York schools make AP honor roll

From staff reportsDecember 12, 2012 

— The York school district is one of 539 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board for improvements that include increasing students’ access to Advanced Placement classes and boosting the passage rate.

The York district announced last week that it won a place on the third annual AP District Honor Roll for making the improvements. District officials said achieving the goals shows that the district is identifying students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP course work.

“I’m really pleased with what our school district has done to make sure kids are taking the most challenging courses,” York Superintendent Vernon Prosser said Monday. He noted that more challenging high school courses will help students “be in a better position to do college course work.”

Since 2010, the York school district has increased the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher by 10.58 percent. More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3 or above on an AP Exam.

Prosser said York has used tools from the College Board to identify students who are capable of doing well in AP courses; counselors encourage the students to enroll. He also said the district has programs like its academic enrichment center to help them do well once they are enrolled.

“Once a child takes a course, we want to make sure we give them the support they need to be successful in that course,” Prosser said. Teachers at lower levels prepare students for high school so they are ready to take AP classes, he said.

He also noted that York offers AP Human Geography at the ninth grade, which gives high school freshmen exposure to an AP curriculum so they can decide if they will take more AP classes in their junior and senior year.

Inclusion on the third annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012. School districts must:

• Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts;

•  Ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts;

• Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

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