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Archive for Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free State honored for AP achievements

February 26, 2008

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School board members hear a proposal tonight that expands bullying prevention plans to all Lawrence Public Schools. Enlarge video

Free State High School has received the Kansas award from the College Board for its achievement in Advanced Placement courses.

Lawrence school board members recognized Free State during Monday night's meeting. The College Board announced the 2007-2008 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, one from each state, Monday in a USA Today advertisement.

"This is an achievement that gives us special recognition for a lot of hard work by a lot of people," Free State Principal Joe Snyder said.

Snyder and Teena Johnson, a gifted education facilitator, spoke during Monday's meeting, and board members congratulated them and other Free State AP teachers.

The College Board selects state school award winners for their "commitment to providing students opportunities to excel" in AP courses, particularly math, science and technology. Both Free State and Lawrence High School were invited to apply from Kansas based on AP course participation and performance.

Teachers Annette McDonald and Katrina All, both in mathematics, and Oather Strawderman, in physics, also attended the meeting. Snyder and Johnson said staff members worked to find ways to increase the number of students enrolled in AP courses.

Snyder said as one accreditation renewal goal, the school worked on improving academic achievement for low-performing students.

"We also spent time trying to find ways to raise the bar for all students," he said.

Johnson said Snyder - the school's only principal, who will retire at the end of the year - helped guide the process.

"As a result, that's another reason we won this award," she said.

For winning the award, Free State also earned a $1,000 grant for math and science education.

In other action:

¢ Board members heard a report from administrators about the effort to have all schools continue to develop their own comprehensive bullying prevention plans. As schools work to prohibit bullying, the Kansas House on Monday advanced legislation that would extend that further by having school districts ban cyberbullying on school computers. A final vote on House Bill 2758 is expected today.

¢ Board members voted 5-0, with Linda Robinson and John Mitchell absent, to officially approve moving the Gaslight Village Mobile Home Park, 1900 W. 31st St., into nearby South Junior High School's boundary from Southwest Junior High School for next fall.

Staff writer Scott Rothschild contributed to this report.

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