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GIPS one three Nebraska districts to make AP Honor Roll

GIPS earns College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for significant gains in student access and success

Grand Island Public School is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll. To be included on the Honor Roll, GIPS had to increase the number of students participating in AP since 2016 while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“Grand Island Public Schools is dedicated to providing highly rigorous college-level classes for our students,” said Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent. “Advanced Placement options have grown and will continue to grow at Grand Island Senior High. This honor reflects not only the access to the tests, but the quality of teaching in the classes offered.”

GIPS is one of only three Nebraska schools to receive the honor this year, joining Elkhorn and Ralston.

GIPS is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds. National data from 2018 show that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating.

College Board officials say the first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop and doors must be equitably opened.

“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.

“AP classes are a key component in our ability to prepare students to be college ready,” Grover said. “As we look to expand our offerings and increase the number of students taking advantage of these opportunities, we know it is opening doors for our students to not only get a taste of college-level work, but also get a head start on earning credit. This growth is directly called out in our strategic plan.”

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.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% 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% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30% or more are underrepresented minority students (American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) and/or 30% 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.

The complete 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/score-reports-data/awards/honor-roll

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