FORSYTH COUNTY — All five public high schools in Forsyth have been named to multiple lists recognizing achievements in Advanced Placement exams by the Georgia Department of Education.
The 272 schools that were named an AP Honor School across the state fell into six categories based on results from 2015 AP courses and exams.
Forsyth Central, Lambert and North, South and West Forsyth high schools all placed on the merit, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), STEM achievement and humanities lists.
AP courses and exams are administered by the College Board, which also oversees the SAT college entrance exam.
“We continue to grow our AP course offerings and participation,” said Superintendent Jeff Bearden. “AP classes are great opportunities for students to develop college-level academic skills in preparation for their first year of college.
“Additionally, students can earn college credit while enrolled in high school, which will allow them to have more room in their college schedule to explore a variety of academic fields.”
Students who earn passing scores of a 3, 4 or 5 often are eligible for college credit.
The state Department of Education began recognizing AP Honor Schools in 2008 with three categories and has since expanded to six.
An AP Merit School is one with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams, and at least half of all those exams earning a passing score of 3 or higher.
There were 61 schools named to the AP Merit School list this year.
AP STEM Schools are schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses, including calculus SB, calculus BC, statistics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics B, physics C and computer science.
The state placed 199 schools on this list.
AP STEM Achievement Schools qualify for AP STEM and pass at least 40 percent of those exams.
This list included 127 schools in 2016.
AP Humanities Schools are schools with students testing in all of the following AP courses: at least one English language arts course, two social sciences courses, one fine arts course and one world language course.
The state placed 125 schools on the list this year.
“Through the AP program, these schools are personalizing learning and expanding the opportunities available for their students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “This honor is a credit to the hard work of many dedicated educators here in our state.”
This comes just after the state announced Georgia ranked 13th in the nation for the percentage of students in the Class of 2015 passing at least one AP exam while in high school.
Georgia tied for third in the country in one-year percentage point growth from 2014 to 2015 and also ranked 13th in 10-year percentage point growth, according to data released by the College Board.
Of Georgia’s graduating seniors in 2015, 24 percent passed at least one AP exam, compared to 22.4 percent nationally.
That number rose by 1.8 percentage points over 2014, even as participation increased, according to the state Department of Education.
The state did not collect district-level cohort data to be able to make a direct comparison with these numbers, said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system.
According to Hannah Orr, communications and partnerships facilitator for the system, the 2015 district pass rate, which includes ninth-12thgrades, was 72.8 percent.