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Dropping decisions » Moya Kessig of the Utah Office of Education said there are no guidelines telling schools they should not let students drop AP classes. "That’s a local or district decision," she said.
There is also no financial incentive for such a rule, said Kessig, the specialist over accelerated programs.
Districts get money — and generally pass it on to the high schools — based on the number of students who pass AP exams. The amount is small, she said, amounting to as little as $35 for each passing AP exam.
Most high schools discourage dropping classes, but many along the Wasatch Front allow students to drop any class, including AP, within the first week or two of school.
Granite School District has no fixed deadline for changing or dropping classes, said Judith Petersen, director of college and career readiness.
Students and their parents make such requests — whether for regular or AP classes — through a school counselor and teachers are consulted, she said. "We make every effort to personalize and individualize students’ course schedules," Petersen said.
Canyons School District allows students to transfer or drop a class within the first 10 days, and after that, schools take requests on a case-by-case basis, said Jennifer Toomer-Cook, spokeswoman for the district.
Spokesman Jason Olsen said high schools in the Salt Lake District have varying policies, but requests to drop classes are generally handled by counselors and administrators on a case-by-case basis.
In the Ogden District, students can drop any class within the first two weeks of school but will get a grade, even failing, after that.
Weber schools have a one-week window at the beginning of each semester. "After this we work with students as we can," said Nate Taggart, a district spokesman.
In the Alpine District, schools vary in their policies. But generally, "there is a two-three-week window at the beginning of a term where a change can be made if the request is determined reasonable," spokeswoman Kimberly Bird said in an email.
If a student is failing a class because it’s too difficult, he or she is typically allowed to drop. "However, if a student is requesting to drop AP chemistry because they do not like it and would rather take PE or another subject," Bird said, "that request would be denied."
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