By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

Gardendale High School is among 12 high schools in the state that will receive a grant to enhance Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

GHS will receive more than $500,000, and possibly up to $700,000, according to principle Dr. Anna Vacca.

“It’s based on the number of teachers involved in the training and the number of kids,” said Vacca.

Financial incentives include $100 for every student that makes a qualifying score on an AP math, science or English exam, and $100 for teachers for each of their students who make a qualifying score.

The funds are part of a multi-million dollar grant to the state of Alabama from the National Math and Science Initiative to strengthen AP programs in the state’s public schools, according to a press release.

The funding will launch A+ College Ready, a program to increase student participation in AP courses and performance on AP exams in math, science and English, the release stated.

GHS gets the funding beginning the next school year. Training for teachers starts in June.

“We’re sending all AP teachers to the training. If they’re already trained, they will go to advanced training,” said Vacca.

Next year, Gardendale will offer six AP courses under the grant: Two English, a statistics and three science courses.

GHS will also offer two AP history classes that are not covered by the grant.

That will be two more AP classes than the school offers this year, Vacca said.

One requirement of the grant is to have at least 130 students enrolled in AP classes next year. Vacca did not have the number of students who are enrolled in AP classes this year.

“We’re trying to encourage more kids,” she said. “This should enhance the total instructional program. Teachers who have been trained in this program should do a better job of teaching the classes. It should improve the total quality of learning for the whole school.”

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