Old School Apple Valley


Sophia Moschkau

Cover of the 1976 AVHS Registration Guide

Imagine waking up and going to the following classes:  Model Store, Stenography, or Clothing and Contemporary Society. Today, a student at AVHS might start with AP Chem, Fab Lab Essentials, and end the day with Spring Racquet Sports.

Since 1976, Apple Valley High School’s inaugural year, the registration guide has evolved quite a bit.

One major difference between then and now is the number of AP and CIS classes offered. “Classes like AP and College in the Schools weren’t available when I was in school,” said Jane Berenz, a student of the original AVHS class and current District 196 Superintendent.

Since then, the AP and CIS curriculum has grown steadily. “They didn’t have AP Lang and AP Lit at the time, they just had AP English. It wasn’t really geared towards taking an AP test. I took the AP English test, but we didn’t really prepare for it,” said Dan Seppala, AVHS class of ’98 and current math teacher.

Now, AVHS offers six CIS and thirteen AP classes. Next year, that number will actually go down to twelve. AVHS will start offering a class called AP Economics, which combines the two current classes AP Macroeconomics and CIS Microeconomics. Macro and Micro are currently both two-trimester long classes, and AP Economics will be a full-year class.

Though the number of AP classes has increased, the diversity of other classes at AVHS has gradually decreased. “Social Studies used to be structured a little differently; there were a lot more elective trimester-based classes instead of just ‘US History’ and ‘World History’,” said AVHS graduate and current teacher Bill Blatzheim.

He is exactly right. All social studies classes were electives, with a total of 31 different classes. Students took a few different classes each year in order to fulfill their requirements. Currently, AVHS offers only 20 different social studies courses, including full-year classes like US and World History.

A sample of history and social studies classes listed in the 1976 registration guide reveals how not only the school has changed, but our society:

The American Indian: A study of the American Indian from the coming of the white man to the present. Emphasis is placed on clashes and the future of the Indian in America.

Afro-American History: A study of the Negro in American history. Tracing his development from Africa up to recent times. Emphasis is placed on the slavery period and the recent fight to gain equality in America.

Roles – Men and Women: An in-depth study of the roles of men and women in our society. Emphasis will be on social, cultural, psychological and physical factors from which these roles have developed.

Seppala remembers a unique social studies class that was required of all seniors when he attended. “They used to have a class called Senior Social that you would take in the fall. Every senior had to take it. Some of it was just general sociology stuff, but one of the things we did was the marriage project- where you’re assigned to be married to somebody and have to plan a whole budget,” said Seppala.

One class that has been offered for most of our history is DP- Developmental Psychology. “My favorite class was Developmental Psychology in my senior year. I think we were the first DP class!” said Berenz. “I also took DP,” said Seppala.  And Blatzheim added, “I took DP my senior year. I have fond memories of all of my classes.”  Looks like if you’re a current DP student, there’s a good chance you might end up working back at AVHS!

In mathematics, the types of classes offered has remained relatively consistent throughout the years, but the rigor of the curriculum has increased. In 1976, four years of math was recommended only for students who planned on majoring in a STEM field. For students planning to major in anything else, the highest level of math recommended in the registration guide was the equivalent of Algebra II.

Now, every student planning on attending college is encouraged to take a full four years of math. AVHS also offers AP Calculus AB and BC, which prepare students for the respective AP exams and college level math.

This year, AVHS added a new math class that will take students even further. College Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, also known as CLADE, is a class available to students who have completed AP Calculus and are looking to continue their math education. It is a counterpart to Eastview’s Multivariable Calculus. Though this year only 11 students are enrolled, class size is expected to increase quickly due to a push in the middle schools for students to enter high school at an Algebra II level.

Although this article has covered most of the major changes in the AVHS curriculum from 1976 to 2016, there are many more interesting classes that were once offered here. Included in this article is a photo gallery with a few pages from the original registration guide. If you’re curious about what life was like for students back then, check it out! You just might be surprised.