A school district on the coast has received international recognition.
The Pass Christian School District is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the Annual AP® District Honor Roll.
To be included on the Honor Roll, the district had to increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher since 2016.
Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.
“I commend the teachers and leaders in the Pass Christian School District for expanding student access to AP courses,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “AP classes expose students to college-level material and help them understand what is expected to be successful in college.”
The Mississippi Department of Education implemented an AP Initiative in 2015-16 to increase statewide participation in AP courses. The effort includes raising awareness about AP benefits, increasing access to AP opportunities and providing AP-focused professional development for teachers, principals and counselors.
AP participation and performance among Mississippi students have both nearly doubled since 2013.
Starting in the fall of 2019, all eight Mississippi public universities will grant 3 college credits to students with AP scores of 3 or higher and up to 6 credit hours for certain exam subjects with AP scores of 4 or 5. That means students who are taking AP courses this school year can reduce the cost of attending a Mississippi university.
National data from 2018 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting diverse students to participate is to give them access.
Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. Pass Christian is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“Success in Advanced Placement is a combination of students’ own motivation and the opportunities educators provide for them,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and Instruction at the College Board. “I’m inspired by the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to earn college credit during high school.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.
In 2018, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
The be included 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;
- Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
- Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2018 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2016 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.
- When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30 percent or more are underrepresented minority students (American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) and/or 30 percent or more are low–income students (students who qualify for free or reduced–price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.