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The Indiana Department of Education announced its 2018 Advanced Placement (AP) Award recipients this week, and a pair of area schools made the list.

Tipton and Tri-Central high schools were among the 54 schools in the state selected for the award. To be selected, schools needed to have at least 25 percent of its 2018 graduating class receive a 3, 4 or 5 on an AP exam, according to an IDOE release.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick recognized the 2018 AP award recipients at a Statehouse celebration on Wednesday at the Indiana Statehouse North Atrium.

Tri-Central made the list with a 33.9 percent rate of 2018 graduates scoring at 3 or above on an AP exam, while Tipton was at 28.6 percent.

“I think it speaks very well of our teachers and our students,” Tri-Central Superintendent Dave Driggs said. “We’re proud to have that recognition.”

Tri-Central has earned the award multiple times, with an increasing percentage over each of the past three years. In 2016, 29 percent of Tri-Central graduates received the necessary AP exam score, while that number jumped to 31 percent in 2017.

“We’ve been fortunate to have that success quite a few years in a row,” Driggs said. It’s always been a big focus here having success and getting our students involved in the AP classes. We’ve got some very dedicated teachers that work the kids pretty hard and get them prepared for that.

“One of the things that we do for a school our size is we offer eight different AP classes and kids can take them as young as a sophomore so they can get started early and take two or three a year and get the whole package of it,” Driggs added. “I think that’s part of it and then word of mouth and also knowing there is a good chance for some success. Parents and students both want to maybe take advantage of that and get credit for some classes without having to take them at college.”

According to the IDOE release, AP is a research-based method to facilitate student participation and success through delivery of college-level courses and corresponding exams during high school, to qualified high school students.

Research suggests students who perform well in AP courses are predicted to not only outperform their peers, but have greater college success. For the 2017-2018 school year, 13,403 students passed at least one AP exam with a 3 or better. This is a 9 percent increase over the prior year.

“Research shows access, participation, and success in AP courses better prepare students for the rigors of post-secondary academics,” McCormick said in the release. “I applaud our 2018 award recipients for meeting the demands of Advanced Placement work. Once again, Indiana schools are providing students with tools for success in the next four decades, not just the next four years.”

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