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DoDEA grant aimed at college readiness

The Waynesville R-VI School District will be the first in Missouri to implement a college readiness program from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Defense Educational Authority (DoDEA).
The NMSI College Readiness Program focuses on:
    - Changing school leadership’s expectations of students
    - Encouraging more students to take college-level math and science courses and then equipping them to succeed
    - Raising the academic bar in public schools by demonstrating that more students can master rigorous AP coursework, especially in math and science
    - Increasing the number of students scoring a three or better on the five-point AP scale
    - Making it easier for students to take AP courses by eliminating barriers, including cost
“Congratulations to the Waynesville School District for their commitment to increasing rigor in mathematics and science,” said Sharon Helwig, Assistant Commissioner for the Department’s Office of College and Career Readiness. “We hope other districts will be encouraged to partner with NMSI to raise expectations for students and increase AP participation.”

Waynesville School District will offer five new AP courses this fall, bringing the total AP courses offered by the district to 13. The district’s AP enrollment for 2014-15 has more than doubled from 2013-14. Teachers are receiving training this summer to prepare for classes in the fall.

“We are very excited about expanding the opportunities for our students to take challenging courses. This grant provides us the training and support to reach more students and better prepare them for the future demands of college and their chosen careers,” said Courtney Long, principal at Waynesville High School.

NMSI is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to help improve education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NMSI makes a dramatic difference in qualifying AP scores. First-year scores in the U.S. increase 72 percent on average in math, science and English, with an average 144 percent increase over three years. Since 2008, NMSI has worked with more than 500 high schools in 22 states, using a combination of teacher training, student study sessions and incentives.

Increasing rigor and relevance for students helps meet the first goal of the Department’s Top 10 by 20 initiative: all Missouri students will graduate college and career ready. The initiative calls for Missouri to rank in the top ten states in education by 2020.