CCSD Makes AP Honor Roll for Fourth Consecutive Year as Students Continued to Exceed National Average

CCSD Makes AP Honor Roll for Fourth Consecutive Year as Students Continued to Exceed National Average

Cherokee County School District high school students not only continue to beat State and National averages on college-level Advance Placement (AP) exams, but CCSD also has earned national recognition for its AP achievement for the fourth consecutive year!

The School District is one of only 10 school districts in Georgia named to the College Board’s elite AP Honor Roll for 2016, and this was CCSD’s fourth consecutive year to earn the prestigious distinction.  With a passage rate of 70% among the 4,784 tests administered in the spring of 2016, CCSD exceeds the State average of 58% and the National average of 57%.

“Preparing students for college and career is our primary mission, and this recognition affirms that we’re delivering on that promise,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “I’m especially pleased to see both the number of courses offered and the number of students participating increase, as research shows the significant positive impact this rigor has on students’ future success.”

The AP program has grown significantly in CCSD, with AP courses and exams currently offered in 30 subjects… up from 26 last year.  The number of exams taken by CCSD students increased by 16% from 2015, and has risen by more than 80% in the last five years.

The AP Program allows high school students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on an AP exam to earn college credit in high school and, subsequently, to exempt those courses in college.  Studies show that students who participate in AP courses are more likely to earn higher scores on the SAT and ACT and to complete their college education…. AP exams were administered to 22% of all CCSD high school students in 2016. Passage of AP exams places students at an academic and financial advantage, studies show, as they can both begin classes in their major sooner and avoid tuition costs for exempted courses.

Selection for the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data (from 2014 to 2016).  To qualify for the elite list, school 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;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams passed by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

All of CCSD’s high schools additionally have been named Georgia AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or AP STEM Achievement High Schools in recognition of outstanding student passage and participation levels and the variety of course offerings.

Principals annually review these scores with teachers, department heads and Data Management Teams to evaluate improvement strategies, including use of College Board preparatory materials and sharing best practices among teachers.

“Continuous improvement is more than a catch-phrase for us — it’s what we do, and new initiatives like our Instructional Framework standards for teaching and assessment will only further enhance our ability to build on successes like this,” Dr. Hightower said.  “I’m so proud of the team effort that makes such achievements possible, from the students and teachers in the classroom to the vast support network of staff, volunteers, partners and parents.  Congratulations to you all!”