Posted on 2/2/14

Henderson County Schools 300HENDERSON, Ky. (9/5/13) – Henderson County Schools is “Preparing Students to Succeed Globally.” Henderson County High School is a leader among tri-state area schools in offering a rigorous, college-level curriculum through their Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Henderson County High School currently offers 17 AP courses, including AP Calculus-AB, AP Calculus-BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science, AP Physics B, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP US History, AP Psychology, AP Government, AP World History, AP Art 2D – Design Studio, AP Art Drawing Portfolio, and AP Spanish.

In 2007, 162 AP exams were administered to Henderson County High School students. In 2013, 424 students earned qualifying scores on 296 exams. Students who earn a qualifying score on an AP Exam -- a 3, 4, or 5 on a 5-point scale -- can possibly earn college credit. In 2013 alone, Henderson County High School students earned over 880 college credit hours. Financially, at a low estimate of $300/college credit hour, HCHS students saved an equivalent of $264,000 in college tuition. Henderson County High School has intentionally made its AP programs a focus to prepare students for a rigorous college curriculum and to provide these increased opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school.

Building the AP programs at HCHS has been a gradual process over the last five years. In 2008, more than half of the AP courses offered at HCHS were funded through the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) grant. This five-year grant included funding for extensive training of teachers, additional time on task for students for tutoring and study sessions beyond the school day, and financial incentives for the students who earned qualifying scores in AP math, science, and English courses. The grant also covered nearly half of the AP Exam fee for students in those courses.

Even though HCHS will remain a partner with AdvanceKentucky, which contracted the NMSI model in Kentucky, Henderson County High School has “graduated” from the NMSI grant. The challenge now is to seek other revenue to continue the NMSI model and build upon the success of the current AP programs.

Exam costs in 2013 were $89 per exam. In the past, students who have qualified for federal free/reduced lunch have received discounted exam fees, paying only $10 per AP Exam. Funds for fee reductions, however, are always dependent upon annual federal funding. Henderson County High School’s goal is to continue to secure funds to offset exam fees for all students with a special focus on those who face financial difficulties.

The high school’s AP programs have generated interest from a parent group. AP Catalyst is a project spearheaded by two parent leaders, Deneen Johnson and Donna Jo Bugg. These parent leaders are members of the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) in Kentucky. They are joining with teachers and administrators to raise monies to assist Henderson County High School students with the cost of the Advanced Placement Exams during the 2013-2014 school year. The CIPL members from Henderson County High School have been working with the AP Coordinators to provide business and community leaders information on the importance of supporting the AP programs. They are enlisting parent volunteers and teachers to conduct fundraisers and acquire donations to continue to pay for half the cost of exam fees for all students taking AP classes. Most recently, they have received a $10,000 donation from The Preston Foundation to assist with the AP Catalyst project.

These individuals, in conjunction with the school system, are seeking a unique opportunity to become more engaged in improving educational opportunities for local children.

If you are interested in more information or donating to Henderson County High School’s AP Catalyst Project, please contact Andrea Tilly, Henderson County High School AP teacher, at 270.831.8800. If you are interested in your student being enrolled in an AP course, please contact your child’s guidance counselor or HCHS Principal Sally Sugg at 831-8800.

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