Photos and story by Tamas Mondovics

HCPS Students Taking and Excelling on AP Exams

Speaking highly of teachers throughout the nation, President Barack Obama was quoted, “We recently learned that America’s high school graduation rate went up to 83 percent…the highest on record.” Obama added, “Teachers deserve more than our gratitude, they deserve our full support.”

Of course, higher graduation rates are not the only way to measure success on the part of students and teachers.

In a recent report, Hillsborough County Public Schools officials were pleased to announce that the number of HCPS students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams and scoring at a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 continues to increase, giving students more opportunities for higher education.

By the numbers, district officials said that the number of HCPS students taking AP exams increased by 7 percentage points from last year. In addition, the number of students earning a pass rate of 3, 4, or 5 increased by 4 percentage points.

The district is especially proud of the results from its Hispanic and African American students.

The number of Hispanic students taking AP exams increased by 18 percentage points over last year while maintaining a 44% pass rate.

African American students scoring a 3, 4, or 5 went from 18% two years ago to 28% this past year, a 10 percentage point gain.

“We continue to push for open access into our Advanced Placement classes at our high schools. These results show our students are looking for more opportunities and our teachers and staff are giving them the support they need,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

School officials said that taking AP courses and passing the related exams gives students more opportunity to be accepted into a 4-year university and allows them to earn college credits, for their major or as an elective, eliminating the need to take the classes in college which saves them money and time.

For more information please visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

NOPE Holds Candlelight Vigil

Hillsborough County Public Schools, NOPE of Hillsborough, the Tampa Police Department, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office hosted the 6th Annual Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Candle Light Vigil, last month at Hillsborough High School.

The emotional event is held annually to honor the lives lost due to drug and alcohol related incidents, to honor those who have lost a loved one to accidental overdose death and to help those suffering from the disease of addiction.

As loved ones share stories about their family members or friends, participants are encouraged to share photos to include on the Memorial Wall.
The NOPE Memorial Wall has more than 500 photos of young people who have lost their lives due to drug or alcohol related causes.

School officials said that the goal of NOPE is to reach the community through prevention and education.

NOPE has been diligently offering presentations to Hillsborough County Public Schools middle and high school students throughout the year.

For more information please visit www.nopetaskforce.org.