Alexandria City Public Schools has increased both participation and performance in Advanced Placement  exams this year, including seeing the highest number of top scores of five since 2005.

Sixteen percent of all tests taken in 2017 were awarded a five, according to preliminary data released by the College Board. The results are two percentage points higher than last year and seven percentage points higher than in 2005.

A third of all students in grades 10 through 12 at T.C. Williams took at least one AP exam this year, with 61 percent of all exams receiving a qualifying score of three or above. This is four percentage points higher than in 2016 and 22 percentage points higher than in 2005.

“The increase in both participation and performance is very positive news. This summer, our school division initiated AP Boot Camp to provide clear expectations, support and guidance to prepare students and help them succeed in advanced level courses. We look forward to continuing a positive trend of greater participation and higher levels of success for our students,” said Interim Superintendent Lois F. Berlin.

In June, ACPS launched a Summer Advanced Placement Boot Camp designed to provide support and resources to T.C. Williams students who are taking an AP course for the first time. The program helped to prepare 35 students for the rigor of AP courses and provided them with the academic skills and tools they need to do well. The boot camp encouraged teamwork and built communication skills, while nurturing organization, critical reading and writing, and problem-solving skills. Students who participated in the AP Boot Camp this summer will take AP exams next spring.

The AP program provides highly motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in AP courses gain college-level skills and may earn college-level credit while they are still in high school. In 2005, the ACPS School Board instituted a policy requiring students who took an AP course to take the corresponding AP exam which is why that year is used as a benchmark.

A total of 858 ACPS students took 1,799 AP subject tests in the spring of 2017, a 10 percent increase in test-takers from 2016. Ninety-seven more AP tests were taken in 2017 than in 2016. In addition, 37% of the graduating class earned a score of three or higher on an AP exam at some point during their high school career. This represents an increase of 17 percentage points since 2005.

“We are continuously developing ways to help our students succeed at the highest levels. We want to ensure that all students have the ability to be the best they can be academically,” said Chief Academic Officer Dr. Terri Mozingo.

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