The Blue Springs School District is one of 539 school districts and only six in Missouri to be recognized by the College Board with placement on the third annual AP District Honor Roll.

The Blue Springs School District is one of 539 school districts and only six in Missouri to be recognized by the College Board with placement on the third annual AP District Honor Roll. Blue Springs received the honor after increasing access to Advanced Placement classes while also increasing the number of students earning scores of 3 or higher on the AP exams.

The AP Program has been available to school districts since 1955, offering millions of students throughout the United States a chance to take college-level classes while still in high school. Successfully completing an AP class means college credit, reducing the amount of tuition that has to be paid during the course of a four-year degree. More than 90 percent of colleges and universities in the United States offer credit for these types of classes.

In the last two years, Blue Springs has increased participation on the AP exam from 449 to 551 students. During that same period, the percentage of students scoring at least a 3 on the exams has risen 14 percent. Most AP exams include a multiple-choice section as well as free-responses questions such as essays, oral responses or translations. Students can score anywhere from a 1 to a 5 on an AP exam.

To be included on the AP District honor roll, school districts must increase participation and/or access to Advanced Placement courses by at least 4 percent in large districts and 6 percent in medium-sized districts. In small districts, that participation must have increase by 11 percent.

At the same time, the percentage of minority students (African American, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native) taking AP exams can not have decreased by more than 5 percent for large and medium districts, 10 percent for small districts.

Performance levels must have improved when comparing the percentage of students earning at least a 3 on exams between 2010 and 2012. The only exception is for those districts that have had at least 70 percent of AP students score at least a 3 on the exams.