Arroyo High School is receiving national recognition from the College Board for its success in encouraging diverse students’ participation in advanced placement (AP) courses and supporting them on the path to college success.
The academic standards and testing organization informed AHS on Oct. 24 that it has earned a place on the AP School Honor Roll for the 2022-23 school year. The College Board further recognized Arroyo with the AP Access Award, which honors schools that encourage more low-income and underrepresented minority students to take AP courses and complete at least one AP exam.
AP classes not only offer college-level content, but many colleges and universities also award students with credits toward a degree based on how they score on end-of-course tests. Wide-ranging AP course and testing opportunities are available to students at San Lorenzo and East Bay Arts high schools, as well.
“It is very obvious by our scores that everyone was committed to putting in the time and effort necessary to be successful,” said Arroyo High Principal Angela Webster. “The teachers and administrators of Arroyo High School are committed to producing students who will succeed in college, and, as such, are encouraging more students to enroll in AP courses.”
AHS offers 13 advanced placement classes, with a total of 29 sections. The greatest number of students participate in AP U.S. History, World History and U.S. Government and Politics. Other AP classes taught at Arroyo are: biology, physics, calculus, statistics, computer science, Chinese, English literature and composition, English language and composition, studio art and psychology. Some students also participate through self-study and take AP tests on their own.
AHS Assistant Principal Wanda Black said counselors begin sharing the advantages of AP courses to all students when they are planning their class schedules for the coming year.
Although maintaining an at least an overall C average is a common standard to measure readiness for advanced placement coursework, students achieving slightly below that are given an opportunity to sign up for AP classes that don’t require prerequisites, she said.
“During our yearly grade-level, one-on-one meetings, we encourage students to challenge themselves with additional reading, writing and spending more time on homework, they have the opportunity to take an AP course,” Black said.
Some AP courses, such as calculus and statistics, require completion of a prerequisite course with a C or higher grade. Some teaches assign AP summer work as a prerequisite.
In the College Board's award letter to Arroyo, Trevor Parker, senior vice president for AP and instruction, underscored how all participating students benefit, both in high school and beyond.
“Research shows students who take AP courses and exams are more likely to attend college and graduate on time,” Packer wrote. “And even for those who don’t earn college credit, advanced coursework provides early exposure to college-level work and contributes to a college-going school culture.”