Starting this school year, the more than 2,200 Rockwood School District high school students who take Advanced Placement (AP) courses will have an earlier deadline to sign up for AP exams and more resources to help them prepare.
Rockwood offers more than 30 different AP courses at its four high schools. Students can take these college-level classes to earn college credit, placement or both if they score a 3 or higher on their AP exams in May.
Before this year, the deadline to register for AP exams was in February. Now, it's Nov. 1.
Glenn Hancock, director research, evaluation and assessment for the district, said the decision to change came from College Board - the organization that runs the AP program - and is intended to increase participation and scores among all students.
"Research conducted by College Board has shown that an earlier commitment to the exam really helped students with their focus and perseverance through the course," Hancock said. "The research showed that it increased enrollment in student groups that have experienced lower participation rates in the past. The other finding College Board shared was increased scores for all student groups committing early. College Board feels this will be an equity and access benefit for all."
Hancock said between 83-88 percent of Rockwood students who take AP exams receive at least a 3 in any given year. While the district's teachers already have an impressive track record of preparing students, new resources available this year will add another tool for teachers and students.
All students who are enrolled in AP courses also register for an online service called AP Classroom, which includes a comprehensive database of practice questions to help students prepare for the year-end exam, as well as personalized, daily feedback on the progress students are making through the course during the year.
"This gives more
transparency about what to expect on the exam, more guidance on what content teachers should be focusing on and what students should be focusing on
studying," said Jennifer Kottmann, A+ and testing coordinator at Rockwood Summit High
. "Our teachers do a really good job preparing kids at all four high
whole idea is not to teach to the exam, but kids are taking it
specifically to earn college placement or credit. So we're making sure they’re
spending their time wisely and efficiently. Across the board in our district, the kids are very prepared."
For more information on the AP program in Rockwood, click here