For the second consecutive year, Whitehall City Schools has earned recognition from the College Board.

Whitehall is one of 250 school districts in the United States and Canada named to the College Board's 10th annual AP District Honor Roll.

The board is a nonprofit organization formed in 1899 designed to help parents and students with college planning, financial aid and other issues related to postsecondary education. It has run the Advanced Placement program since 1955.

Last year was the first time Whitehall was named to the honor roll, said Ty Debevoise, director of communications and marketing for Whitehall schools.

The criteria for making the honor roll include achieving an increase in access to Advanced Placement courses for a broader number of students and maintaining or improving the rate at which students earned scores of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement exam, said Whitehall Superintendent Brian Hamler.

Only eight of the 611 school districts in Ohio achieved the distinction, Hamler said.

Whitehall was the only Ohio district and one of only seven nationally, he said, to make the AP District Honor Roll and meet all three of these criteria:

* Achieve the honor roll for multiple years

* Have 30% or greater enrollment of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches

* Have 30% or greater enrollment of African American and Hispanic students.

"I am extremely proud of the work our high school has done over the past two years," Hamler said Dec. 16. "(We) have increased access to Advanced Placement courses for a broader number of students and improved the rate in which students are passing the AP exam."

Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board, credited the recognized districts with increasing access to higher education to a broader spectrum of students.

"We are pleased to honor the teachers and administrators who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to advance through AP," Packer said in a press release from the College Board announcing the latest honor roll.

For inclusion on the 10th annual AP District Honor Roll, districts must have met the following criteria, according to a press release from the College Board:

* Increase participation and access to AP courses by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium-sized districts and at least 11% in small districts

* Increase or maintain the percentage of minority students taking exams and increase or maintain the percentage of minority students scoring 3 or higher on at least one AP exam

* Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2019 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2017 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

The complete 10th annual AP District Honor Roll can be viewed at tinyurl.com/10thaphonorroll.

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@ThisWeekCorvo