CHS selected for A+ College Ready

Published 3:04 pm Monday, March 21, 2011

Attendees at CHS College and Career Night learn how A+ College Ready is preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN/ Community Columnist

Students and parents filled the auditorium seats at Calera High School for College and Career Night, March 3, eager to receive information concerning the school’s participation in the A+ College Ready’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program.

The program began several years ago to offer the opportunity for students in Alabama to take math, science and English Advanced Placement courses and score high enough to earn college credits.

The result is: A+ College Ready’s success has driven the state to new heights nationally.

The College Board, which administrates AP testing, reported in September 2010 that the state’s 17.7 percent jump in students making a passing grade on AP tests since 2009 led the nation — the national increase was 8.3 percent.

In addition to earning college credits, AP courses help students qualify for scholarships and help keep them on track to graduate from college on time. This will greatly reduce student loan debt, a growing concern today.

CHS was chosen by Gov. Robert Bentley, along with 19 more schools, to join the 43 other high schools in our state currently participating in the program. This means CHS will receive part of a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, along with matching funding from the state and private donors.

Students normally pay to take AP classes, but the grant waives the fee. In addition, students who make qualifying scores receive a $100 cash incentive. Teachers will receive a matching incentive.

CHS math, science and English teachers will attend weeklong training seminars this summer to help develop new strategies that help student proficiency and success in AP classes and exams. Students qualify for AP classes based on their PSAT, AHSGE, PIAN scores and course pre-requisites.

Principal Richard Bishop emphasized to students the importance of planning their high school curriculum using the offered enrichment activities.

He said the new school term will begin 10 minutes earlier, which allows an extra period for the school day.

“Parents and students should be aware of next year’s bell schedule,” Bishop said. “It will offer the opportunity for enrichment and extra help built into the schedule on a daily basis. It is vitally important to plan your high school curriculum in order to be prepared for college or the workforce.”

Three breakout sessions were offered: AP/Advanced Tract, College Admission/General Diploma and SOT, Career Tech. Literature was handed out to help students choose their individual path — college or career.

Mollie Brown can be reached at