The Williamsport Area High School not only is seeing growth in the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses and exams but is seeing its students being recognized nationally for their scores.
At Tuesday's school board meeting, Zane Wagner, student government representative, reported that the high school had more students sign up for AP programs this year. He said there also are more students who are taking multiple courses during their high school careers.
Lori Baer, board president, announced that six students and a dozen 2012 graduates received awards for their performances on AP exams, with senior Daniel Ma earning the National AP Scholar Award and AP Scholar with Distinction Award.
The school speaks with students about how taking a AP course can help them with their future goals, said Dr. Kathleen Kelley, superintendent. She said if a student earns a three or better on the exam, it can translate to college credit, which helps with the financial side of higher education.
Kelley also said it allows students to be flexible with what classes they take in college, already having passed certain subjects through AP exams. But Kelley said the courses are taken by "serious" students, and the credit is earned through hard work.
In other news, Kelley reported to the board on a program that allows area superintendents to visit and learn more about careers that graduates may look into. The visits are organized by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
Kelley and other superintendents visited Anadarko sites to learn more about their operations Tuesday. She said they visited drilling sites and offices to see the kind of work that employees perform.
"It gives us a better understanding of what local businesses are looking for from our graduates," Kelley said after the meeting.
Superintendents visit a variety of businesses, from the health field to food providers.
While on her latest visit, Kelley said she was impressed by how important safety was. She said Anadarko was strict on drug and alcohol policies because of the safety ramifications.
"One false move could be devastating," she said.
Kelley said after seeing what requirements and qualifications employers are looking for, it helps the district's guidance counselors steer students in the right direction.