The San Diego Unified School District is the recipient of a three-year, $716,000 grant to help more students at Serra High School — which has numerous military dependents in its student body — get into and pass Advanced Placement classes.
The grant was awarded by the Defense Department in conjunction with the National Math and Science Initiative. District officials, who have scheduled a news conference Tuesday to officially announce the grant, said the funds will be used to help all students at the school, not just children of armed forces personnel.
Serra, in Tierrasanta, draws from the nearby Murphy Canyon military housing complex. Around 30 percent of its 1,800 or so students are military dependents, according to the district.
The grant is also designed to help build awareness throughout the district of AP courses — which are more rigorous, require passing a test at the end of the semester and can result in college credit. The classes are also graded on a 5-point scale, which is why some students have grade-point averages above 4.0.
The National Math and Science Initiative offers teacher training and support, provides equipment and supplies necessary for advanced math and science classes, operates after-school and Saturday tutoring sessions, and gives rewards as incentives to teachers and students.
The grant will also cover all but $5 of the $89 cost of taking an AP test for low-income students. It will be half-price for other students.
A student who passes an examination after an AP class is 31 percent more likely to earn a college degree than someone who does not, according to the NMSI.
–City News Service
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