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North Bullitt participates in Kentucky Advance

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 Thanks to efforts by North Bullitt High School administration, staff and District Grant Writer Juliann Vachon, the Eagle faculty has been invited to participate in the newest cohort of AdvanceKentucky.

“North Bullitt is honored to be a part of this year’s AdvanceKentucky cohort,” said Principal Jeff Marshall. “We are familiar with the success they have had in other schools reaching more students for Advanced Placement courses.”

Marshall said the opportunity will have a far-reaching impact across the North Bullitt curriculum.

“We have great students at North Bullitt and we truly believe that we need to not only increase our rigor schoolwide, but we also need to increase students’ access to college level course work,” he said. “The skills these classes offer will prepare students for any career or college they choose. It is about critical thinking, problem solving, and struggling at the high school level in order to make their lives better whatever path they choose.”

North Bullitt joins Bullitt Central, East Carter, Fern Creek, Holmes, Madison Central, Madison South, McCracken County, Seneca and Southern. Letters of Agreement are under development with Cohort 6 schools, which are projecting 5,000 AP MSE enrollments for 13-14.

This approaches 42 percent of the public high schools in Kentucky with the long term goal of serving all Kentucky schools interested within ten cohorts.

“This is a three year grant that is subject to annual renewals,” Vachon said. “North Bullitt will receive about $39,798 from AdvanceKentucky and will provide $29,500 in matching funds each year of the grant assuming the it is renewed by both parties.”

AdvanceKentucky supports schools in implementation of the AP Teacher Training and Incentive Program under the National Math and Science Initiative.

“This grant required that North Bullitt take an in-depth look at its AP program,” Vachon explained. “Pulling together all of the relevant data was probably the most challenging aspect of putting together the proposal. But compiling this data allowed the school to better assess where its AP program is now and where it could be in just a few short years with the help of the AdvanceKentucky grant.”

The NMSI model has demonstrated its proven ability in Kentucky schools to dramatically increase access to and accelerate successful learning in rigorous math, science and English (MSE) courses, as shown by qualifying scores on AP exams, particularly among underrepresented student populations.

This successful program involves content-rich teacher training and extensive support and incentives for students and teachers for achieving qualifying scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in math, science and English.

Advanced Placement courses are offered in calculus, statistics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, English language and English literature.

“Faculty from both schools will participate in offsite AP trainings as part of this grant,” Vachon said. “This grant provides each school with access to a large network of other educational professionals and schools who are focused on improving and expanding AP programs.” 

With over 4,700 qualifying scores earned on the most recent 2012 AP exams, Kentucky ranked first in the nation with 86 percent increase of AP qualifying scores in all subjects since the inception of AdvanceKentucky, versus 40 percent increase for the nation. This helps demonstrates the broader school wide impact of participation in the program. 

Vachon said Bullitt East is eligible to apply to AdvanceKentucky for Cohort 7.

Application materials and eligibility guidelines are on the AdvanceKentucky website or email at jlang@kstc.com.

With the close of the 2012-2013 school year, the first cohorts of schools will be graduating to the AdvanceKentucky Partner Program, which provides ongoing access to key elements in support of students and teachers. A new research study also is underway to track the longitudinal impact of early students into Kentucky higher education institutions.

AdvanceKentucky is funded in 2013-14 by public and private sources which include the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), Berea College, James Graham Brown Foundation, ExxonMobil/Initiative for Military Families, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Council on Postsecondary Education, and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

AdvanceKentucky was founded by a major grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which is supported by ExxonMobil, Dell and Gates Foundations, Lockheed and others. AdvanceKentucky has previously received federal grants from ARC and from US Department of Education through KDE.

Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.