Early Achievers

Many NAI students see benefits in taking advanced classes at NASH.



Pictured in Mrs. Perry’s first period Honors Calculus class are sophomores Sancia Panicker, Sri Sai Krishnakumar, Divya Sekar, Madison Emekter, and Matthew Tan.

Kate Gilliland, Opinions Editor

AP Calculus BC is an especially difficult class to take even as a junior or senior, but at North Allegheny, the rigorous course has a surplus of ninth and tenth-grade students who are up for the challenge.

While taking such an advanced course at a school full of older students may sound intimidating, it is not as frightening as it sounds.

“I don’t feel that different because I am just trying to focus on the math and not the people around me,” said sophomore Anvi Chopra.

For these younger students, taking classes at NASH also provides a change of scenery from NAI.

“I find [taking classes with upperclassmen] more entertaining if anything because of the mix,” said Hannah Yang.

It also helps to be friends with other students who also skipped grade levels in math and are now taking advanced classes at NASH.

“There is a decent amount of NAI kids taking classes at NASH now, so there is always someone you can talk to,” said sophomore Nathan Katari.

Sophomore Sophia Karka agrees and feels it is beneficial to be friends with the other NAI students taking classes at NASH.

“I feel like all of my close friends are at the same level as I am, so we all get to talk about it together,” said Karka.

The most common method to skip grades is to spend a summer taking courses at CCAC. Most underclassmen currently taking AP Calculus classes skipped two levels of math over the course of two summers.

I think at first it was my parents who wanted me to, but after a while, I got used to it and started to push myself.

— Anvi Chopra, NAI sophomore

“[The summer] after sixth grade, we took Pre-Algebra, and then we skipped Geometry in the summer between seventh and eighth grade, so in eighth grade we took Algebra II,” said Chopra and Sonth.

Other underclassmen taking AP Calculus classes did the same.

“First, I skipped the summer between sixth and seventh grade when I went to CCAC, and then the next summer, I skipped the following year from seventh to eighth grade,” said Katari.

Taking the initiative to get ahead academically at such a young age often originates with one’s parents. Eventually, however, students get used to the course load and begin to work hard for themselves.

“I think at first it was my parents who wanted me to, but after a while, I got used to it and started to push myself,” said Chopra.

Taking advanced classes at NASH not only provides an academic advantage–it also allows students to learn from the upperclassmen and set themselves up for success when they eventually attend NASH full-time themselves.

“It’s a good experience because we get to learn from them because they are older,” Katari added. “We get to learn about the classes we are going to take next year.”