Shelby County, Calera high schools selected for AP program

Published 12:44 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

Calera High School and Shelby County High School have been selected to participate in the A+ College Ready’s Advancement Placement Training and Incentive Program, Gov. Robert Bentley announced Feb. 15.

The program “is a proven investment that is preparing our students today for the jobs of tomorrow,” Bentley said in a press release.

The program is funded by a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative. It was established to significantly increase the number of Alabama students taking math, science and English AP courses and earning qualifying scores on AP exams.

The program will allow Calera to add two AP programs for a total of eight AP programs, Calera Assistant Principal Joel Dixon Said.

Calera currently offers six AP courses, he said: Spanish, biology, literature, music theory, government and calculus. With the exception of music theory, all are senior-level classes.

Calera will add AP chemistry and AP English for juniors.

Students currently have to pay $86 to an AP course, a fee that will be waived thanks to the new program, Dixon said.

“It will take away the potential barrier for a student that is academically fitted to pursue that course,” he said.

The program will allow more training for AP teachers to instruct more AP students. That should have a “trickle down” effect on the entire student body, Dixon said.

“I would put our teachers up against any other teachers in the state in terms of their commitment and using class time very well,” he said.

The College Board last week released its seventh annual AP Report and cited Alabama as a national leader in rising AP participation and success rates.

“It is a good day in Alabama to see more of our students – particularly those from traditionally underserved communities – participating and succeeding in AP courses than every before,” Bentley said.

In addition to Calera and Shelby County, 18 other Alabama high school were selected to participate in the program.