PV Honored on 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll
Kayla Leonard '20
18 January 2019
Passaic Valley recently became one of 373 school districts in the United States and Canada honored with a position on the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll, administered by the College Board. This placement recognizes schools with an increasing number of students taking AP courses and a rise in the number of those students achieving an exam score of 3 or higher.
This accomplishment marks the third time PV held a position on the rolll, following placements on the 5th and 6th years.
To be included on the AP District Honor Roll, participation in Advanced Placement courses must increase by at least 4% in large districts, 6% in medium districts, and 11% in small districts. Last year, PV exceeded this criteria with a 22% increase.
PV's staff, administration, and guidance counselors regularly encourage students to take on challenging academic programs, making their resumes more competitive in the college application process. “Students want to be challenged and enjoy being in an environment that encourages the expression of diverse ideas," said AP Program Coordinator Mr. William Pantale. "Our teachers do a wonderful a wonderful job fostering that environment."
According to the College Board, achieving placement on the Honor Roll shows that the district is "successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP."
"I think that the greatest factor that contributed to this achievement is the fact that the students and the teachers are vested in the work that needs to be done," says Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo. "This is really about everyone making a commitment to excellence."
The AP United States History class, taught by Mr. Robert Block, has had an average exam score of 3.7 for the past 5 years. The tests and assignments given in class are all structured similarly to the format of the AP exam, as preparation for the big test in May.
"The preparation that I specifically went through before my APUSH exam last year was worth a month of review," said Jocelyn Martinez '19. This long period of preparation is in addition to the constant studying for regular assignments. However, most students found that their continuous dedication throughout the year and the classwork they completed made them feel prepared for the test.
AP Language & Composition teacher Ms. Jamie Peters also values the importance of student growth through the class, rather than solely focusing on the AP exam. "While the test is important, the skills fostered and mastered are the focus of daily instruction and assessments," she noted. "What I love most about [the course] is the level of rigor and depth of analysis I am able to walk my students through when we read the variety of texts we cover in our curriculum."
“The joys of [being an AP teacher] is really trying to open the eyes of very good students and to understand history at a level that they didn’t know really existed,” mentioned Mr. Block. “It’s really trying to teach them beyond what they have come to expect about history and to push them and challenge them.”
It is rewarding to both AP students and teachers to know that their hard work is paying off. “As an AP student I put in a massive amount of work every single day in order to succeed in my classes,” stated Martinez. “AP classes are extremely challenging and whenever I make progress due to my hard work and determination, I receive a sense of pride."
“To be acknowledged for all the hard work we put into the school year and our classes serves as motivation to continue putting in our best efforts to succeed in every course,” added Julianna Perro ‘20.
Numerous AP courses have been added over the past couple of years, ranging from AP Human Geography to AP Language and Composition. The next course of action is to look into even more studies to further meet the needs of all students. The new Program of Studies offers more courses and opportunities for students to excel academically.
"Any student who makes growth and works hard in any classes is a success. Trying your best is the most important thing you can do both in life and of course when you are a student," stated Dr. Cardillo.