Heritage (HHS), Rockdale County (RCHS) and Salem (SHS) high schools along with the Rockdale Career Academy (RCA) were named 2012 Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Schools by Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

“We are extremely proud of all of our schools for continuing to place an emphasis on rigor,” said Dr. Samuel King, superintendent of Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS). “I commend the students, parents, teachers and administrators for this state-level recognition for the second consecutive year. All of our schools are increasing our Advanced Placement offerings and the number of students participating throughout the district. Research clearly indicates that students who take Advanced Placement courses are more likely to seek and complete higher education. Therefore, our goal is to see more students across all subgroups enroll and succeed in our Advanced Placement program.”

Both Heritage and Rockdale were recognized in the AP Access and Support category and the AP STEM Schools category. “I congratulate my students, faculty, support staff and parents for this accomplishment,” says Heritage Principal Greg Fowler. “Our sustained concentration on rigorous coursework prepares our students to be successful in the most challenging courses. Students are recognizing the benefits of taking AP courses, which may further opportunities in their future.”

Salem High School and the Rockdale Career Academy join HHS and RCHS in the category of AP STEM Schools. “With this recognition, we reaffirm our commitment to raising the bar for all students,” says SHS Principal Tonya Bloodworth. “I am honored to celebrate this accomplishment with such a dedicated faculty and I am thrilled that our students are taking ownership in their education by choosing to engage in such high-level academic courses.”

“Rockdale Career Academy is proud to receive this award along with the other high schools,” says Dr. Miki Edwards, CEO of RCA. “Our ongoing partnership with them to offer students multiple opportunities for rigorous coursework is very important to our academy’s mission. Our AP instructors do an excellent job and we are so very proud of what they do for our students.”

Rockdale County High School was also named in a third category, AP STEM Achievement. “Receiving this kind of recognition energizes us to continue our efforts to increase rigor for all students,” says Principal Georgi Nour. “This year we have created additional opportunities for AP support and acceleration through “flex” time so that all students have the tools necessary to reach for the next level. Being recognized in three categories for the second consecutive year is evidence that our creative focus is working. In addition, our Magnet program is an outstanding model for advanced STEM opportunities and innovation in those concentrated program areas.”

Advanced Placement classes and exams are administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. AP classes offer rigorous college-level learning opportunities to students in high school. Students who earn a three, four or five on the AP exams may receive college credit. RCPS offers AP courses at every high school, including the Rockdale Career Academy and Virtual Campus. Examples of courses include: U.S. History, World History, Economics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Statistics, American Literature, World Literature and Art.

The 2012 AP Honor Schools are named in five categories, based on the results of AP exams: – AP CHALLENGE SCHOOLS: Schools with fewer than 900 students with students testing in the four core areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science – AP ACCESS & SUPPORT SCHOOLS: Schools with 30% of AP test takers that are African-American or Hispanic and at least 30% of all AP exams scoring 3 or higher – AP MERIT SCHOOLS: Schools with at least 20% of students taking AP exams and at least half of the AP exams scoring a 3 or higher – AP STEM SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics B, AP Physics C, AP Computer Science) – AP STEM ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOLS: Schools with students testing in at least two AP math courses and two AP science courses and at least 40% of the exam scores on AP math and AP science exams earning scores of 3 or higher.