St J Academy helps Vermont receive recognition for Advanced Placement

first_imgSt Johnsbury Academy played an important role in helping Vermont record the nation’s largest five-year increase in the percentage of its high school student population scoring 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam.AP courses are designed to provide high school students college credit, advanced standing, or both, upon successful completion of a national examination administered by the College Board.According to the College Board, an exam grade of 3 or higher is a strong predictor of a student’s ability to succeed in college and earn a bachelor’s degree.Last year, 38 percent of the Academy’s graduating senior class passed at least one AP exam. According to the College Board’s fifth annual AP Report to the Nation issued February 4, statewide, 19.8 percent of last year’s public high school seniors earned 3 or higher on one or more AP exams. Nationwide, 15.2 percent of the public high schools’ Class of 2008 earned 3 or higher.The Academy offers 21 AP courses, more than any other Vermont high school, ranking it in the top 20 nationally. An Academy graduate has been honored by the College Board as one of two State AP Scholars for 2006, 2007, and 2008. This school year, 208 Academy students are enrolled in AP courses, preparing to take a total of 359 exams.A current Academy senior, Xin “Cindy” Hu, a boarding student from China, was selected by the College Board earlier this year as the 2008-2009 Vermont female winner of the Siemens Foundation Award for Advanced Placement, which is presented annually to the male and female student from each state who has earned the greatest number of scores of 5, the highest possible, on AP exams in Biology, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Computer Science AB, Environmental Science, Statistics, Physics C Mechanics, and Physics C Electricity and Magnetism.In 2008, St. Johnsbury Academy was awarded the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement – High School and was one of 50 high schools nationwide to receive a $1,000 Siemens Foundation grant recognizing its efforts to increase students’ opportunities to take AP courses.Now it its 24th year, the Academy also sponsors the AP Institute, a gathering of high school teachers from across the country and the world who require College Board certification to teach Advanced Placement courses. Four one-week sessions welcome over 500 teachers covering all subjects in Advancement Placement. To date, over 800 teachers from Vermont have attended the Institute.The AP Report to the Nation highlighted Vermont as a national example in preparing students for college.“Vermont is leading the nation in getting its students college ready for the second year in a row,” said Michael Bartini, Regional Vice President of the College Board, which administers AP programs. “Kids are thinking about college, and behind that are the teachers and administrators who deserve credit for the work they have done to provide these opportunities.”According to a February 4 press release from the Vermont Department of Education, the number of Vermont students taking the AP exam is increasing with nearly 8 percent, or 160 of Vermont’s low-income students taking an AP exam, with 92 earning a 3 or higher.“What the results tell us is more and more Vermont students are challenging themselves to college-level coursework in our schools,” said Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. “And even better, more and more are meeting that challenge.”Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett agrees. “We are so pleased by these results, not only because they testify to the great work our teachers do in preparing our students, but also because they show how many students take seriously our encouragement to ‘dream big.’ These are college-level courses, and our success rate is truly something our entire school community can be proud of.”last_img

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