The Caesar Rodney School Board handed out 43 certificates for achievement on Advanced Placement exams to Caesar Rodney high School students at its Tuesday meeting.
The Advanced Placement program is designed to help high school students potentially earn college credit. The students take AP classes to prepare for the AP exam on that subject. If they score a 3 or higher on the test, most colleges will accept that as credit.
Of the awarded students, Pratyusha Gupta not only won two other awards but she was named state AP Scholar, which means she received a 3 or higher on the highest number of exams in the entire state.
“We’re thrilled with that — to have one student in Delaware and she’s our student,” said Caesar Rodney High School Principal Elvina Knight.
According to a presentation made by Knight, the 2012 AP program saw a marked improvement in scores. In 2011, 134 students scored 3 or higher on an AP exam; in 2012, 163 scored 3 or higher. In the 2011-2012 school year, 506 AP exams were taken by 317 students. In the 2012-2013 school year, 567 exams were taken by 370 students.
“These are very powerful numbers,” Knight said. “We are growing in all categories in both gender and ethnicity.”
The students weren’t the only ones recognized by the board. The teachers received a nod, too.
“I want to recognize the teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald. “You can’t offer an AP course unless you have teachers who will go to the training. They give up time while training so that they can teach students, so that students are successful.”
The high school offers a variety of AP courses and is planning to expand its offerings in 2014 to include human geography and Chinese language and culture. That will bring the school’s AP offerings to an even 20.
“In 1998, I think we had three AP courses,” Fitzgerald said. “From that time so many more students have taken AP courses. It’s opened doors to so many children.”
The College Board will visit Caesar Rodney to award them with the AP District Honor Roll award.
“It is an excellent award,” Knight said. “It is awarded to districts that have expanded their access to AP courses and improving their performance, we are very proud of that.”