ETHS May Add 3 New Advanced Placement Courses

The addition of Physics 1, Physics 2 and United States Government and Politics would bring the total number of AP courses to 29 at ETHS.

Evanston Township High School students could soon have three new Advanced Placement (AP) courses to choose from.

Administrators have proposed adding AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2 and AP United States Government and Politics during the 2014-2015 school year, according to a press release. If the school board approves the new courses, ETHS would have a total of 29 AP classes offered. 

AP Physics 1 and 2 are designed to replace the current AP Physics B program, which was recently revamped by the College Board, according to the release. Meanwhile, the AP Gov course is in high demand among students, and covers the constitutional basis of the U.S. government, political beliefs, public policy and civil rights, among other topics. 

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"One of our primary aims is to increase the AP opportunities for all students while at the same time addressing our goal of attracting more first-time AP students, particularly our Black and Latino students," ETHS Advanced Placement Recruitment & Retention Coordinator Dale Leibforth said in the release. "Nationally, AP Gov ... is the fourth most popular AP course among Black/African American students and the fifth most popular among Hispanic/Latino and White students. This course is definitely a course that we want to bring to ETHS that will deeply engage all of our students at a high level."

Increasing participation by minorities in AP courses has been a focus of the high school for some time, and administrators have already seen success. In January, the high school reported that the number of non-white students taking AP courses grew from 23 percent during the 2001-2002 school year to 36 percent during the 2011-2012 school year.

Meanwhile, scores on the AP tests have also risen. Among the 60 percent of juniors and seniors who took the tests last year, 1,293 students scored 3 or higher out of a top score of 5, while 843 students scored 4 or higher. That's the highest number of exams with scores of 3, 4 or 5 in school history. 

ETHS hosted its first-ever "AP Winter Combine" last year, attracting more than 200 students to a Saturday event to learn about AP offerings. The high school is hosting a "Pathways to AP Forum" this year on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Along with ETHS freshmen, sophomores and juniors, current 7th and 8th grade students and parents or guardians are also invited to attend. The free event will offer students information on how to succeed in AP courses and why they matter in college planning.

Anyone interested in learning more about the event can contact Dale Leibforth at ethsap@eths202.org.


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