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Expanding AP Access for Geneva City School District Students


Posted Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 — 


A record-breaking number of Geneva High School students took advanced placement (AP) exams this May.


The school administered 327 exams to 149 students in 15 different subject areas—a new high attributed largely to the exam fee assistance offered by the Geneva Education Foundation.


“It keeps growing every year,” said Melina Del Plato, high school counselor. “I think the price was a factor for sure,” said Ms. Del Plato, noting that without assistance, AP exams cost $94. Now, thanks to the Geneva Education Foundation, students who cannot afford the fee don’t have to worry about it.


“It’s so exciting to see more of our students take on the challenge of a college-level course,” said Geneva City School District Superintendent Trina S. Newton. “One of our foundational goals has always been to increase the college and career readiness of our graduates, and the AP exams are an excellent way to do so for those pursuing higher ed,” she said.


The district has increased AP offerings: next year courses will include biology, calculus AB/BC, chemistry, comparative government, English language and composition, English literature and composition, environmental science, government and politics, microeconomics, physics 1/C, psychology, statistics, studio art, U.S. history and world history.


“The program itself is growing,” said Ms. Del Plato. “It’s going off of the interests of the students.”


There are a variety of advantages to taking AP courses and exams. Those who are successful on the exams are often able to receive college credit and thus save on the costs of a college course later. These may include electives or even credits toward a college major.


There are academic advantages, as well. The courses provide college level rigor in the comfort of a familiar environment, said Ms. Del Plato. “They’re surrounded by peers they’ve been around most of their lives, with teachers that they’re familiar with.”


Additionally, AP classes at the high school are weighted, meaning the grades they receive in the class are bumped when calculated into their overall grade point average (by 5 percent for taking the class, 10 percent if they sit the exam). “It impacts their class rank,” said Ms. Del Plato.


Ultimately, it’s about encouraging students to push themselves, she says. “It gives them an idea of what’s to come next,” she said.


Recent Grants Awarded

$42,000 Grant Received from Spectrum Communication 

          Inspired in 2013 by the “cradle to career” community focus of Geneva 2020 and informed by local and national educational supportive efforts, Mr. Bernie Lynch, proprietor of Lynch Furniture of Geneva, convened a volunteer board of directors and launched the Geneva Education Foundation in 2014.  In addition to Lynch, the GEF board members include retired Geneva City School District (GCSD) teacher Janet Frisinger, USNY Bank Administration Specialist Eric Heieck, HWS Colleges Director of the Center for Community Engagement Katie Flowers, and local attorney Mike Roulan. HWS Colleges President Emeritus Mark D. Gearan was a co-founding member as well, and Interim President Patrick A. McGuire is currently serving a term.  “It became evident that Geneva City School District would benefit from a supportive education foundation, as other local communities have established to help fund academic opportunities not covered in the school budget.  We were fortunate to benefit from the generous expertise shared by directors and board members from the Skaneateles Education Foundation, the Romulus Education Foundation, the Waterloo Education Foundation, and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative,” said Lynch.  “There were grants available to private foundations that weren’t accessible to school districts. I knew there was an opportunity here and people willing to help advance Geneva 2020’s goals.” Read More

Charter Spectrum check presentation.jpg
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