Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods recognized Cairo High School last week for increasing the number of students participating in Advanced Placement classes, naming it to the list of A.P. Honor Schools.
To be recognized as an A.P. Expansion School, schools must experience 25 percent growth in A.P. student participation from May 2019 to May 2020 and a minimum of 215 students testing in May 2019, according to information from the State Department of Education. The only other school in Southwest Georgia to make the list was Thomas County Central High School.
Local educators say they are pleased with recognition.
Tammy Donalson, assistant principal and instructional coordinator for Cairo High School, says, “It has always been important to C.H.S. that A.P. classes be accessible to all students. Cairo High has been able to add classes through the years and thanks to the commitment from the Grady County Board of Education, all students are allowed to take the exam for the class with no cost to the student. I am truly honored to have been a part of the program and to have watched its growth.”
Dr. Kermit Gilliard, superintendent of Grady County Schools, says, “I am proud of our C.H.S. students for stepping up to take more rigorous classes. Research shows that students that take more difficult courses in high school are more successful in college. I am also proud of the number of teachers at C.H.S. that have taken their summers to be trained to teach A.P. courses.”
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to this year’s A.P. Honor Schools,” Superintendent Woods said. “I commend them for their hard work to build strong Advanced Placement programs and, as a result, provide high-quality opportunities for Georgia students.”
Overall, 38.5 percent of Georgia’s class of 2020 took an A.P. exam while in high school. This is a slight decrease compared to the class of 2019 – of those students, 40.5 percent took at least one A.P. exam. The national participation rate dropped slightly as well, from 39.9 to 38.3 percent.
Data released by the College Board last week shows Georgia’s public-school class of 2020 has the 17th-highest Advanced Placement pass rate in the nation.
“I’m so proud of the class of 2020 for their continued accomplishments, and extremely pleased to see that Georgia’s students maintained their strong performance on AP exams even given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their final year,” Superintendent Woods said. “In a challenging time for schools and students, this is good news as we continue our work to expand advanced learning opportunities to all students.”