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Bemidji Area Schools named to AP Achievement List by College Board

Bemidji Area Schools was recently recognized by the College Board for its advancement placement program.

The school district is one of 388 districts in the nation to have been placed on the AP Achievement List for allowing a broader pool of students to take AP classes while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher.

AP courses are offered in high schools to prepare students to take exams offered by the College Board. The program gives students the opportunity to take college-level courses while in high school to potentially earn college credit.

In order to make the AP Achievement List, school districts must increase its student access to AP classes by at least 4 percent in large districts, 7 percent in medium districts and 11 percent in small districts, among other requirements.

Representatives with the Minnesota Department of Education and the College Board visited Bemidji High School in October to learn more about the school's advanced placement programs.

Jeff Peterson, director of state government relations with the College Board, presented the school with a plaque recognizing the school for having a commendable AP program.

"I am extremely proud of our students and staff for continually raising the bar and achieving high standards," BHS Principal Brian Stefanich said. "BHS has made significant gains in increasing our participation, performance and expectations through our AP program."

According to Stefanich, BHS' low-income and minority students' participation in AP classes has more than tripled in the past three years.

"Being one of 12 schools in the state to be named on the list is very rewarding for our students, staff and community," Stefanich added.

BHS has offered AP courses since 1992. Currently, the school offers 11 advanced placement classes and two pre-advanced placement courses in social studies and English.

The high school introduced pre-AP courses in 2008-09. Today, BHS offers three sections of pre-AP social studies and two sections of pre-AP English.