Manchester Named To National AP District Honor Roll

Top row - Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Wood, Mrs. Goley, Mrs. P. White, Mrs. Paturzo, Mr. Hudak; Bottom row - Mrs. DiLeo, Mrs. Ferrone, Ms. Steudler, Mrs. L. White, Mrs. Weber, Mrs. Staples. Missing: Mr. Schmidt, Mr. DeSilva. (Photo by Jill Ocone)

MANCHESTER – Manchester Township School District is one of only 39 districts in NJ and 373 in the United States and Canada to be named to the College Board’s 9th Annual AP (Advanced Placement) District Honor Roll.

According to the College Board website, “The AP District Honor Roll recognizes school districts committed to increasing access to AP for underrepresented students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. AP District Honor Roll recipients are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”

Inclusion on the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, for the following criteria:

  • Increased participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts.
  • Increased or maintained percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of students in those same groups scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2018 scoring a 3 or higher than those in 2016, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

“The Manchester Township High School administration worked collaboratively with the district administrators, guidance counselors, AP teachers and students in building a culture of academic excellence through the AP program,” said Principal Dennis Adams.

Former Vice Principal, Stacie Ferrara, who coordinated the MTHS AP program for five years, said that the high school administration created goals that targeted increasing the the number of AP courses offered to students and increasing the number of students taking an AP course. She said that special attention was placed on students taking an AP course for the first time. The PSAT score of 10th and 11th graders, provided by College Board through the AP Potential report, was shared with students and parents to increase access and invite students to consider AP courses in their class selection. Parents and students were invited to a special information night about AP options.

Sixteen AP courses were offered at MTHS for the 2018-19 school year, the most ever. One AP course, AP World History, was made available to 9th graders for the first time. The school changed to a block scheduling format in 2016, which allows students to take up to four additional courses over four years and also increased the amount of class time available for research, lab work and field experience. For instance, the AP Environmental Science students developed an ongoing authentic research project with nearby BASF Corporation in Toms River to investigate the deer population. They are able to travel there during their normal 85-minute class time to collect data.

The number of AP courses offered, enrollment in AP courses, and the number of AP test takers at MTHS continues to increase each year, said Principal Adams. “MTHS is proud of this recognition by the College Board and we congratulate all of our AP teachers and students for their commitment to our AP program.”

“I am very pleased with the recognition that our High School has received being named to the AP District Honor Roll,” Superintendent David Trethaway stated. “This is a recognition of the efforts of our high school administration, staff, parents and students. It is very encouraging to see that when our students are given opportunities to enroll in challenging Advanced Placement courses and dual college credit courses, they have responded in such a positive way. I am very proud of all that were involved in earning this recognition.”