NORTH LOGAN – For the second year in a row the Cache County School District has been placed on the AP District Honor Roll. The honor is given to school districts that expand opportunities and improve student performance in Advanced Placement classes. The district is also the only one in the entire state of Utah to make the list this year. If a high school student scores a 3, 4 or a 5 on an AP exam at the conclusion of the class, that student can receive college credit.
The AP District Honor Roll highlights school districts that perform well in three key areas: increased participation in AP classes, increased representation of under-represented students, and improved performance over the last three years.
Cache County School District Public Information Officer Tim Smith says it’s an honor that reflects the ongoing efforts taking place throughout the district.
“One is to increase our overall participation in Advanced Placement classes and what are called Concurrent Enrollment classes, which allow students to enroll in a course that is taught and which they receive college credit for while in high school,” Smith explains. “The number of AP tests that we take, I think we rank #11 overall in the state for the percentage of students passing the AP test.”
AP classes are offered on such subjects as Government, English, Biology, U.S. History, Calculus and more. Participation in AP classes is high throughout the state of Utah. The state ranks 7th nationally and is #1 in the intermountain region.
While that is a solid mark in and of itself, Smith says the Cache County School District shines because of its efforts to help students with low socioeconomic status or in minority groups to prepare themselves for and participate in AP classes.
“That helps us make sure those students are college bound and have some post-secondary plans after they finish high school,” claims Smith. “Cache is also one of the top school districts in the state for offering concurrent enrollment classes.
“To give you an idea, last year our students at our four high schools completed over 13,000 college credits. That’s a lot of credits in a one year span. That saves them an incredible amount of money when they go on to our universities in the state of Utah because that tuition rate at the school level is greatly reduced compared to what they pay on campus.”
Participation in and success with AP classes begins with early efforts throughout the district, Smith explains, notably its efforts to have students reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. The Cache County School District leads the state in early literacy, helping students learn to read so they can read to learn.
“We have 88% of our (students) reading on grade level by the end of year three. That cascades up to our math programs, our science programs, our reading programs. If you do a data dive, the Cache County School District leads the state on almost every indicator.”
“As students gain confidence in elementary school and gain confidence in middle school,” he continues, “they are more likely to take those courses as they reach the high school level because they’re already on a trajectory.”
In surrounding states, one school district made the honor roll in Arizona, four in Colorado, two in Nevada, and two in Wyoming (Teton County School District in Jackson Hole and Uinta County School District in Evanston). Idaho did not have any school districts that made the honor roll.