Manatee hon­ored on short list of Florida school dis­tricts

The Bradenton Herald - - News - BY GIUSEPPE SABELLA [email protected]­

Manatee County is one of two school dis­tricts in the state to earn a spot on the 9th An­nual AP Dis­trict Honor Roll.

The Ad­vanced Place­ment Pro­gram is of­fered through Col­lege Board, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes higher ed­u­ca­tion. AP classes al­low high school stu­dents to take col­lege-level cour­ses, in­creas­ing their odds of grad­u­at­ing from col­lege while of­ten times sav­ing them money.

Along with Lee County, the School Dis­trict of Manatee County is among 371 other dis­tricts that in­creased ac­cess to AP cour­ses and im­proved stu­dents’ scores on the AP ex­ams.

It’s the sec­ond time Manatee earned a spot on the list, with the first ap­pear­ance tak­ing place in 2014.

“I would like to thank Shirley Hur­ley, the Ad­vanced Stud­ies Co­or­di­na­tor for the dis­trict, and es­pe­cially our stu­dents, teach­ers and par­ents for all of their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion in mak­ing this pos­si­ble,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Cyn­thia Saun­ders said in a pre­pared state­ment.

About 85 per­cent of se­lec­tive col­leges and univer­si­ties re­ported AP in­volve­ment as an ad­van­tage dur­ing the ad­mis­sions process, ac­cord­ing to the pro­gram’s web­site.

While AP classes may im­prove the odds of suc­cess in col­lege en­roll­ment and grad­u­a­tion, they’re also meant to help with prob­lem solv­ing, study­ing and man­ag­ing time — use­ful skills in all facets of life.

And, ac­cord­ing to its web­site, the pro­gram could even soften the fi­nan­cial blow from text­books and tu­ition. It said col­leges of­ten award credit for scores of 3 or higher on the AP ex­ams.

Earn­ing credit in high school can help stu­dents skip in­tro­duc­tory classes and grad­u­ate early.

“All stu­dents who are will­ing and aca­dem­i­cally pre­pared to ac­cept the chal­lenge of a rig­or­ous aca­demic cur­ricu­lum should be con­sid­ered for ad­mis­sion to AP cour­ses,” the pro­gram states.

But only half of un­der­rep­re­sented stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, de­spite be­ing pre­pared for the tough cour­ses.

To make the honor roll, dis­tricts were re­quired to in­crease or main­tain the per­cent­age of stu­dents who iden­tify as Amer­i­can In­dian/Alaska Na­tive, Black/African Amer­i­can, His­panic/Latino or Hawai­ian/other.

“The first step to get­ting more of these stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate is to give them ac­cess,” a news re­lease said. “The School Dis­trict of Manatee County is com­mit­ted to ex­pand­ing the avail­abil­ity of AP cour­ses among pre­pared and mo­ti­vated stu­dents of all back­grounds.”

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