Ocean City school district makes AP Honor Roll

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Ocean City school district selected as one of 539 districts for the College Board's third annual AP District Honor Roll. Ocean City school district selected as one of 539 districts for the College Board's third annual AP District Honor Roll.

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City school district was one of 539 school districts in the United States and Canada to make the College Board’s third annual AP District Honor Roll.

The College Board announced the qualifying districts Tuesday, Nov. 13. The achievement goes to districts that are able to expand access to advanced placement courses to a more diverse group of learners while simultaneously improving performance, specifically increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.

“Over the past few years, our school district has made a concerted effort to increase the number of students taking the AP courses,” Ocean City School Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said. “As a result of these efforts, we have seen a marked increase in the number of students taking AP courses and a 4- to 5-percent increase in the percentage of students scoring 3 or better over the past two years. Congratulations also to the Advanced Placement teachers and administrators for ensuring that our students continue to surpass expectations.” 

Since 2010, the Ocean City School District has increased the number of students participating in AP by 14 percent.

“Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work,” the College Board states in its press release.

The majority of U.S. colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for a score of 3 or above on AP exams.

“We’re very proud of the students who have and are taking these challenging courses, and their parents,” Taylor said. “We extend a ‘thank you’ to the AP teachers and the high school guidance counselors who encouraged our students and inspired confidence that they could be successful in the AP courses.”

The guidance counselors, she said, “had a real strong role in encouraging students that they could succeed in a challenging AP course.”

Ocean City school district currently offers 17 AP classes.

“About four years ago, we brought into our school district the PSSS test,” she said.

The preliminary SAT scoring service test, she said, was given to ninth grade students. Aside from measuring critical reading and mathematic skills, it also helped school district officials determine which students might have the potential to take an AP class.

“We were able to determine those students who showed potential, who we might not otherwise have thought would have the potential,” she said. “So we put a system in place to encourage them.”

The end result, she said, was an increase in the number of students who chose to take AP classes.

“Our work has been focused on enrolling more students, to challenge them to do this,” she said. “Our increase was over four percent. We’re very proud of the students for seeing the importance of doing this and for accepting the challenge of taking an AP class.”

AP classes, she said, are very demanding.

“This is also a credit to the board of education,” she said. “Our efforts have been to open every door of learning, providing our students with every opportunity for post-secondary education, whether it’s in a two-year or four-year college. We keep the doors open for them and the students choose which door they will enter. We never want to close a door, we want as many options as possible for our students and the board has been very supportive of that effort.”

Data, she said, show that among African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for advanced placement, only about half of students are participating, often because their school does not yet offer AP courses. 

“We call for continued commitment to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds. We must be vigilant about fostering greater readiness for AP, and then we must care for students within AP courses by providing support, mentorship and encouragement,” Taylor said.

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