Ballston Spa makes AP Achievement List

Ballston Spa Central School District was one of 388 school districts in the nationand the only one from the Capital Regionthat earned a place on the AP Achievement List for 2011.

Each year, the College Board rounds up districts around the country that simultaneously increased access to AP courses to a broader number of students while maintaining or improving the rate at which students earn a 3 or higher on AP exams.

"These districts are living proof that when access to AP is provided for the range and breadth of prepared and motivated students, districts can achieve even higher learning outcomes for their students"and the opportunity for so many more to earn college credit and placement"than when AP opportunities were restricted to a smaller segment of the high school population," said Trevor Packer, vice president of the College Board's Advanced Placement Program in a statement.

According to Stuart Williams, coordinator of community relations for the Ballston Spa Central School District, the number of students participating in AP between 2008 and 2010 increased from 171 to 228 in the district.

"Basically, we continue to raise standards and provide the best possible educational opportunities to enhance student achievement," said Williams.

Superintendent Joseph P. Dragone attributed the pending introduction of an International Baccalaureate program and the new Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Program in partnership with NYSERDA and Hudson Valley Community College's Tec-Smart campus to the district's success and growth.

"We are once again honored to receive national recognition for the work we are doing to support student achievement," said Dragone. "This ward affirms our support of the AP program and provides incentive for our continual efforts to develop the strongest academic opportunities for our students as we move forward with district initiatives."

College Board reps said they believe participating in college-level AP courses can level the playing field for "underserved students," give them confidence and raise standards and performance in subjects like science and math.

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