FMHS: A Closer Look at AP Success
KREX News Room
FRUITA, Colo.- The number of high school students in Colorado placing in Advanced Classes is one of the highest in the nation, according to the most recent AP report to the nation by the College Board.
In 2012 Colorado ranked ninth in the nation for the number of students passing the AP exams, and right here in the Grand Valley, Fruita Monument High School is proving to be extremely successful in this area.
Last year, FMHS had a total of 349 students who took 504 AP exams, and the western slope high school had over 69 percent of those students pass with a score of 3 or higher.
“It really gives them a chance to do some higher level stuff,” said Caleb Hicks, physics teacher at FMHS who teaches two AP classes a day.
These AP classes grant high school level kids college credit if they pass the end of the year exam, and Hick’s students have about a 92 percent pass rate, compared to the average nation rate which stands at 61 percent.
“I get a lot of kids that come to me and they are afraid to take physics because they know it's a lot of equations, and math, and that scares them,” said Hicks.
In order to teach the students hands-on about physics and the forces of buoyancy, he had them construct cardboard boats and race them.
“It makes it easier for them to understand the math, and the equation,” said Hicks.
These classes offer more than just a paddle and a life preserver in a pool, but officials say a crutch for life as well, since it teaches them qualities that will help them be successful.
“It increases their chance to graduate from college, not to go to college, but to graduate from college, from 36 percent possibility to 78 percent possibility,” said Jan Keirns, principal at FMHS.
FMHS offers 19 different classes each year to all their students, and last year, 32 percent of the students took at least one AP course.
“They definitely helped me out in work ethic and things like that,” said Robb Fischer, senior at FMHS.
“It’s hard but its definitely worth it,” said Janey Been, senior at FMHS.
Officials say college and work-readiness skills are both crossing over, and it's important for these students to be prepared.
“They learn time management, they learn study habits, and they learn how to take notes and how to be scholars,” said Keirns.
“I think a lot of our success comes from a lot of refinement,” said Hicks.
Since these AP classes are weighed on students’ transcripts, they're giving them higher GPAs when applying for colleges.
FMHS is currently in their first year of the Colorado Legacy Initiative, which is working to encourage more students to take AP courses in English, Math and Science.
Colorado has ranked in the top 10 nationally for AP courses, for the past six years.