Monday, August 12, 2013

AP + STEM Coming to Biloxi!

Great editorial from Arthur McMillan who is the Superintendent of Schools in Biloxi Mississippi.  Through a generous grant from the Office of Naval Research, the National Math and Science Initiative Comprehensive AP program will be coming to the Gulf Coast!

From his editorial entitled "Biloxi is ready to meet the STEM challenge"

"In fact, this year, as part of its involvement in the prestigious National Math and Science Initiative, Biloxi is offering an expanded array of college-level or advanced placement courses. The AP lineup includes calculus AB, statistics, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, English language, English literature and others. The courses are open to all students, not just military dependents. Teachers from across the district participated in specialized training this summer with other educators from all across the nation to further prepare in these areas.

But more than that, the Biloxi program also will include Saturday and monthly study sessions throughout the year to help better prepare students for AP exams. Drawings and prizes will be awarded for students participating in the extra study sessions -- as well as $100 paid to each student who scores a 3 or above on the placement exams. All the incentives will be awarded by the National Math and Science Initiative. Depending on the college and program of their choice, with a score of 3 or above, students will also receive credit for that class in college. It's a win-win for all involved.

his exciting program and the opportunities it presents for our students and parents are the result of several factors. First, there's a $388,507 grant from the Office of Naval Research. We appreciate that support. Second, there's Keesler Air Force Base being here in Biloxi, right in the center of the Biloxi Public School District. And third, there's the record of hard work and accomplishment by our students, teachers and administrators.

We expect great things from our students here in Biloxi Public Schools, and we have found that by setting the bar high, our students respond to the challenge and accomplish more. With the National Math and Science Initiative, expect enrollment in math, science, and English AP courses at Biloxi High School to increase by 74 percent, and qualifying scores are expected to increase by a whopping 215 percent.

At the same time, our teachers and administrators are held to higher standards. They take part in our reteach and retest program. This past school year, teachers from every school site devoted time on Saturdays to help students prepare for the all-important state testing as well as the ACT and the AP exams.

It's all part of our "Excellence … From all … For all." It's the standard and the expectation here in Biloxi."

Love that last line and we love working with Biloxi!

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