Montana Public Schools Improve On AP Exams - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Montana Public Schools Improve On AP Exams

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BELGRADE -

Montana Public Schools are experiencing a 38% increase of students both taking and passing advanced placement courses in the last 10 years.

"They have an opportunity to take a rigorous course in a particular subject area," said Madalyn Quinlan, Chief of Staff at Montana Office of Public Instruction. "They'll get more depth out of that class then some of the border courses."

For a student to receive college credit for the exam, they must score a three or better on the exam. In the last ten years, the number of Montanans scoring a three or better has increased by 56%.

"We're creating more opportunity for students to take the AP courses. There is also an increase focused on getting ready for college and jump starting the process is high school if they can," said Quinlan.

Belgrade School District currently offers 10 AP classes. This past year, the district added two new AP courses, AP statistics and AP chemistry.

"There was a student interest and we want our students to have that advantage going into college and higher education," said Mark Halgren, Belgrade Schools Curriculum Director.

In 2009, the district issued 139 exams. In 2013, the district issued 274. In 2009, 45 students passed the AP exam. In 2013, 97 students passed the AP exam.

Halgren said the district has been working hard improve those numbers.

"We've increased the frequently of our training to staff, so that they go to training every three years," said Halgren. "We are really working to make sure our students understand what it is to take an AP class."

Halgren said the district will continue to look at offering other AP courses, as students demand them.

"We'll continue to access student interest in classes, our staff interest and department interest in expanding those opportunities," said Halgren.

The Belgrade District began offering dual enrollment courses this year, which gives students an opportunity to take college level classes in high school.

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