AP in a District
Copiague Public Schools
Copiague, New York
In 2012, the Copiague School District was selected by the College Board as an AP District of the Year for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam.
“We improved the honors curriculum at the middle school level, and tried as best we could to align it so that these students are going to come out fully prepared to start AP course work. And it’s working,” said Superintendent Charles A. Leunig.
low-income public high school graduates took at least one AP Exam
Teacher Michelle Penyy expanded Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School’s AP program by adding Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and U.S. Government and Politics. “Because I am Latina I feel I can make a connection with the students. I think that they are going to work a little bit harder because they know I recognize what they’re going through,” said Penyy. “We have so many more kids in the AP program that now other students are looking up to our students in AP, so the entire culture [of our school] is changing as a result.“
low-income public high school graduates scored 3 or higher on an AP Exam during high school
“Many [of the] students come from … El Salvador, [the] Dominican Republic [and] Colombia. … We also have a very high poverty rate in the district, which makes it challenging,” said Matthew Miles, an AP English Language and Composition teacher. “We show them the type of learning that propels them toward college, which is different from what we’ve seen in traditional high school classrooms. When they get a little confidence and receive a small reward, they thrive.”