Rochester Community Schools named to AP honor roll

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published February 6, 2019

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND  TOWNSHIP — Rochester Community Schools is one of 16 Michigan school districts to be recognized for academic achievement by being placed on the College Board’s ninth annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll.

“We are proud to be named once again to the annual AP District Honor Roll — an achievement that we’ve held for many years,” RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said in a statement. “We are also grateful for our partnership with Oakland University. The use of their campus for testing helps us ensure a successful program.”

A total of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada were placed on the ninth annual honor roll for increasing the number of their students participating in AP since 2016, while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher.

In the spring of 2018, 1,775 RCS students took 3,310 AP exams, according to RCS Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Equity and Inclusion Carrie Lawler. RCS currently offers 20 AP courses, which are available at the three high schools. 

“This year, we’ve added the first course in the AP capstone program, called AP Capstone Seminar. For next year, we’ll be adding the second and final course in that series, called AP Capstone Research. RCS was one of the first school districts in the state to adopt this new AP course,” Lawler said in an email.

To be included on the honor roll, districts had to increase the number of students participating in AP classes from 2016 to 2018 — by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts. They had to increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by American Indian/Alaska native, black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino and native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander students; and improve or maintain the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. AP exams are college-level tests administered by the College Board. Michigan transitioned to using the not-for-profit organization’s standardized college admissions exam, the SAT, as part of the Michigan Merit Examination in 2016. 

“Success in Advanced Placement is a combination of students’ own motivation and the opportunities educators provide for them,” Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board, said in a statement. “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.”

Inclusion in the ninth 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 languages and culture. 

The complete ninth annual AP District Honor Roll can be found at apcentral.collegeboard.com.

Call Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at (586) 498-1060.