Windsor High School can call itself among the finest in the nation when it comes to its Advanced Placement program.
The Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District was recently selected as one of fewer than 539 school districts in the nation honored by the College Board to be on the AP Honor Roll List.
According to Amy Heinsma, the district’s director of instruction, Weld Re-4 was one of the five districts in Colorado named to the list. Other school districts in the state receiving the honor were Boulder, Lewis-Palmer, Estes Park and Poudre.
Windsor High School is offering nine Advanced Placement courses (biology and chemistry in the science department; human geography, European history and psychology in the social studies department; music theory in the music department; statistics in the math department and literature and language/composition in the English department), and offers six dual credit courses where students can earn high school credit and college credit at the same time with a passing grade.
“We are proud of the work the high school staff has done over the past few years to offer more rigorous opportunities for our students,” Heinsma said.
Windsor High School principal Michelle Scallon said the honor proves that the high school is on the right track for academic excellence.
“Our AP program is going to continue to grow in the next few years,” Scallon said. “Next year we’re going to add another AP literature class, which will be offered in our English department, and we’re just going to focus on our academic excellence at the high school.”
Scallon said it’s a shot in the arm to see all the hard work is paying off.
“Our teachers have worked really hard. Our AP teachers and students have worked real hard,” Scallon said. “It’s nice to get recognized for their efforts.”
Heinsma said districts who earned this achievement are recognized for offering AP classes to a significantly broader pool of students while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on the AP test.
Re-4 superintendent Karen Trusler said AP courses at the high school have sparked an interest among the school community.
“That has been an interest from students, parents, staff members, and to see in the few years that we have been able to implement AP course work and to see the phenomenal enrollment, it seems like we’re on the right path and we’re meeting needs of students. What a great honor, one of five in our state.”
Heinsma said the District Honor Roll is based on examination of three years of AP data: 2010, 2011 and 2012 data from all students who took AP examinations in May of those years.
She said that within the three-year analysis, inclusion on the list is based on the following criteria:
1. Examination of three years of AP data, from 2010-12.
2. Increase in participation in/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts and at least 11 percent in small districts.
3. The percentage of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska native students taking AP exams must not decrease more than 5 percent for large and medium districts and 10 percent for small districts.
4. Performance levels must be maintained or improved when comparing the percentage of exams in 2012 with a score of 3 or higher to those in 2010, or the school has already attained a performance level in which more than 70 percent of the AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.