Simply graduating high school may not always be an indicator of how ready a student is for college or the workforce, but the state recently recognized all five high school campuses in Forsyth County for performance on exams that show just that.
The Georgia Department of Education named Forsyth Central, Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and West Forsyth high schools to four Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll categories, lists that distinguish schools with high participation and achievement rates on AP college entrance exams.
AP exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. By taking an AP course, students can access college-level learning at the high school level, and those who earn a 3, 4, or 5 on any AP exam may receive college credit.
“We’re proud of the continuous growth of our AP program,” said Erin Zitka, a secondary math specialist and the district’s AP coordinator.
A total of 674 schools throughout the state were named to one of six categories, which include four that recognize achievement and two that recognize achievement while having either small enrollment or high percentages of minorities.
“The number of our schools and students succeeding in the college-level learning offered by Advanced Placement continues to increase,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said.
Forsyth County Schools offers 38 AP courses and exams across 19 subject areas.
In 2014, 44 percent of all high school students in the district were enrolled in at least one AP course, according to the district’s Data Dashboard.
That percentage dropped to 43 percent in 2015 before jumping to 46 percent last year.
Of those students, 74 percent scored a 3 or higher on at least one exam in 2014. In 2015, the number of students who passed an AP exam was 73. It was 74 percent in 2016.
AP Merit Schools
The state named 69 this year. They are schools that have at least 20 percent of the total student population taking AP exams, of which at least 50 percent earn a 3 or higher.
AP STEM Schools
The largest of the four categories Forsyth County schools were named in, 204 schools are in the list this year. The category represents schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses — AP calculus AB, AP calculus BC, AP statistics, AP biology, AP chemistry, AP environmental science, AP physics 1, AP physics 2, AP physics C and AP computer science A.
AP STEM Achievement Schools
There were 128 schools named to this list, which are AP STEM Schools that have at least a 40 percent passing rate.
AP Humanities Schools
The 149 schools named to this list in 2017 have students testing in the following AP courses: at least one English language arts course, two social science courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.