AP exam scores place district in No. 2 spot in Georgia
Students in all six Cherokee County School District high schools exceeded state and national averages on 2014 Advance Placement exams, with the district as a whole earning the second-highest passage rate in Georgia, out of 180 school systems.
With a passage rate of 76 percent for the 3,242 exams taken in the district, the Cherokee School District far exceeded the state passage rate of 56 percent and the national rate of 59 percent, data released this week by the Georgia Department of Education shows.
Advance Placement, or AP, exams allow students the opportunity to earn credit for college-level courses while still in high school. Students who score a 3 or above out of 5 possible points can earn credit for and exempt some college courses.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo said the accomplishment reflects the dedication of students and their communities.
“This achievement, which is coupled with an 11 percent increase in the number of tests administered in CCSD, is further testimony to the dedication of students and of teachers, administrators, parents, volunteers, business partners and the entire community to ensure each student has the opportunity to start college as successfully as possible,” Petruzielo said Tuesday.
Individually, each of the six high schools in the district outscored state and national passage rates on AP exams in 2014, with Woodstock High School in the lead at 88 percent.
Woodstock High School Principal Dr. Paul Weir said he’s proud of his school.
“I could not be more proud of our kids and their teachers’ efforts. These results show what our kids are capable of, and the quality of education you receive at Woodstock High School and in CCSD,” Weir said Wednesday.
Woodstock High School offers 21 different AP courses, and administered 618 exams in 2014. Weir said the accomplishment can be credited to the entire school.
“Our underclassmen teachers prepare the kids for the rigors of AP and our AP teachers deliver the goods,” Weir said. “The kids respond very well and take their academics very seriously.”
Weir said Woodstock High School’s performance on AP exams shows “that our community takes their children’s education seriously.”
“This kind of motivation for success starts at home with the expectation that education is important. When you have kids that are motivated to do well there is nothing that our staff can’t help them achieve,” he said.
Weir said the school’s AP program continues to grow, and the staff strives to have more students taking the AP exams from year-to-year.
Bringing up the second-place spot in the district is Etowah High School, with an 82 percent passage rate in 2014. The school offers 18 AP courses, and administered 638 exams this year.
River Ridge High School, which offered 21 AP courses and administered 545 exams, had the lowest passage rate in the district at 63 percent. However, the school still exceeded both state and national rates.
Other school scores included Cherokee High School with a 74 percent passage rate, offering 19 AP courses and administering 494 exams; Creekview High School with a 77 percent passage rate, offering 18 AP courses and administering 672 exams; and Sequoyah High School with a 78 percent passage rate, offering 20 AP courses and administering 459 exams.
From 1999, when the district administered a total of 400 exams, to 2014, with 3,424 exams administered, the district has seen a 756 percent increase in the number of exams taken by students, Petruzielo noted.
“Advanced Placement classes are the most challenging high school courses available to students nationwide, and these results show that CCSD students, teachers and schools are more than up to that challenge,” Petruzielo said.
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