2 AP classes they missed out on.

FCM

September 30th, 2013
10:55 am

@MJG I was saying that yes the lots in ES are nutty. I could believe you could have driven to Cobb and still been late just trying to get into the lot! I realize that was not the case here.

@ Homeschooler nobody was saying Cobb’s time of 8:20 was too early.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
11:03 am

FCM…all good! I have been IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL and there is no place to park. HAHA. After a 90 minute commute. No fun!

There are hundreds of things I do not know. One thing I do know is that traffic in Atlanta can surpass most of the other places I work in. I will not drive in NYC or LAX. Take a cab or they can send a car. I was once picked up by a limo in New Jersey. The client sent the limo. When he arrived, he asked me where I was going. HUH? I have no idea…the client booked you. I guess I trusted them to tell him where I needed to be ….haha!

Techmom

September 30th, 2013
11:15 am

@Richard, I agree that joint enrollment should be encouraged and I have seen a huge uptick in high school students taking advantage of it recently. I also encourage all students I talk to to go to college vs. taking a bunch of AP for the same reasons… they just don’t make sense to me.

BUT not all students are ready for it or WANT to. My son had no desire to take college classes early. He looked forward to a lighter load his senior year.

catlady

September 30th, 2013
11:17 am

When I was in college back during prehistoric times, most terms I had 7:50s and a couple of times 7:30s. I think it likely unless you go yo a small private, you will have some also.

xxx

September 30th, 2013
11:33 am

Perfect prep for their life’s ambition to live offf the public dole. God forbid they have to do something that is inconvenient.

K's Mom

September 30th, 2013
11:41 am

@Richard , you are spot on about joint enrollment. I hope the guidance counselors are better at helping students and parents understand that option now than they were 20 years ago.

HB

September 30th, 2013
11:48 am

College courses are NOT necessarily a better route than AP. Whether AP or college courses are better depends on the college where you joint enroll, the college you plan to attend after high school, and the quality of your high school’s AP program (do they have a high pass rate on the tests?). If you joint enroll in a community college in GA’s university system, I would imagine your courses will transfer to UGA. If you plan to go out of state or to a private university, though, that may not be the case. Some colleges have more limits on community college credits — mine would allow some AP courses to count for core credit, but the equivalent community college courses would only count as electives. They had more faith in the quality of the AP class because of the standardized test — if you scored a 4 on the test, they assumed the class and your effort was worth the credit. They can’t determine the quality of courses at other colleges as easily. At my high school, AP courses were known to be more rigorous and more widely accepted for credit, so most people only chose joint enrollment if they wanted to take a course not available as AP. For example, I knew several people, who took stats at the college instead of AP Calculus at the high school. Students at the other high school in town, though, were probably better off doing joint enrollment. Their AP courses were less rigorous and very few students scored high enough on the test to receive college credit.

motherjanegoose

September 30th, 2013
12:07 pm

@ HB…good points. My son took AP Chemistry ( HS) and did well but his teacher told him he should not test out for UGA ( as a freshman) as then he would not know what was going on when he was a sophomore. It really acted as a strong foundation for him and he did not have much trouble. Daughter did not take AP Chemistry ( HS) and college Chemistry was HARD for her. Freshman Chemistry is a weed out class at UGA. I am AWFUL at Chemistry, so that does not help a bit!

This is why it helps to ask around and find a student who is a bit ahead of yours and perhaps attends a college yur child might consider.

SIDEWALK THEORY that I talk about.