Three area high schools have shown significant gains in AP enrollments since joining a grant-funded program
In the five years since Massachusetts became one of six states to launch a grant-funded program to boost high school Advanced Placement offerings, participating districts have made gains in both enrollments and qualifying scores, according to program reports.
The Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative has provided close to $1 million to three local districts: Easthampton, Northampton and South Hadley. Funds have paid for Saturday study sessions, teacher training, supplies and subsidies for exam fees for the college-level AP tests.
Northampton, now in its fifth year of the initiative, has received a total of $383,300; Easthampton, now in its fourth year, has received $181,005; and South Hadley, now in its third year, has received $245,900. Allocations are made using a formula based on the number of participating students and teachers.
Some highlights of AP results in the three districts:
∎ Easthampton High School: Enrollment in AP math, science and English classes has risen from 12 to 114 over the past three years, according to the initiative. The number of students earning qualifying scores has grown from 6 to 70 in that period. In its second year in the program, EHS posted the highest one-year increase in scores, statewide, of schools with more than five passing scores.
∎ Northampton High School: AP enrollment in the three subjects has risen by more than 102 percent in four years and the percentage of students earning top scores of 4 or 5 (college-level As and Bs) has risen by 160 percent.
∎ South Hadley High School: In the last two years, enrollment in the three AP subjects has grown from 92 to 295. Qualifying scores have risen from 57 to 112. Enrollment in all AP courses offered at the high school has risen from 82 the year before the grant to 185 this year, the school reports.
— BARBARA SOLOW