Amy Hetzner, via a kind reader’s email:
By the time the first bell rings at Brookfield Central High School, most of the students in Room 22 are immersed in college-level vector equations, reviewing for their final exam on the Friday before Christmas.
Senior Lea Gulotta, however, looks on the bright side of waking early every morning for the past semester so she can take a Calculus 3 class taught at the school by a college professor.
“We get to sleep in for a month,” she said, noting that the regular high school semester won’t end until mid-January.
There’s another positive to Brookfield Central’s agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha continuing education department, which brought the advanced mathematics class to the high school this year as part of the state’s youth options program. Under youth options, school districts pick up the costs of courses at Wisconsin colleges if they don’t have similar offerings available to students.
Instead of seeing students spend extra time commuting and attending class on a college campus, the arrangement placed the professor in the high school to teach 11 students who had completed advanced-placement calculus as juniors. Two of the students in the class come from the Elmbrook School District’s other high school, Brookfield East.
Elmbrook pays UW-Waukesha the same tuition that it would pay if its students chose to attend the college campus on their own, she said.