In recognition of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s efforts to promote advanced learning opportunities for its students, the school district has been placed on on the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for the 10th consecutive year.
An international program that honored 250 school districts in the United States and Canada, the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll recognizes districts that show a commitment to increasing the availability of advanced placement classes for underrepresented students and maintaining or increasing the percentage of students who earn high AP Exam scores -- a score of 3 or higher.
This marks a particular milestone for the SRVUSD, which is the only school district in the world to have been placed on the list every year since the program’s inception in 2011.
“This honor would not be possible without the commitment of all SRVUSD teachers and staff who put our students on a path to success starting in elementary school, through middle school and ultimately in high school classrooms,” Superintendent Rick Schmitt said in a statement. “We have made it a priority to ensure each student learns at high levels by providing equitable access to a current, relevant and world-class curriculum and quality instruction.”
One motivating factor behind the Honor Roll program is to promote participation among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students -- which historically has been low despite students from these groups being ready for such courses.
For example, according to district officials national data from 2019 shows that of students in these groups who show a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating.
To increase student participation, SRVUSD officials say the district works to remove barriers to entry such as financial restraints and in 2019 continued its policy administering the PSAT to all high school juniors free of charge.
“The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be opened equitably,” district officials said in a statement. “San Ramon Valley Unified is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”
SRVUSD officials say inclusion into the 10th annual AP District Honor Roll was based on the examination of the past three years of AP data 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 American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam.
* Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2019 scoring a three or higher than those in 2017, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students are scoring a three or higher.
In 2019, 7244 AP exams were administered to 3643 students in the SRVUSD, of which 6364 or 88% received a score of three or higher.
“The Board of Education, administration and teachers are fully committed to providing access to AP classes without the barriers of prerequisites, thereby increasing the opportunities for all students to pursue AP course offerings,” Schmitt said. “The level of student participation in AP in the SRVUSD demonstrates that the students want to engage in high levels of learning and the outcomes show that they are prepared for the rigor of the AP classroom.”
Read the complete 10th annual AP District Honor Roll results online.