Mae Smythe students participate in a schoolwide College Week pep rally.
The Pasadena ISD has been named to the College Board’s Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll for 2015. This list recognizes 130 districts in the country for “creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students.”
“Pasadena ISD has some of the most dedicated educators across the nation,” Superintendent DeeAnn Powell said. “You can see our commitment to career and college readiness at every level – from College Week celebrations at the elementary level to our AP, AVID, College NOW, dual credit and early college high school programs.”
In order to make the honor roll, the District must have increased the number of underrepresented students who: took the SATs, took an AP course and exam, were on-track for college by scoring a 1550 on the SAT, scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam and sent their SAT scores to four or more colleges.
The total number of AP exams at Pasadena ISD has doubled from 2,924 in 2011 with 876 achieving qualified scores to 5,858 in 2015 with 1,721 achieving qualified scores of 3 or higher.
In 2015, AP scholars at each of the district’s six high schools were awarded checks totaling over $174,700 for achieving qualified scores of 3 or higher on the AP exams. Students earned $100 for each AP exam they passed with a qualifying score. The majority of the funding for the check donations was generously provided by the School Board with contributions from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.
When it comes to SATs, the numbers also tell a success story. The number of Pasadena ISD students sitting for SATs has increased from 1,179 in 2011 to 1,669 in 2015.
“We couldn’t have achieved this success without the support of our school board, superintendent and deputy superintendent Karen Hickman,” Pat Sermas, director of advanced academics said. “We are very grateful for everyone who spends countless hours after school and weekends preparing our students for exams and SATs. This recognition validates that hard work.”
The success of college readiness at the Pasadena ISD is attributed to the hard work of students and teachers alike in the AP and Pre-AP programs across the district. The Pasadena ISD offers a wide range of college prep programs such as the AVID program, Kids2College, College NOW, the dual-credit program and the Pasadena Early College High School.
“The Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll recognizes educators and administrators who excel in delivering opportunity to students,” David Coleman, president and CEO of the College Board said. “By increasing access to stimulating courses and college opportunity, they have created a culture of success that will continue to grow and benefit students.”