Pierce High Gets National Pat on Back; School Is Honored for Advanced Placement Courses Achievement

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

The Pierce County school system has earned national recognition for high school student achievement in advanced placement courses.

The district is among 388 nationwide the College Board honored with inclusion on its AP Achievement List for making advanced placement courses available to a "significantly broader pool of [high school] students, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning a score of a 3 or higher." A 3 is the minimum score typically needed to earn college credit for a course.

This is the first time Pierce has received the honor, which was announced March 16. It is among 10 systems statewide, and the only one in South Georgia to earn the distinction.

Pierce County High School Principal Anthony Smith on Thursday credited hard work by the school's students, teachers and administrators, particularly Assistant Principal Dara Bennett, who oversees curriculum including the AP program.

"This honor is evidence that teamwork and dedication to excellence is key in building a successful academic program," Smith said.

Bennett lauded the students.

"We are very proud of our students for signing up to take AP classes. Only 57 percent of rural high schools in the nation offer on-site AP courses," Bennett said. "Pierce County's dedication to academic excellence is a major reason for the growth of our AP program."

Smith said 96 or "better than 10 percent" of the school's 930 students are enrolled in AP courses, which include calculus, biology, English literature and U.S. history.

That is 29 more students, or a 30 percent increase, over 2008.

The percentage of students earning a 3 or better score also increased. …

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