VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rosemary Gladden
Date: 08/16/18 Phone: 757.263.1229
News Release No. 007 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: rosemary.gladden@vbschools.com

More VBCPS students enrolled in AP classes than ever before, AP Exam scores rise

Students in Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) have again showed academic success and achievement in some of the nation's most rigorous classes. According to the College Board, more VBCPS students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, took a record number of AP Exams and performed better than ever before.

AP classes provide opportunities for students to take advanced coursework in subject areas - and potentially earn college credit while still in high school.

More than 7,200 VBCPS students were enrolled in AP classes during the 2017-2018 school year, an increase of 211 students from the previous year. In 2017-18, VBCPS offered 35 different AP courses.

VBCPS students also increased the number of AP Exams taken from 9,631 in 2016-2017 to 10,123 in 2017-2018.

Additionally, a total of 1,419 students were designated AP Scholars - an increase from 2017 when 1,353 students received this distinction, which is earned for scoring a 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

"To see that more students of all backgrounds are not only enrolling in AP courses, but also taking and passing the exam is outstanding news," said VBCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence. "Our students are stepping up to challenging college-level work and succeeding. This is a testament to the incredible instruction from our talented teachers as well as our dedicated students who give it their all to achieve their very best at these high levels."

VBCPS staff and administration have placed a priority on preparing students for AP courses. High school administrators and counselors review students' performance on the PSAT to identify AP potential in subject areas and then work collaboratively with students to develop schedules that allow them to enroll in these courses.

This year, VBCPS partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative and received a $4 million grant to increase the number of students exposed to the rigor of AP courses. The grant provided for teacher training and for tutors who worked with students on Saturdays to improve both their content knowledge and testing skills. The grant also helped alleviate the financial expense of exams by decreasing the cost by 50 percent.

VBCPS also partnered with Equal Opportunity Schools to increase enrollment of students of all backgrounds in AP classes, including closing access gaps for low-income and minority students taking advanced courses for the first time. Thanks, in part to this work, the division saw increased participation from demographic subgroups, including an 8.4 percent increase in AP Exams from African American students.

This AP data is continued good news for VBCPS. Earlier this month the Virginia Department of Education confirmed that the division will be fully accredited for a second consecutive year.

For more information about AP Exams, visit the College Board's website.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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