PLYMOUTH - â€śOur AP program is something that I think we should all be very proud of, it has grown tremendously over the last couple of years in terms of offerings and students in seats,â€ť according to Terryville High School Principal Michael Hults.
Hults gave a presentation to the Board of Education recently, showing how the number of students enrolled in the Advanced Placement courses has more than doubled in the past five years as the number of courses offered has increased.
The eight courses offered last year had 189 students overall enrolled in them, compared to 91 students taking such courses in 2013-14. That 189 figure represents 93 actual â€śunique students,â€ť since some students take two, three, or even four AP courses in a year, he said.
Out of the 175 tests taken for the courses, 46 students got scores of 3 or above on a scale of 5, Hults said. He noted that the College Board considers 3 a passing score, although many colleges prefer scores of 4 or 5 for some courses when evaluating students.
Hults said getting the course credit is a bonus but the courses are valuable in themselves. â€śOne of the best courses Iâ€™ve taken in my high school and college career was an AP Calc class. It just prepared me like nothing else. I felt like all my college courses were relatively easy compared to the torture that my Calc teacher put me through,â€ť he said.
THS added AP Government to its offerings this year, he said. â€śItâ€™s primarily a sophomore class, though we do have some juniors and seniors who are a little upset that they missed that opportunity so we opened that up to them as well.â€ť
Hults said mostly juniors and seniors take the AP courses, but â€śweâ€™re really excited about the AP Gov because itâ€™s a sophomore offering, and we have our Teacher of the Year Mr. [Kevin] Schumann teaching it.â€ť
Itâ€™s a valuable experience for students at that younger age, especially in terms of whatâ€™s expected of them for writing, so thatâ€™s going to carry over into other subjects, he said.
So far in 2018-19, there are 252 students enrolled in AP courses, or 134 unique students, he added, â€śand that represents a third of our student body.â€ť
â€śIt is a fantastic opportunity for our students,â€ť he said. â€śIt prepares them unlike any other course work. So while we want to see the performance on the tests weâ€™re not vetting the process to the point where weâ€™re closing the door on students. We would rather those students that want to work have the opportunity to be able do so. Even though weâ€™ve opened up our doors and had a tremendous number of students start walking through it we still saw some growth in our performance this past year.â€ť
Hults reminded the board members that he would like THS to be able to offer AP Computer Science next year. â€śHopefully you guys see all the hard work that our kids and our teachers are putting into this program and you will continue to support us again, so that would give us our ninth AP course,â€ť he said.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.