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Patrick Henry High School to continue to offer Honors and AP courses

Principal Michelle Irwin's decision comes after public outrage from parents and students after she decided to 'pause' the decision to cut honors classes.

SAN DIEGO — On Tuesday, Patrick Henry High School's principal announced the school will continue to offer Honors and AP courses. 

Principal Michelle Irwin's decision comes after public outrage from parents and students after she decided to 'pause' the decision to cut honors classes. 

Principal Irwin released the following statement regarding her decision:

"Dear Patrick Henry High School Learning Community, High School Area Superintendent Dr. Erin Richison and I thank the parents, staff, and students who provided feedback during our recent listening sessions. We have adjusted our strategy for meeting district goals for providing all students with access to challenging curriculum and creating high expectations for all learners. 

We will continue to offer our current series of Honors and AP courses. In addition, we are excited to announce that Patrick Henry will participate in a district pilot of “Honors for All” course options in grades 9 and 10 to offer more opportunities for our students to earn weighted credit. 

We will reach out to our rising 11th graders and parents in the upcoming weeks to solicit information regarding their course preferences for the 2022-23 school year. We will repeat this process with our rising 9th and 10th graders and parents once the pilot process is finalized. 

We are proud of the work taking place at Patrick Henry High School to support district goals of increasing student access to challenging course offerings while ensuring high expectations for all. I would like to apologize to parents who interpreted this work as lowering the academic standards for students. I want to be clear that Patrick Henry students are some of the best academically in all of California, and we plan to continue this legacy of excellence. 

We will continue to ensure all students have the opportunity to graduate from Patrick Henry High School as thoughtful and productive citizens with a sense of purpose, integrity and a curiosity about the world in which they live."

Back in February, the principal emailed parents, telling them she was cutting the course for equity reasons. She pointed to the racial disparity between honors and non-honors courses.

Before the recent decision, principal Irwin said the district was trying to get away from classifying courses and wanted to remove the stigma associated with non-honors classes.

But students who protested at Patrick Henry High School last week said they need these honors classes because they’re academically competing against students at other schools who have them.


WATCH RELATED: Parents express anger at Patrick Henry High School meeting after 'pause' on honor classes (April 2022)

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