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  • Writer's pictureTeam Baesler

New program aims to boost AP participation, scores

Students in Bismarck and Mandan may soon spend their Saturdays getting extra help from an Advanced Placement guru to prepare for their exams.

If they receive passing scores, not only are they likely to receive college credit — they can even cash a check for $100 or more.

These efforts stem from North Dakota’s partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative, which announced this month that the two school districts will benefit from a $20 million federal grant awarded to the organization.

“It will increase opportunities for students to take, participate and succeed in AP courses,” said Ann Ellefson, director of academic support for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

North Dakota has the lowest percentage of students taking AP exams in the nation.

The department is accepting applications from school districts interested in implementing NMSI’s College Readiness Program for the 2016-17 school year.

The superintendents in Bismarck and Mandan indicated this week that they plan to apply. Because they are also involved in the grant, the districts will be part of a research study along with the eight other school districts from Atlanta to Detroit, Ellefson said.

West Fargo is the only other North Dakota district included in the grant.

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