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$1.7 Million Invested Locally for AP Courses | Schools

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$1.7 Million Invested Locally for AP Courses
Schools
$1.7 Million Invested Locally for AP Courses

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced this month that Erie 1 BOCES was one of 17 school entities awarded a grant under New York State’s virtual learning initiative, the Virtual Advanced Placement (VAP) Program. VAP is targeted to improve access to online and blended Advanced Placement (AP) courses for low-income students. King said the program is part of the Board of Regents’ strategy to ensure that all New York students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

Erie 1 BOCES was awarded $1.7 million, the third highest amount granted by the state.  Erie 1 BOCES will use the funds to establish the technology, systems and training needed to assist low-wealth, western New York school districts in providing online AP courses.

"New York already has a good percentage of students taking AP classes and tests," King said. "But, unfortunately, low-income students don’t always get the chance to take AP courses.  And those courses are crucial for admission to and success in college." 

The state will use federal Race to the Top funds to provide high quality, college level courses using available technologies. VAP will open the door to virtual classrooms that will let students take courses on their own schedule and learn at their own pace. 

"We want every student to be ready for college and careers, not just those who live in districts that can afford to offer AP classes," said King.

Erie 1 BOCES has been training teachers in distance, online and virtual classroom technologies for nearly a decade. The organization is excited about the opportunity to provide additional online resources and trainer expertise thanks to the VAP grant funding.

"The intended outcome is to develop the capacity of administrators and teachers within the local school buildings to utilize data-driven decision making processes to create AP programs that meet the diverse needs their students," said Barbara Mocarski, associate director of instructional resources, technology and professional development at Erie 1 BOCES.

The following school districts have partnered with Erie 1 BOCES for the purposes of this grant from January 25, 2013 through August 25th 2014: Alden, Akron, Depew, Cheektowaga Central, Cheektowaga Sloan, Health Science Charter, Lackawanna, Lockport, Maryvale, Sweet Home and Tonawanda.

Statewide, school districts partner with Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in an effort to provide accountability, municipal sharing, efficiency and educational equity. Erie 1 BOCES, one of 37 BOCES in New York State, is a cooperative of 19 school districts surrounding the city of Buffalo. To assist school districts, the organization provides a variety of educational services including alternative education; career and technical education; communications; health and safety; human resources; labor relations; business office functions; policy; professional development; special education; and technology support. Learn more by visiting http://www.e1b.org.

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