Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Trinity High School among Select Schools to Receive AP Honor Roll Recognition from College Board

Trinity High School among Select Schools to Receive AP Honor Roll Recognition from College Board

Trinity High School in Camp Hill is one of 4,570 schools across the country to be recognized for its efforts in creating Advanced Placement (AP) programs that are delivering results and broadening access for its students.

The College Board announced earlier this month that Trinity has merited the AP School Honor Roll Award, a recognition that reflects a school’s commitment to build a college-going culture, provide opportunities for students to earn college credit, and maximize their students’ college readiness.
In order for a school to be recognized on the AP School Honor Roll in a given year, at least 40 percent of its graduating class must have taken at least one AP exam during high school; at least 25 percent of the graduating class must have scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam; and at least two percent of the graduating class must have taken five or more AP exams, with at least one or two of the tests occurring in their freshman or sophomore year.

In its essence, the AP honor is given to schools that create a culture of college preparedness.

“Many schools offer AP courses, but when you drill down and see how successful their students are in taking the test, that’s what this award is speaking to,” said Trinity’s principal, John Cominsky.

“It is one thing to offer AP courses, and Trinity offers more than a dozen. It’s another thing to have those students feel confident enough to actually sit for the exam,” he said.

Among last year’s 110-member graduating class at Trinity, 63 students took at least one AP exam, and 46 students passed at least one AP exam. Those numbers earned Trinity a Silver Award in the AP Honor Roll recognition, a distinction only nine percent of eligible schools received.

Taking an AP exam in any subject is a daunting task, said Eileen Poplaski, Trinity’s Vice Principal and Director of Studies. She also teaches AP United States History, for which she expects the juniors in her class to take the AP exam.

“It is a standard that an AP exam can take three hours or more,” Poplaski said, with multiple-choice questions based on a prompt, short-answer questions, and full-length essays requiring supportive documents.

“In preparing for an AP exam, students have to learn how to write essays, how to analyze documents in a short amount of time, how to present a thesis and support their answer, and practice critical thinking,” Poplaski said. “It is a lot for students to do, but they’ve been successful at it.”

There is a broad range of AP classes, from mathematics and history to English, science and the arts.

“When a student wants to take an AP course here, they can do so. The AP classes aren’t so exclusive at our school that you can’t try one,” Cominsky said, pointing to the popular AP U.S. Government class, which has among the largest number of students year after year. It’s taught by David Geisel, who annually serves the College Board as an AP Test Reader. “He is one of the drivers of Trinity capturing this award, and a reason why the students are excelling,” Cominsky said.

“We’re celebrating some very gifted and dedicated students with this award, but the teachers are also to be commended, because they’re teaching for the students to achieve on the test,” he said. AP exams are scored 1-5, with 3 being a passing grade. A score of 3 or higher can translate into college credits, based on the school of choice and the student’s major.

“This AP award is just one piece of what we celebrate academically. We have students who come to us with an academic that hasn’t been strong, and by the time they’re in 11th grade, they’re exceeding. They may never be recognized by the College Board, but we celebrate them just as well,” Cominsky said.

“All of our Diocesan schools are taking as many students as we can possibly serve, and we’re still achieving on a high level, because that’s the Gospel mandate. Our schools have a great breadth of student representation, and we’re celebrating them all,” he said.

Learn more about Trinity High School at www.thsrocks.us.

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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