Category Archives: Notes to Parents

Honors vs. Advanced Placement

Honors vs Advanced Placement Paths in AOIT

By: Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern

When you are in AOIT you will get to a point when you will have to decide between taking AP classes or Honors classes. During your sophomore year, you get your first choices with science and history. You can either take AP Environmental Science (APES) or Earth Science (Honors). I took AP Environmental Science to get that AP credit and it’s definitely not a bad class to take as my first AP. I recommend the challenge of APES because I have heard that Earth Science is very easy and it will get you ready for any other APs you take in the future by getting you into the college level mindset. The other AP choice is a little more important because it will determine the classes you will take for your Sophomore AND Junior year. You will have to choose between AP Human Geography (APHuG) or American History I (Honors). If you take APHuG you will have to take the APs in History AND English for your Junior year. Same with American History I, you would have to take the honors classes for History AND English in your Junior year. Mainly because when you take American History I, you take American History II the next year. I ended up taking American History I in my sophomore year because of this reason. I didn’t enjoy having to choose between taking only 3 APs or only 3 Honors and it was an all or nothing deal. I believe they mainly do this because Honors English and Honors History were taken as an A/B schedule, as well as the AP English and AP History. An A/B schedule means that both classes are taken year long in the same period and they are alternate every day. For example, you may have English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while History is on Tuesday and Thursday. Then it flips the next week. When I took these classes, only the AP classes had an A/B schedule which meant that you couldn’t take one AP and one Honors. I felt like I could have done well in an AP English class but maybe not as well in an AP History class. It didn’t help that a B in an AP class would be like an A in an academic class when it comes to GPAs. So I chose to be safe rather than sorry.

American History I was easy in my opinion and to be honest I am glad I took the honors classes over the APs. I feel like I obtained the information and actually learned it a lot better in the honors classes than if I had taken the AP. Because majority of my grade of AOIT took the APs, there was only one class period for the honors. I had the same people in that class and because none of my best friends were taking the honors route, it was kind of nice to have the same familiar people. It also was nice because I now have friends that I probably never would have had if I took the APs. I didn’t take the APs so I can’t tell you how hard or easy they are but from what I have heard is a lot of times people are complaining about the class and then they will come back and say I should have taken it, so I honestly don’t know. I do know that I am happy I took with a class that was my level and when you are making the decision to take the AP or Honors path, makes sure you consider your level instead of just taking an AP to look good for college.

Should I Dual Track??

Dual Tracking

Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern

A big thing about AOIT is the two different course paths you can take. On one side, there is the Programming track, where you take courses like Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. On the other side, you can take the Web Development track, where you take courses like Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. However, if you are like me, both might appeal to you.

Coming in as an AOIT Freshmen, I kind of already knew I wanted to take both tracks because the year before, my brother joined the AOIT program and he ended up dual tracking so I knew the gist of it. Even so, there were a lot of things to consider before committing to dual tracking.

 

  • Space in your Schedule:

If you want to dual track, you need to have space in your schedule for it. Dual Tracking means you may not have room to take all year (both fall and spring semester) electives because of conflicts. Things like band, languages, and some art classes can cause conflicts because you may have to take one class in the fall semester then another in the spring semester.

Personally, I had a lot of trouble with this when I got to my Junior year. Most colleges require at least two classes of a foreign language and I wanted to take German. The problem was that I needed to take E-Commerce, SAS Programming, and AOIT English III Honors in the first semester, as well as, I really wanted to take Art III (so I could get into Art IV/AP Art in my senior year). This meant I had no room for German I. After being rejected once and a lot of emails to my counselor, I ended up being able to take German I and German II online. An important note here is that previously, you could take any online class with North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS). However, starting my junior year (2017-2018 school year), they had it changed up the so you could only take online classes that were not offered at the school or that you needed to graduate. It all worked out in the end but you should still be careful and know what classes you will want to take in the future.

 

  • About the Web Development Track:

In the Web Development Track, you will be required to take Programming I, Multimedia and Web Design, E-Commerce I, and Business Advanced Studies. Programming I is required by both tracks but I put it here because it is a good way to see if you have a hidden passion for programming. The thing about this is if you take the Web Development track, you will be taking the Programming I class when the Programming track is taking Programming II. This would make it very hard to switch to the other track if you wanted to. However, if you dual tracked and realized you didn’t like programming, you can just drop that track and stay in the Web Development Track. I took this track mainly because I am a very artistic person and this is definitely the more visually creative of the two tracks.

In your sophomore year, you will take Multimedia and Web Design as your first class (not including Programming I) on the Web Development track. You get to learn software programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Website development using HTML/CSS, and Video editing software. In your junior year, you will take E-Commerce and go more in depth into Website Development using HTML/CSS and learn about business online. Finally, during your senior year, you will take Business Advanced Studies where you will learn a new website design software called Dreamweaver and work on creating a Senior video for your AOIT class. (learn more about Programming I under the “About the Programming Track” section)

 

 

  • About the Programming Track:

Within the programming track, you will be required to take Programming I, Programming II, SAS Programming, and AP Computer Science. When I first came in, I originally took this track because my brother really enjoyed the classes when he came through before me. I had zero programming experience beforehand so it was definitely new to me, but overall I am really glad I took this path because I found another passion here with programming and it gave me a very logical mindset to go with my already creative mindset.

During your sophomore year, you will take Programming I, which is required by both tracks, and it is a great way to learn if the Programming track is for you. You will learn Visual Basic in this class and the main thing about programming languages is, once you have learned one, if you want to learn another it is very easy. By learning one programming language, you learn the basic logic towards a lot of other programming languages and plus the syntax (how you write the code) is, in most cases, very similar as well. In the next semester of your sophomore year, you will take Programming II, which builds off the general programming logic you learned in Programming I but instead of learning Visual Basic, you will be learning C#. Like I said before, it is a fairly easy transition between the two languages but the part that most people struggle with is the logic. You learn a LOT more on the logic side which can be intimidating, but like any other class, if you study and learn the material you will be more than fine. When you get into your junior year, you will take SAS Programming I and compared to Programming II, I felt this was a breeze. Before I had said the syntax was in most cases very similar, well this is one of those cases where it isn’t quite the same. That doesn’t mean it was too difficult to learn though. Lastly in your senior year, you will get to AP Computer Science. In this class you will learn Java (which is completely different than Javascript). I haven’t taken this class yet but I have heard that it is very similar to C# in Programming II.

 

 

  • Seeing what you like:

One of the benefits of Dual Tracking is that you always have the option to switch out of one track and just take the other. Say you decide to take the programming track and you are in Programming II and you realize you don’t want to take the programming track any more. It will be difficult to switch because you will have to take Multimedia before you can get to E-Commerce and you might not have room to switch out of the class or it might be a little too late. Or say you were taking the web development track and you experienced Programming I and loved it but you are taking it in the second semester when the programming track is taking Programming II. By now if you decided to dual or switch tracks it may be hard to fit in all your required class for the track because you are behind. If you had dual tracked in the beginning, you can always try out both of the tracks and when you start taking them, you may realize you love both or you hate one or the other. But this way, it gives you more wiggle room if you wanted to drop one track and only take the other.

 

Dual Tracking allowed me to meet a lot of new people from both tracks because I wasn’t put into classes with only half of AOIT. So in the fall when you are deciding which track you want to take, consider the option of dual tracking because you never know what you might love or hate!

 

Online Payment for 2015-2016 School Year

The AoIT program will move to completely online payments for the 2015-2016 school year.  More information will be shared by Mr. Evans at the parent orientation meeting on Wednesday.  Payments and donations are handled through the AoIT program’s PayPal account.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a PayPal account, you can pay with your credit card.

When your done adding items to your cart, click the checkout button which will take you a view of your cart.  Verify your contents then at the bottom choose “Proceed to PayPal” which is the only option for payment.  AoIT is no longer accepting checks or cash beginning this school year.

AoIT_PayPal_01

 

You will be taken to the PayPal login screen.  If you don’t have a PayPal account or don’t want to use the balance in your PayPal account, click on the link circled in green in the image below.  If you would prefer to use  your existing PayPal balance (which is ok) login to PayPal as you normally would using the values inside the red box noted in the image below.

AoIT_PayPal_02

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact AoIT at shop@aoit.com.

Senior Banquet 2015

Attention Senior Parents and Students,
You can RSVP and pay right from the AOIT website or through the Support page in the Director’s Notes.  This is time for us to celebrate you the AOIT seniors.  You get a very nice dinner, a certificate and a graduation cord.  It is a fun night.
Please RSVP no later than May 10 as we need time to give a head count to the caterer.
Thanks,
Mr. Evans

Note to Junior Parents

February 12, 2015 : AOIT Junior Parent Notes

I wanted to follow up on the information you received at last November’s Pre-internship meeting.  Hopefully you have been able to talk with your AOIT student about his or her interests in completing the required internship.  This letter will serve as a next step/how to guide to assist you and your student in the process of securing and successfully completing the internship.

As a reminder, in order to graduate with AOIT honors, your student must complete a “technology-based” internship by May of his or her senior year.  The internship must consist of a minimum of 135 hours and be approved by me.  All juniors received a packet of information at the Internship Presentation.  If you do not have the packet it can be downloaded from the AOIT website.

There are 90 juniors looking for internships.  The AOIT program, with the assistance of the Advisory Board, is usually able to provide about 50% of those internship opportunities.  Through networking on the part of other parents and Advisory Board members, a number of opportunities at local companies have been identified.  The AOIT program, and Advisory Board members, contact past participants to solicit internship positions from those companies.  However, your help as parents is requested to identify and secure additional opportunities and, as a byproduct, teach an important life lesson to your student.  In the workforce, the best way to secure a job is through networking.  The sooner students learn this principle, the better off they will be as they look to find future opportunities both from an educational and professional standpoint.  Here are a few basic steps to start the process:

  1. If your student currently has a job, talk to him or her about whether or not the job could be turned into an “internship” opportunity.  If so, please contact me so that I can work with your student to classify it properly.  If your student is contemplating a part-time job, your student should consider choosing a job that could serve as both an internship experience and a part-time job.
  1. If your student currently does not have a job, or a job that would qualify as an internship, talk to your student to figure out what interests him or her.  One of the purposes of the internship is to give the students a taste of what a job would be like in a particular discipline.  Your student may decide that what he or she originally anticipated to be exciting, is not what they anticipated.  Discussing interests with your student will allow them to start the process of narrowing interests.  This exercise may turn out to be an excellent opportunity for your student with his or her decision on a college major.  Another important life lesson sometimes learned through the internship experience is that we need to complete jobs that we do not necessarily enjoy.   Please discuss this possibility with your student.
  1. Have your student do a LinkedIn search on companies in The Triangle area that fit into his or her category of interests.  This tool will be very helpful for your student as he or she looks to further network.
  1. Talk with your neighbors and friends about where they work and do a LinkedIn search yourself for contacts you may have at some of the companies your student has identified.  You could send an email out to your LinkedIn connections soliciting help in identifying leads.  Many neighborhoods have email groups where you could post a message in order to solicit help from neighbors.  Chances are that you are not the only one in your neighborhood with an AOIT student.
  1. Together with your student, reach out to your connections to understand the process of obtaining an internship at the desired company.  If you do not feel comfortable contacting the company directly, please contact me and either one of the Advisory Board members, or I, can make contact on your behalf.  Of course, this process may need to be repeated a few times before an internship position can be secured.

Whether an internship opportunity is identified through the AOIT program, the Advisory Board, or by you or your student, your student will still need to interview for the internship position.  Just because an internship opportunity has been identified, this may not guarantee it will be secured by your student.  For example, many of the internship opportunities provided by SAS, as well as other companies, are very competitive.  The AOIT program has been preparing, and continues to prepare, your student for the interview process so that he or she will be at his or her best during the interview process.

After the internship position has been secured, your child will work with me to complete necessary forms and coordinate the internship dates.

If you would like additional information please reference the internship information on our website:

If you have additional questions or would like to speak with one of the Advisory Board members, please contact me and I will be happy to assist and support you through the process.  I look forward to attending your student’s AOIT senior presentation about his or her internship experience. I have complete confidence this experience will assist in preparing your student for college and the job market.