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Number of students taking AP courses nearly triples in three years

This year, 1,165 students are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses at the county school district’s two high schools, nearly triple the number enrolled in 2010. Chief academic officer David Gilliam reported those figures to the school board at its monthly meeting Sept. 12. AP courses prepare students to take AP exams, which can give students a jump start on earning college credits, he said.

Prior to 2010, the number of students taking AP courses hovered around 400. This was followed by a slow increase during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. After a “big push” to increase participation, 726 students signed up for AP courses in 2012-13, Gilliam said.

But, since partnering with AdvanceKentucky, a statewide initiative to increase rigorous college-level work in high schools, the district now has more students than ever enrolled in AP courses, he said.

Data from the second year of the state’s new accountability and assessment system, Unbridled Learning, will be presented at the Oct. 10 board meeting, Gilliam said. The assessment is based on academic achievement determined by student performance on K-PREP tests (Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress) and several other components including college- and career-readiness and averaged-freshman graduation rates.

Gilliam also gave an update on the mathematics task force, an initiative Superintendent Elmer Thomas proposed during his first day on the job to improve math achievement districtwide. The task force is a “teacher-led initiative,” it is important to remember, Gilliam said in August when the team was beginning to form. Eighteen teachers, representing every grade level and every school in the district, were selected to be part of the group. The task force began talking about developing a “growth mindset” around math and a systemwide approach to teaching math, he said.

During his report later in the meeting, Thomas explained what is meant by a “growth mindset.”

“Too often … a parent or a teacher might say something like, ‘I was never good at mathematics,’” Thomas said. “That’s a very limiting comment. It almost says, ‘So it’s okay for my student not to be good at mathematics.’”

To read more about the school board meeting and other local news, visit the Richmond Register's website. Article by Crystal Wylie of the Richmond Register.





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