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Nashoba Valley Technical High School students taking Advanced Placement courses saw a 200 percent increase in qualifying scores from the 2015-2016 school year to 2016-2017.
Assistant Principal Jeremy Slotnick, who oversees the Advanced Placement program at Nashoba Tech, said 30 percent of the students who took AP classes last year received qualifying scores or 3 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 5), compared to just 10 percent the year before.
“We’ve seen huge gains in science,” Slotnick said.
Eight of the 11 students who took the AP Biology exam received qualifying scores, for which Slotnick credited science teacher Andrea Knowles.
In fact, three Nashoba Tech students — 2017 graduates Bryson Tang and Christian Angelucci, both of Pepperell, and current senior Maddison Caten, also of Pepperell — were named AP Scholars, and Tang was named an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Tang is now a freshman at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Angelucci is studying at the University of Massachusetts.
Nashoba Tech is in the third year of a three-year partnership with Mass Insight, a nonprofit group with a mission of transforming public schools into high-performing organizations and closing the achievement gap.
The way the partnership works is that after the three years — during which the school receives a full range of services from Mass Insight, including Saturdaytraining sessions and professional development for AP teachers — the school can opt to continue to receive certain services from Mass Insight. Slotnick said Nashoba Tech will continue the partnership in some areas.
“It has been a productive relationship, and we’d hate to cut it off completely,” Slotnick said.
Nashoba Tech currently offers AP courses in English literature, English language, U.S. history, calculus, computer science, government, physics and biology. About 80 students took more than 130 AP exams last spring.
Earlier this year, Nashoba Tech was named to the AP District Honor Roll, recognizing it as a district that has increased AP access to students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. According to the website of the College Board, which oversees the AP District Honor Roll, recipients are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.