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Granger High School receives grant money

GRANGER - The Office of the Superintendent of Public instruction announced Tuesday that Granger High School was one of 38 schools and school districts in the state to receive part of a $139,600 grant aimed at improving access to Advanced Placement classes and Pre-Advanced Placement classes.

The Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grant is meant to help school districts in rural areas offer more access to Advanced Placement classes, which high school students can take to earn college credit by taking AP tests upon completion of the course.

"The whole idea is to get more Advanced Placement classes into small schools," said Richard Esparza, Granger High School's principal.

Granger's slice of the pie, just under $15,000, will be used in both the middle school and the high school, Mike Nyberg, Granger's instruction facilitator, said.

Nyberg said the majority of the grant money will be used for release time for the middle school and high schools to allow students from the two schools to get together and participate in programs and activities that will get students more interested in AP subjects.

He said in Granger, the main goal will be to get more students involved in AP classes.

"That's what we're hoping," Nyberg said. "And that's the intent of the program."

This year the high school is offering just one AP class, U.S. History. Nyberg said there are 18 students in the class.

In previous years the school has offered an AP English class as well. Enrollment numbers hover around 20 per class when they're offered, he said.

With the grant money, Nyberg said the goal will be to offer as many AP classes as possible in the next year. Those AP classes will include English, science and math, in addition to the current history class.

That is, of course, if all goes well with teacher training, he said.

"Hopefully," Nyberg said of getting those classes offered in the next year. "That's our goal."

Though the grant will help train teachers to teach AP classes and prepare students to take those classes, Nyberg said the extra programs and teaching likely won't help students perform well on the WASL.

"It would help them on the SAT," Nyberg said. "It would help them on the ACT."

Nyberg said students who will take the AP classes will probably be proficient in areas in which they will be tested on the WASL, and that's why they'll be taking AP classes - to be challenged.

The program runs over the course of three years with additional grant money to be given out in each of the next two years.

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