By Mark Ambrogi
The communication to the Carmel High School student body regarding Advanced Placement and International Baccalaurette classes is always clear.
“It’s a huge message we send out is that we want our students to challenge themselves and take risks,” CHS principal John Williams said. “We know when they leave here they’re going to be challenged and they’re going to have to take risks. One thing I’ve always believed and I’ve heard over and over again from colleges is the No. 1 predictor is the rigor of their high school classes.”
That’s a big reason why CHS was No. 5 in the recent U.S. News & World Report rankings on the best public high schools in Indiana.
Williams said the publication’s college readiness formula relies heavily on the AP and IB classes and tests students take per the school student population.
“I think it speaks to our kids and their efforts to challenge themselves and take rigorous courses that prepare them for life after high school,” Williams said. “I know the other schools that get this award also value that. I think it validates what we try to push with our students and with our families and the work our teachers do in their preparation to teach these levels. The mission is clear to get students ready for the post-secondary world we have to provide an environment where they have an opportunity to challenge themselves and at the same time be supported and assisted.”
The parents provide great support as well.
“It takes that kind of support for the student, because there are times when you take those tough courses where it can be difficult,” Williams said. “There has to be that support at school and at home. Someone saying, ’Yes, you can do this. It will be fine, you don’t have to get 100 percent on everything you do.’ There are things more important than the grade and that’s the amount of learning end effort you put forth that is going to prepare you for college. I appreciate the support we get from our parents and that they are partners with us as kids take those tougher courses.”