Morton Named College Board's AP District of the Year
J. Sterling Morton School District 201 Named a College
Advanced Placement® District of the Year
CICERO, Illinois — J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Illinois has been named a College Board Advanced Placement® District of the Year for being the national leader among medium-sized school districts — defined as having between 8,000 and 49,999 students — in expanding access to Advanced Placement Program ® (AP®) courses while simultaneously improving AP Exam performance.
On Thursday, March 17 Morton celebrated its students’ achievement with a surprise event for the 2,350 students who are currently enrolled in AP classes. Morton congratulated its students and staff for their hard work and their incredible accomplishment.
Out of the 21,000 high schools who participate in the AP Program, Morton was one of 425 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that achieved placement on the annual AP District Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year — one for each category of district population size: small, medium, and large — were selected based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data.
“We are very proud of our students and staff. This award is a reflection of all of their hard work and dedication. District leadership will continue to work hard to ensure that every student continues to succeed,” said the Morton Board of Education President Jeff Pesek.
“This award shows that the teachers and administrators at Morton are challenging students to achieve at the highest levels,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board. “They are succeeding in helping students attain the benefits of the AP Program — to gain confidence, learn to craft effective arguments, earn credit for college, and eventually graduate from college on time. The College Board applauds the district’s leadership to ensure that a more diverse population of students is prepared to succeed in college.”
From 2013 to 2015, J. Sterling Morton School District:
· Simultaneously and continuously increased the number of students taking AP classes while improving successful outcomes (a score of 3 or higher out of 5 points) on AP Exams, with 33 percent of all AP students scoring a 3 or higher in 2015;
· Increased student participation in AP by 19 percent annually and the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam by 7 percent annually; and
· Increased the percentage of traditionally underrepresented minority AP students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam by 9 percent annually — an increase of 266 students since 2013. (80 percent or more of the AP students in J. Sterling Morton School District is American Indian, African American, or Hispanic/Latino. In addition, over 90 percent or more of the AP students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.)
Increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher out of 5 points is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program, indicating that the district is successfully preparing a larger array of its students for the rigor of AP and college studies. Participating in AP course work can also lead to college savings for families because the typical student who scores a 3 or higher on two AP Exams has the potential to save, on average, $1,779 at a public four-year college and over $6,000 at a private institution.
In addition to celebratory events at the district level, all three winning districts will be honored in Anaheim during the 2016 AP Annual Conference in July.
In 2015, more than 3,900 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the U.S. offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.
To learn more about AP, please visit exploreap.org.