Va. Beach Schools report higher enrollment in Advance Placement classes

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — School officials in Virginia Beach say enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) classes is on the rise.

The College Board says a record number of students took AP exams and their performance was better than ever before.

More than 6,825 Virginia Beach students were enrolled in AP classes during the 2015-16 school year. That’s an increase of 380 students from the previous year. The greatest one-year increase was for African-American students. There were nine percent more African-American students enrolled in an AP course in 2015-16 than in 2014-15.

More than 1,350 students in the division were designated as 2016 AP Scholars for earning scores of three or higher on at least three AP exams and 68 VBCPS students were named National AP Scholars for earning an average score of four or higher on all AP exams they have taken and at least eight exams during their high school career. 

AP classes help students prepare for the demands of college classes and can help them potentially earn college credit.

To help kids prepare, Virginia Beach is piloting an AP readiness program for underclassmen interested in taking future AP English and math. It’s one of only five school divisions doing that across the country.

Earlier this fall, the division reported its best SAT scores since 2008, record on-time graduation and dropout rates, and an increase in the number of schools earning full state accreditation.