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RHS Students Taking College Level Courses
Riverbank High students have the opportunity to take college level courses and pass the tests for them even before they reach college.

They are making good use of this chance. The school recently received certificates of recognition for a dozen students who have passed Advancement Placement (AP) classes and gained credit for college courses to come, Principal Christine Facella noted.

Cynthia Diaz earned a certificate of recognition in AP Spanish Literature and English & Composition; Maria Del Carmen Pantoja in English Language & Composition and US History; Mariela Rosas in US History and English & Composition; and Susan Silveira in English & Composition and US History.

Estefania Fernandez, Dulce Flores, Natalie Herrera, Monica Mendoza, Adan Morales Villa, Alexander Reyes, Rafael Zamudio, Guadalupe Rios, and Elizabeth Zamora all received certificates in AP Spanish Literature.

"They can advance to a higher level or skip a class. We've even had a student accumulate enough units to start college as a sophomore and save a whole year of college costs," said economics teacher Jerry DeYoung, who coordinates the AP classes taught by several teachers.

Students can save on the cost of college textbooks too. An economics textbook, for example, will cost $135 to $150 in college. But a student can study economics texts for free in high school and take the AP test there for only $86.

If a teacher vouches for a student he or she believes can pass the test and earn the credit, the state will draw on special funds to drop the price of the test to $55 and in the case of a low income youth charge a mere $5.

"Seventy percent of those that take the tests pass them," said DeYoung, while stressing students are pre-selected and must reach a minimum score in regular class to be allowed to take the AP courses.

"I favor letting young minds soar," he said. "Even if they don't pass the test they have experienced an intense, higher level of learning."

The school administered 72 AP tests last spring and 43 students took them, in some cases one student taking multiple tests.

Among the RHS instructors giving AP courses, DeYoung teaches micro and macro economics (separate courses), Yolanda Vera calculus, Stacy Blevins English literature and composition, Roz Taulbee English language, Karen Adams U.S. history, Vanessa Perez both Spanish language and Spanish literature (two classes).