Toms River Regional Schools is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada and one of only 39 in New Jersey being honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To be included on the 9th Annual Honor Roll, Toms River Regional Schools had to, since 2016, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.
“I’m immensely proud of what our district leadership team has accomplished when it comes to increasing our AP offerings and refining the process to create greater accessibility for all students,” said Superintendent David Healy. “But I’m especially proud of our teachers and students, because while we’ve greatly increased the number of AP courses and exams, performance within advanced placement has remained strong, a testament to their hard work, talent, and dedication. It’s been a recurring theme here, that when we challenge our students and raise the bar, they consistently meet and exceed our expectations.
“We anticipate our AP participation and performance will only improve moving forward. This noteworthy accomplishment did not happen overnight, but started years ago at the intermediate level. While we’re thrilled to be witnessing the benefits of that initiative today, we’re excited to see how increased rigor from K through 12 will manifest itself in the years to come.”
National data from 2018 show that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. 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 equitably opened. Toms River Regional Schools is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“Success in Advanced Placement is a combination of students’ own motivation and the opportunities educators provide for them,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and Instruction at the College Board. “I’m inspired by the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to earn college credit during high school.”
"I’m especially proud of our teachers and students, because while we’ve greatly increased the number of AP courses and exams, performance within advanced placement has remained strong." - Superintendent David Healy
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.
“Everything we do here at Toms River Regional Schools is geared toward student achievement and empowering our students to succeed now and well into the future,” said Board President Russell Corby. “Clearly, our students are responding positively to the increased rigor and challenges of AP coursework, and our educators are placing our students in a position to succeed. This is a great achievement and wonderful news for our community, our parents and our students.”
In 2018, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
Increase 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 the 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+ on at least one AP Exam; and
- Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2018 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2016 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.
When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30% or more are underrepresented minority students (American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) and/or 30% or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.
The complete 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/score-reports-data/awards/honor-roll