The Ballston Spa Central School District earns an honor for its Advanced Placement Courses. One of less than 400 districts nationwide and the only one in the immediate Albany area. Our C.J. Spang has details.
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- Race Archibold seems to enjoy his Advanced Placement classes.
"I like the challenge," the senior at Ballston Spa High School said. "I think they offer a lot of information I wouldn't get otherwise."
The senior took three AP courses last year and is taking another four this year. He says it's good preparation for what he'll experience next year at Brown University.
"A lot of the courses, the teachers take a more college-like approach where they expect you to do more of the work on your own, rather than feeding it to you," he said.
Archibold is one of about 270 students enrolled in AP courses at Ballston Spa High School this year. The school district recently earned a place on the AP Achievement List for offering AP classes to more students, while maintaining the percentage of students earning passing scores on the exams.
"It makes me very proud because I know that success they're having in high school will carry over to their success in college," said high school principal Kristi Jensen. "And it tells me as a staff, as a faculty, as a school district. We're doing everything to prepare our students for the next level."
"We want to open the doors to everyone that can take this type of rigor and type of course work," said Laurel Logan-King, the K-12 Guidance Coordinator. "So they feel comfortable going in and challenging themselves and taking these courses."
As for Archibold, he says the most beneficial part isn't necessarily the preparation or the college credit.
"Probably being a part of a community of people that really want to get the knowledge and aren't just concerned with grades," he said. "But really more about bettering themselves and taking subjects that they find are important."
The Ballston Spa School District is also trying to better prepare students for the next level with its new clean technologies and sustainable industries program. That begins next year. And through the program, students can take classes at Hudson Valley's Tec-SMART facility and potentially earn more than 20 college credits.