Graduation rate and AP exams on the rise for Shelby County Schools

The Shelby County Schools System has seen a significant increase in graduation rates and AP exams taken. (File)

The Shelby County Schools System has seen a significant increase in graduation rates and AP exams taken. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

With the school year winding down, many high school seniors have graduation on the brain and are looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

In comparison to past years, more high school students in the Shelby County School System are getting to experience the feeling of walking across the stage and feeling the joy of receiving their diploma.

Data for Shelby County Schools has been collected for the past three years for graduation rate percentages, and for the past five years for the number of AP exams taken by students. In both cases, the numbers are trending in a positive direction.

As for the graduation rates, the Shelby County School System saw a system-wide increase of 6 percent from 2012-2014 for graduation rates. In 2012, the rate was 89 percent and has now increased to 95 percent for the 2014 school year.

The schools seeing the biggest improvement were Montevallo High School and Vincent Middle High School.

MHS saw a 20 percent increase in graduation rates. In 2012, the graduation rate was 74 percent and in two years the rate rose to 94 percent.

VMHS saw a 9 percent increase in just one year. In 2013, VMHS had an 82 percent graduation rate and in 2014 the rate rose to 91 percent.

The school system has also released the number of AP exams taken at each school over the past five years. The schools that stand out the most are the ones participating in the A+ College Ready Program.

The A+ College Ready Program works to dramatically increase the number of students in Alabama taking math, science and English AP courses, earning qualifying scores on AP exams and attending and succeeding in college according to their website.

High schools that are partaking in the A+ College Ready Program are Calera High School, MHS, Shelby County High School and VMHS.

In total, the number of AP exams taken rose from 1,624 in 2010 to 2,335 in 2014.