State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge named 462 Advanced Placement Honor Schools in Georgia, and all six Cherokee County School District high schools were noted on two of the statewide lists.
“There are so many Georgia schools that have great success with Advanced Placement,” Barge said. “I am so pleased to see this success grow to more and more of our schools this year. These achievements can be attributed to the outstanding students and teachers at each of our AP Honor Schools.”
The Cherokee School District was also one of four school systems in Georgia, and one of 477 in the U.S. and Canada, to be named on a national list of districts that saw the greatest increase in students taking AP exams while simultaneously maintaining or improving the exam scores.
The number of students who passed AP exams in Cherokee schools topped both state and national averages in 2013, reports show.
Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo said the student and district success is a testament to the school system and students’ dedication.
“The College Board’s AP Report to the nation shows that CCSD’s 2013 test administration passage rate of 76 percent exceeds both the nation, at 57 percent, and the state, at 54 percent,” Petruzielo said. “Additionally, it is noteworthy that the school district’s participation rate increased by 13 percent in the past year, with 3,077 tests administered in 2013, up from 2,730 in 2012.”
AP exams allow high school students who score a 3, 4 or 5, out of a possible 5 points on the exam, to gain college credit and exempt those courses.
“This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our students to succeed and the devotion of our teachers, administrators, parents and the entire community to ensure that every student has the opportunity to begin their college studies with as successful a start as possible,” Petruzielo said. “The program has grown significantly in CCSD, from 400 exams administered in 1999, to 3,077 in 2013 — a 670 percent increase — with AP courses and exams now offered in 25 subjects.”
The six Cherokee School District traditional high schools — Cherokee, Creekview, Etowah, River Ridge, Sequoyah and Woodstock — were named on two of the statewide AP Honor School lists — the 2014 AP STEM Schools list and the 2014 AP STEM Achievement Schools list.
Petruzielo said the growth of AP offerings in Cherokee high schools is part of an effort to prepare students for the future.
“We’re focused on education today for a better tomorrow, and we know that tomorrow’s careers will have an even greater STEM emphasis, with outstanding opportunities for fulfilling, successful careers available to graduates who master this knowledge,” Petruzielo said. “Our encouragement of enrollment in Advanced Placement classes in STEM subjects, and continued expansion of those course offerings, is evidence of our dedication to ensuring our students receive the best high school preparation possible for higher education and those careers.”
AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Schools are high schools that have students taking exams in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses.
AP STEM Achievement Schools are high schools with students testing in at least two AP math and two AP science courses, with at least 40 percent passing exam scores.
Creekview High School administered the most AP exams in 2013, with 614 exams given in 14 different AP courses, and had a passage rate of 74 percent.
Woodstock High School had the highest passage rate at 87 percent and the second-most AP course offerings, 20 courses, of any high school in the Cherokee County School District.
Woodstock High School administered 586 exams for 20 different AP courses, and 87 percent of the school’s students passed their exams.
Sequoyah High School had the most AP course offerings in the district, 22 courses, and administered 439 exams with a passage rate of 78 percent.
Etowah High School had the second-highest passage rate at 83 percent, administering 613 exams in 19 AP courses.
Cherokee High School administered 455 exams in 17 AP courses and had a passage rate of 70 percent.
Only one Cherokee County high school’s passage rate fell below the national average, tying the state average at 54 percent. River Ridge administered the least amount of exams — 370 exams across 14 AP courses.
While Petruzielo said he’s proud of the district and its students, he said the results from 2013 AP exams would be reviewed.
“Principals will review these results with their Data Management Team, department heads and AP teachers to determine strategies for improvement, including use of preparatory materials from the College Board and the sharing of ‘best practices’ among teachers,” Petruzielo said. “Advanced Placement classes are the most challenging courses available to students nationwide, and these results show that CCSD students and teachers are not only up to the challenge, but are leading the nation.”