Southwick is one of the state’s 46 public school districts recognized by the College Board for expanding access to advanced placement classes, or maintaining or improving the percent of students scoring a 3 or higher out of 5 on the tests. “It’s reaffirming. It’s good news. It’s nice to get these kinds of messages and a reaffirmation that we’re on the right track,” said John Barry,Ed,D. Superintendent Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District.
With his office located inside the Powder Mill Middle School, Superintendent Barry attributes the success to preparing students for more grueling coursework starting at a young age. “We’re in this pre-AP program and what we’re trying to do is increase rigor in all of our coursework, starting in our middle school curriculum. What this is intended to do is lead to better instruction overall but also, at the high school level to perhaps further increase AP education,” he stated.
This is the first time the town has been included on the list. Southwick Regional High School Principal Pamela Hunter says the students enthusiasm shows since the AP Government course is the most popular. “The students don’t know about the award yet but they are looking forward to college and all of our seniors are finishing their college applications and one of the really nice things is we have students taking more than 1 AP course and that really does help in the college application process,” she said.
Hunter says that last year, the school achieved something it never did before, everyone who took the English AP test passed.
Of the 550 kids at the high school, 11% are enrolled in AP courses.
Other local school districts recognized include Westfield, Amherst, South Hadley, Hampden-Wilbraham, and Tantasqua.