Springville High School Awarded Inaugural Award by A+ College Ready

Written By:
Amanda Umphrey, Ed. S.
SHS AP Coordinator

There are amazing things going on in the classrooms at Springville High School, and it is thanks to A+ College Ready. In just three short years, SHS has risen to a state of dominance in the realm of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. In light of this achievement, SHS was just awarded an inaugural award at the A+ College Ready 10 Year Anniversary Celebration at Decatur High School. The Mary D. Boehm School of Achievement Award was created in honor of Mary D. Boehm, founding president of A+ College Ready and is given to schools that achieve a yearly goal set by A+ College Ready for three consecutive years. For the first time, only two schools in the state were recognized for this achievement. The award came with a banner, a trophy and a $2500 check to be used for scholarships for AP students.

The journey that SHS has been on over the past three years while under the A+ College Ready Program has been profound. In the first year, SHS students had the opportunity to choose between seven different AP courses. Presently, the students can choose from eleven different courses offered at the school and choose more via the ACCESS program. You may be asking what is AP, and that is a very good question. Advanced Placement is operated by the College Board, which also makes the SAT test. The AP program allows high school students to take courses designed for college difficulty while they are still in high school. At the end of an AP course, students who take an AP exam and make a qualifying score have the opportunity to earn college credit.

From year one to year three, SHS increased the number of qualifying AP scores by 256%. This past spring, SHS had 121 qualifying AP scores. The students who achieved this success were recently honored at a home football game where they were awarded a $100 gift card per every exam passed. There was $12,100 in gift cards awarded. The 2018 qualifying scores earned by SHS students are the equivalent to a minimum of 398 collegiate hours earned, which includes several four-hour college science courses. The minimum referred to means that many of the AP students scored high enough on the exams to earn six to eight collegiate hours in a subject sequence like ENG 101/102 or BIO 101/102. The following is a breakdown of per hour tuition fees for three colleges in Alabama and the potential of tuition savings from the achieved qualifying scores…

-At the University of Alabama-Birmingham, one college credit hour costs approximately $347. 398 collegiate hours X $347 = $138,106
-At Jacksonville State University, one college credit hour costs approximately $324. 398 collegiate hours X $324 = $128,952
-At Jefferson State Community College, one college credit hour costs approximately $160. 398 collegiate hours X $160 = $63,680

Much has been mentioned about the impact A+ College Ready has had on Springville High School’s AP Program. The faculty and staff cannot be left out. Without the dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work from the staff, SHS would not have been successful. The teachers have spent innumerable hours of their own time during summers and scheduled off days attending trainings, lesson planning, and grading assignments. Their time and effort is to be commended!

A+ College Ready’s slogan is “Equip, Empower, Expect More … Fostering a Culture of Innovation in Alabama Schools.”
Springville High School is the epitome of this slogan. SHS has Equipped, Empowered, Expected More AND Achieved!

Springville HS AP Staff- Row One, L-R: Amanda Umphrey-AP Coordinator, Amy Box-English, Nena Rich- English, John Paul Taruc-Biology, Brad Preston-Government; Row Two, L-R: Shannon Slaughter-U. S. History, Roxanne Saffles-Statistics, Kim Riker-Chemistry, Warren House- Physics/Environmental Science, Eddie Stevenson-Computer Science Principles, Lance Higdon-Calculus, and Virgil Winslett-Principal
Not Pictured: Jessy Bryan-Literature