The Verona School District was named one of of 34 New Jersey School districts and 539 schools across the nation and Canada to the Third Annual District Honor Roll.
The award, presented by the College Board, is given to schools for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement courses while also increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
“Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work,” the Verona School District said in a written statement.
According to the district, Verona had increased the number of AP students by 69 percent since 2010. They have also seen an increase in the number of students earning AP Exam scores of three or higher by 35.
90 percent of colleges and universities offer college credit for a score of three or above, saving students and families thousands in college tuition, the district said.
"This is a tremendous honor for the Verona Schools it validates a big part of the overall mission of the district and the changes that were put in place a few years ago," said Verona Superintendent Steve Forte. "To be included on a short list of 34 districts in NJ and 354 in the USA and Canada is amazing."
AP District Honor Roll is based on three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012. Districts must:
Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts;
Ensure that the percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students taking AP Exams did not decrease by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts or by more than 10 percent for small districts;
Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2010, unless the district has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher. When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population made up of 30 percent or more underrepresented minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native) and/or 30 percent or more low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.
“We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in this district, who are fostering rigorous work worth doing," said College Board President, David Coleman.
"These educators have not only expanded student access to AP course work, but they have enabled more of their students to achieve on a college level—which is helping to create a strong college-going culture," he said.