CCHS selected to participate in College Ready initiative

Published 8:53 am Monday, April 20, 2015

Chilton County High School is one of 30 additional high schools across the state that have been selected to participate in a successful statewide initiative, which will increase the number of students prepared for the challenge of college courses through a three-year grant.

These schools will join 118 Alabama high schools in the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program that receive comprehensive teacher training and student support to boost enrollment and success in Advanced Placement courses in mathematics, science and English, and the rigorous courses that lead up to AP.

Alabama has consistently ranked No. 1 among all 50 states in the percent increase in qualifying scores on math, science and English AP exams from 2008-2014 for all students, and for minority students. Because of this success, Gov. Robert Bentley proposed an additional $1 million for the program in the 2015-16 Education Trust Fund budget for a total of $5.27 million.

“Advanced Placement courses offer our students a good chance to succeed in college and in future careers,” Bentley said. “I am committed to building on the success of programs like A+ College Ready, which work to expand AP courses in Alabama schools. Through this proven public-private partnership, Alabama gains future leaders prepared to take on the skilled positions companies desire.”

At the April 8 State Board of Education meeting, State School Superintendent Tommy Bice presented a resolution recognizing the new schools, and gave credit to the partnership between the ALSDE and A+ College Ready for helping thousands of Alabama students become college and career ready.

“Our work together since 2008 has helped ensure that many Alabama students are better prepared to succeed when they get to college and have competitive skills in critical thinking and problem solving,” Bice said. “I am confident that our continued partnership will allow many more students to experience success in college and beyond.”

Chilton County High School has been invited to join the ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program in the 2014-15 school year as a member of the eighth group of schools participating in this statewide college readiness program, in which almost half of all Alabama public school districts have applied to participate.

“We are so excited to be able to offer our students the fantastic opportunities of an expanded college readiness program, and expect to see great things accomplished over the next three years,” said Dr. Cynthia Stewart, principal at CCHS.

Chilton County High School is one of the new schools joining the ALSDE/A+ College Ready Program this fall.

“We know that the rigor and depth our students experience through Advanced Placement courses will better prepare them for whatever they decide to do in the future,” Stewart said.

For the 2015-16 school year, Chilton County High School is projected to accomplish the following goals:

Implement AP courses in math, science, and English (MSE)

Add new enrollments to AP MSE courses

Aggressively expand enrollment in courses in seventh through 10th grade that lead up to AP courses to create a pipeline of students prepared for college-level work

Significantly increase the number of students meeting critical college-ready benchmarks on ACT-based assessments

The ALSDE / A+ College Ready Program provides extensive training and support for teachers and students in high school and middle school. For teachers this includes:

Weeklong summer training institutes

Additional days of professional development throughout the year

Ongoing support and coaching from expert Content Directors

Financial stipends based on academic results

Funding for equipment infrastructure to implement AP courses

Students participate in Saturday study sessions led by experienced master teachers, have reduced exam fees, and can earn financial incentives based on academic success.

A+ College Ready, a division of the A+ Education Partnership, was created with a $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in 2008 to implement a proven Advanced Placement training and stipend initiative in public schools throughout Alabama.

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