Great things are happening in Lynwood. I have the great privilege of serving on one of the most progressive school boards in the country. My board promotes an institution that provides avenues and opportunity for our students in Lynwood to succeed for our community to thrive. This theme of student success through equity, access, and justice is evident in every policy or initiative we pass, in addition to the day to day work our staff does. Student success is not the goal but the expectation. To move them towards success, educators must both equip them and give them access to avenues to success.
Nationally, only 1 in 5 African American students attends a school with AP courses. This level of inequity is not the narrative for African American students in Lynwood at Firebaugh and Lynwood High School.
When I was a student at Lynwood High School, AP classes were only accessible to a select few students. Today, these courses are open and available to any and all students who feel they are up for the challenge. And to date, they have risen to the occasion to meet the challenge. Due to the District’s open-access policy, student AP participation increased from 303 in 2010 to 779 in 2016, representing a 157 percent jump; pass rates during this period rose by 5.4 percent – from 20 percent to 25.4 percent.
Lynwood Unified School District will be honored as the College Board’s AP District of the Year for being a leader among medium school districts across the nation in expanding access to Advanced Placement courses while simultaneously improving student performance on AP Exams. Lynwood Unified is the only school district in the state – and only one of three districts in the nation – to receive the 2017 award.
Lynwood Unified has implemented programs, policies and an all-around culture that ensures students are prepared to succeed in college – doing away with prerequisites so that any student can enroll in advanced coursework, including AP, Honors, and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs; providing teacher training to support AP students; offering free AP summer camps and additional support outside of the instructional day; providing access to online tutoring courses; and allocating District funds to cover the cost of exams for students.
Terry Redican, College Board Vice President of AP Program Delivery, will present the award during a ceremony celebrating Lynwood Unified’s achievements.