St. Charles Parish Public Schools were recently recognized for strides in the districtís advanced placement curriculum. The district was the only school system in the state to be recognized by the national College Board on its AP District Honor Roll.
St. Charles received the honor for increasing the number of high school students who take advanced placement, or AP, courses and having a high percentage of those students pass the tests and receive college credit.
Since 2009, St. Charles has increased the number of students taking AP courses from 161 to 301. Of those students, a total of about 500 AP tests were taken because some students opt to take more than one test. The number of tests passed with a score of three or above has been maintained at about 30 percent.
The maximum score on an AP test is a five.
Rachel Allemand, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said that AP courses can be important for students as they transition from high school to college.
"AP coursework gives students an opportunity to experience the rigors of college-level work while still under the nurturing environment of a high school," Allemand said.
The achievements indicate that the district is successfully identifying motivated and academically-prepared students who are likely to benefit most from AP coursework, according to a College Board release.
"We encourage our students to participate in rigorous courses and high levels of learning," said Superintendent Rodney Lafon. "This honor indicates that we are reaching that goal."
Less than 400 districts nationwide were named to the honor roll, which does not include private schools.
For the district to be included on the list, the College Board examined three years of AP data, increases in participation or access to AP courses, increases in the number of minority students taking the exams, and the percentage of students who earned a score of three or higher on the exams.
"This school district has achieved something very remarkable," said Trevor Packer, the College Boardís senior vice president of Advanced Placement and college readiness. "It managed to open the doors of its AP classrooms to many more students, while also increasing the percentage of students earning high enough AP exam grades to stand out in the competitive admission process and qualify for college credit and placement."