By Sue Moore
Vicksburg High School and Tobey Elementary were named “award schools” for 2013 while Sunset School received a “focus” delineation which means more work needs to be done according to Superintendent Charlie Glaes at the August school board meeting.
“This means we have met state standards in achievement levels,” he said. One of the determining factors of the award designation is having Advanced Placement (AP) classes available to juniors and seniors. Board President Skip Knowles commented that AP courses are good for students to take to challenge them along with receiving college credits that help then to alleviate the high cost of attending college. If students can pass a college level course in high school, that gives them credit and can therefore finish college that much quicker he said.
“We applaud the extraordinary efforts of the devoted teachers and administrators in the Vicksburg School District, who are fostering rigorous work in advanced placement (AP) offerings. 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,” said College Board President, David Coleman.
The College Board calls for continued commitment to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds. They encourage greater readiness for AP, and then to take care of students within AP courses by providing support, mentorship and encouragement.
Vicksburg’s inclusion on the 3rd Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2010 to 2012 by the College Board.
Specific criteria for the honor roll include:
1. Increase participation and access to AP by at least 11 percent
2. Insure that the percentage of non-white students did not decrease by more than 10 percent.
3. Improve performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2012 receiving 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.
The Board held its first reading on several policies that needed to be updated to fit new state laws. One policy that board member David Schriemer showed concern was a religious celebration phrase which prohibits using any kind of scripture quotes in school presentations.
He had recently used a reference to the scriptures in his speech at the Celebration of the Arts in April. He wanted to make sure that this policy change would not impinge upon any type of presentation in the future.
Second reading of the proposed policies will take place at the board meeting in September.