They came to school at zero period every day and worked Saturdays to earn college credits. Enrolled in one of the few middle school programs in California to offer Advanced Placement Spanish, the youngsters erased the doubts of other districts that believed the high-level courses were too much for middle school students to handle.
At Tuesday night's board meeting, 12 students were honored by the Lemon Grove School District for their success last year at Palm Middle School in the AP Spanish class and for outstanding performance on the Spanish language advanced placement exam, which showed the students perform as well college students in the subject. Each child received a Certificate of Excellence.
Superintendent Ernie Anastos said the students' recognition was a credit to their hard work and district leadership over the past four years. He said the advanced program was created with the goal of providing college-level work to students.
"By providing that work for them, they inspired to do more and succeeded in doing more," he said.
Anastos said the program prepares students for their futures and provides credits for college language requirements, with special studies in Spanish writing, speaking and listening skills. He said the students were motivated and dedicated as they achieved their goals over the years. The program has a 50 percent pass rate that “put Lemon Grove on the map."
"It is a testament of their focus and the program that was created to provide them with the college-level experience," he said.