• Cypress Bay High School - Weston, FL
  • November 30, 2020
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BY SALETTE CAMBRA

The Bay’s Classical Studies classes had their Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) exam on Oct. 22 and 28. Classical Studies provides students with a deeper understanding of old, classical and diverse civilizations. Unlike other AICE classes, the Classical Studies course is completed earlier in the school year. Junior Benjamin Samuel said the limited time for test preparations was nerve-wracking.

“It was quite stressful to have to study and take the exam, but it felt great to get the exam out of the way for the rest of the year,” Samuel said. “In other words, the class won’t be as tense anymore.”

This year, the class had to be altered in order to accommodate the students taking it online. The Bays’ Classical Studies teachers, Dr. Declan Lyons and Tori Warenik said they provided more resources to help students, as it is difficult to teach through lectures since they are less interactive than in-person classes. Warenik said virtual teaching is not the ideal situation to teach a fast-paced class, but she does her best to help her students do as well as possible on the exam.

“Online learning has forced me to abandon the whiteboard and utilize other forms of multimedia to reach students more interestingly,” Warenik said. “Dr. Lyons and I made powerpoints and showed videos we otherwise wouldn’t have.” 

Samuel said that despite the short course duration,  he still felt prepared to take the exam. He said that his teacher had provided the class with a variety of resources to increase their opportunity for success. 

“The test made me feel very anxious in the beginning since this was my first AICE exam I was taking in high school,” Samuel said. “However, knowing that I was given good material to study from, I knew I was ready to score well on the exam.”

Although the class is restricted on time, students still learn about multiple classical figures. Junior Lauren Kotler said that the class is an enjoyable learning experience especially when the students work in groups and do projects together.

“It was very interesting to learn about famous historical figures whom I didn’t know much about before taking the class,” Kotler said. “It is a great class to take if you enjoy learning about history.”

This class allows students to take a college-level course that ends early, which could give many the final AICE credit they need for their diploma. Kotler said she believes that this class is one of the many opportunities that the Bay offers that not many other schools give. 

“The class is actually an amazing chance for those who are looking for AICE credits,” Kotler said. “It really helped me get through the exam, and my teacher would always help the students in the class, so you never feel alone.”

Warenik has been teaching this class for two years and said that she enjoys teaching a class where the exam is 11 weeks into the school year. Although it is aggravating to fit everything into the schedule, Warenik said she likes to work with this subject.

“Even though it is a stressful class, the topics we teach are so much fun,” Warenik said. “Every year the kids get to delve into ancient history and see life through the lens of some very interesting people.”

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