Franklin County Technical School AP programs win prestigious honor

  • Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls. January 8, 2019 Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 1/9/2019 10:20:08 AM

TURNERS FALLS – Franklin County Technical School is one of the top schools in Massachusetts in increasing access to and student performance in Advanced Placement programs.

The College Board has named Franklin County Technical School, along with only 17 other schools in Massachusetts, to its 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll. More than 370 school districts across the United States and Canada were named to this year’s list.

The school’s Advanced Placement students were cited for scoring a three or higher on their AP exams. Franklin County Technical School was also recognized for its diverse student population and the overall participation of students taking the AP exams.

FCTS offers AP courses in English Language and Composition, Computer Science, and AP Statistics. In all, 58 students took the AP tests, and the number of exams taken was 68, as some students took more than one.  

Advanced Placement programs were first developed five years ago when FCTS Superintendent Richard J. Martin was the school’s principal. He credits school committee member Mark Maloney for his pursuit of having an AP initiative at FCTS. Martin added that the dedication of the program’s teachers and students has begun to pay off.

“We had to train our teachers how to teach AP courses, and convince students on why it’s important to take AP courses,” Martin said. “AP courses can count as college credit. To get this recognition shows that we’re moving in the right direction and that’s very encouraging. It’s an indication that the school is experiencing academic rigor at a level it’s never experienced before.”

National data from 2018 show approximately 50% of underrepresented students with a high degree of readiness for AP are participating in the program.

The AP District Honor Roll recognizes school districts committed to increasing access to Advanced Placement programs for underrepresented students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. AP District Honor Roll recipients are committed to expanding the availability of Advanced Placement courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

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