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INFORMATIONAL LETTER #55
POLICY CODE: IHCD
TO: Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, High School Principals, Headmasters, Guidance Counselors, AP Coordinators, and AP teachers
FROM: Susan A Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: December 15, 2003
RE: Advanced Placement (AP) Incentive Program Funds Available
We are pleased to announce that the Maine Department of Education has received funding for the Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for 2003-2004 year. The purpose of the grant continues to be to increase the involvement of low-income students in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and examinations. The new grant application is attached. Please be advised that the application is a new application and reflects new requirements. All incomplete applications will be returned!
Funds are available for professional development, materials to enhance AP instruction, test preparation materials, online courses for low-income students, and new course development. All of these activities are intended to support the increased participation of low-income students in AP experiences in schools with 40% or more low-income students.
Funds will be distributed for individual schools/teachers that can document that the students in the unit or in the K-8 feeder schools meet the 40% or more low-income criteria. However, all activities and workshops will be open to all schools at cost. In addition, to be eligible to receive funds, 20% of the enrollment in a new AP class must meet the income criteria, or enrollment of low-income students in an existing AP class must increase by 20% from 2002-2003, whichever is greater. All activities related to classes planned for 2004-2005 for which funds are requested are required to have 30% of the enrollment in a new AP class that must meet the income criteria, or enrollment of low-income students in an existing AP class must increase by 30% from 2003-2004, whichever is greater.
Additional components of the statewide grant are as follows:
Ø A mentoring program for first or second year AP teachers in the areas of English Language, English Literature, US History, Biology, Calculus AB and Chemistry is available.
Ø The Maine Math & Science Alliance will be aligning Math & Science curriculum with the preparation for related Advanced Placement courses.
Ø UNET will be assessing the need for online and ATM courses. Once the needs have been identified, courses will be developed providing access to students who may not otherwise have access to AP courses.
Ø The National Center for Student Aspirations will work with eligible schools and regional vocational centers to increase aspirations and AP participation, as well as to enhance teacher understanding of factors affecting participation of low-income students.
A separate application will be developed for Pre-AP or AP preparation activities.
Funds are also available, through a separate process, to provide for the full cost (after the College Board reduction and the waiver of the high school’s administrative portion) of the AP exams for low-income students if the district does not currently provide for the costs for students. These costs will be paid directly to the College Board based on the students identified by the school for the College Board fee reduction. Activities related to classes planned for 2003-2004 for which funds are requested must include students who meet the low-income criteria.
Again, please note that this is a new grant for the Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP).
Thank you for your efforts to seek out these underachieving low-income students and for providing them with an opportunity to participate in a challenging AP program. Students who participate in rigorous courses are known to complete college at a higher rate than those who have not participated in AP classes.