Advanced Placement®


Advanced Placement® (AP) courses provide a unique learning experience that promotes college readiness. AP courses are college-level courses and exams provided in high schools for which students can earn college credit and advanced placement, helping them to stand out in the admissions process. AP courses are available in over 30 subjects including art, computer science, history and social sciences, mathematics, sciences, English language and literature, and world languages. Advanced Placement courses are increasing in popularity and importance as they play a significant role in the new high school accountability requirements for Florida high schools.

For AP course descriptions, visit

Advanced Placement coursework is challenging, however any student who is motivated and interested may take an AP course. As a District policy, students who register and take an AP course, must also take the AP exam to successfully complete the course. The AP exams are developed and scored by college and university faculty members as well as experienced AP teachers. Advanced Placement is accepted by most two-and four-year college and universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both, based on successful exam scores (3 and above).

To see the AP Exam Schedule, visit

For information on the state articulation agreement for AP, IB and AICE credit, visit

For schools to offer an authorized AP course the teacher of the course must submit a syllabus for approval through AP Course Audit and the school must designate an AP Coordinator who will be responsible for organizing and administering that school’s AP program, exams and materials. If a school does not have the resources to offer an AP course, students may also enroll in AP courses through Florida Virtual School or Palm Beach Virtual School.

How are students identified for AP coursework?

The identification and selection of students for Advanced Placement coursework is a school-based process. The District encourages open access – any student who is interested and motivated to work toward success in an AP course should be given access. In additional to student self-selection, most schools use a variety of methods to identify students with the potential to be successful in AP coursework, including teacher or counselor recommendations, GPA and student success in prerequisite coursework. Another tool schools commonly use is AP Potential®. AP Potential® is a free, web-based tool that allows schools to expand opportunities by generating rosters of students who are likely to score a 3 or better on a given AP Exam. Based on research that shows strong correlations between PSAT/NMSQT® scores and AP Exam results, AP Potential® is designed to help schools increase access to AP and to ensure that no student who has the chance of succeeding in AP is overlooked.

AP Potential is available to schools through the College Board website and through the district’s Educational Data Warehouse. AP Potential® should never be used to discourage a motivated student from registering for an AP course, since the AP Potential® results only account for some of the factors that contribute to the students' exam results, and do not take into account the power of an individual student's motivation, parental support, and teacher efficacy.

For information on building an equitable AP program, visit

Further information for Students and Parents is available at

Pre-AP Curriculum

As schools expand Advanced Placement programs, rigor in prerequisite courses at earlier grade levels helps to prepare students for the demands of AP coursework. SpringBoard® is a rigorous, highly engaging, student-centered, interactive and standards-based curriculum designed by teachers for teachers under the auspices of the College Board. SpringBoard® is the College Board’s official Pre-AP program, with curricula available in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The SpringBoard® research-based curriculum provides students with 21st century skills and prepares them for Advanced Placement and college-level coursework. Currently, SpringBoard® English Language Arts courses are currently available in 16 schools in Palm Beach County: Atlantic High School, Boynton Beach High School, Congress Middle School, Crestwood Middle School, Forest Hill High School, Glades Central High School, Indian Ridge (FY13), Lake Shore Middle School, Lake Worth Middle School, Palm Beach Gardens High School, Palm Beach Lakes High School, Polo Park Middle School (FY13), Royal Palm Beach High School, Tradewinds Middle School, and Village Academy. Two of our schools, Boynton Beach High School and Santaluces High School, were selected to serve as two of only 14 SpringBoard® National Demonstration Sites. As national demonstration sites, these two schools host annual Open Houses and allow classroom observations by visiting administrators and teachers from other schools around the nation who are interested in seeing SpringBoard® in action.

Extended Learning Opportunities

Advanced Placement tutorial curricula have been developed and made available for schools to provide extended learning opportunities for students beyond the school day. The Department of Safe Schools has coordinated the development of a series of tutorial lessons for Advanced Placement student support. These lessons were developed for courses where the District has high enrollment but where passing rates could be improved. The lessons focus on the content, skills, and strategies that are aligned to the following Advanced Placement courses: Environmental Science, English Language & Composition, U.S. Government & Politics, Calculus AB, Statistics and English Literature & Composition.

Additionally, each year students enrolled in AP courses are provided an opportunity to practice and prepare for AP exams through the Florida Virtual School AP Exam Review at This online AP Review service is provided at no cost; however, mobile apps are available for $4.99 for AP Art History, AP English Language and Composition, and AP English Literature and Composition.

Teacher Support

In order to support Advanced Placement teachers, a District-wide collaborative effort has been made to establish Advanced Placement Roundtables and an AP Online Forum ( The AP Roundtables and the AP Online Forum give Advanced Placement teachers in all subject areas an opportunity to meet, both virtually and face-to-face, in order to share best practices, to seek and offer advice, and to discuss strategies as well as share materials and resources.

Research has shown that peer mentoring is an extremely effective method of professional development and we hope these AP Roundtables and the AP Online Forum will provide both a valuable experience and a unique format for AP teachers to work together and support each other. Each subject area group has scheduled meeting dates and locations as well as several district-wide events held on Professional Development Days.

Teachers may also access the AP Online Forum at any time to communicate and share syllabi, resources, documents and useful internet sites. Access may be requested by signing in to the site using the individual’s district email address and the individual’s usual password used for other district sites such as email and Course Registration.

Additional resources are available to AP teachers through the College Board at*&tp=ap&lnd=1.

Professional Development

Teacher training is also a vital component for sustaining an AP program and ensuring both teacher and student success. Professional development opportunities are provided annually for AP and Pre-AP teachers. The Department of Safe Schools collaborates with the Department of Curriculum Development to select AP, Pre-AP and Vertical Team workshop topics for teacher training. The workshops include half day workshops, one-day seminars, and five day AP Summer Institute workshops, as well as four-day AP Achievement Institutes and follow up sessions. Interested teachers should register through the District Course Registration page:

Additionally, many teachers apply for stipends or request school support to attend Advanced Placement Summer Institutes (APSI). APSI are five-day intensive subject-area workshops led by College Board approved workshop leaders. The workshops focus on subject-specific strategies for adequately preparing students for the Advanced Placement exam.

In 2009-2010 and again in 2012-2013, the District has worked closely with the College Board to provide an Advanced Placement® Achievement Institute (APAI). The purpose of the Achievement Institute is to assist educators in meeting the increasing demands that academically diverse AP students pose for teachers and administrators. It is designed to support schools committed to preserving open access to AP by identifying strategies (for both administrators and teachers) to overcome potential barriers to the success of students who may have been under-prepared for the rigorous expectations of an AP course.

During the four days of the APAI, teachers learn strategies for differentiating instruction without sacrificing rigorous expectations. Administrators learn strategies for strengthening their schools’ AP programs by building departmental ownership of a pipeline of courses built on rigorous expectations and vertically aligned curriculum. Additionally, administrators learn strategies for creating gateway courses that are intentionally designed to introduce students to the AP experience. The Administrator Component also includes a toolkit with an overview of AP course content and an observation instrument for assessing rigor in order to support teachers and students as they seek to improve performance in AP classes. The Institute is capped off with four follow-up visits where the College Board consultants visit schools and meet with teachers and administrators to discuss successes and challenges in implementing the strategies learned during the four-day APAI training.

In October of 2009-2010, the District offered an AP Achievement Institute for teachers and administrators with a focus on English/Social Studies subject areas. This will be followed up with a June 2012 Gateway workshop to continue the work begun. In the fall of 2012, the District will offer the Math/Science APAI and will then co-develop a national Math/Science Gateway training model with the College Board throughout the 2012-2013 school year.

College Readiness Exams

There are several exams that students can take to assess their college readiness status. The results of these exams can be used for college admissions and placement as well as for qualification of college readiness status for the state high school accountability measures. Please refer to the links below for more information about these tests.


The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that lets students show colleges what they know and how well they can apply that knowledge. It tests students’ knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.


The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test. ACT results are accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S.


The purpose of Florida’s Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) is to adequately assess students’ academic skills in mathematics, reading and writing through the delivery of three assessments, one for each of these areas. The results of these assessments are used to determine student placement into appropriate courses at your college.

Other College Readiness Links for Students and Parents:

Contact Information

Becky Youngman

Becky Youngman

Manager, College Readiness