Perham students top U.S., Minnesota in calculus tests
Perham High School students excelled in this year's Advanced Placement Calculus Examination, offered for the first time in the school. Earning a score of 3 or higher is considered "passing". In Perham, 76 percent of those taking the test scored a...
Perham High School students excelled in this year's Advanced Placement Calculus Examination, offered for the first time in the school.
Earning a score of 3 or higher is considered "passing". In Perham, 76 percent of those taking the test scored a 3 or better. This compares to 58 percent of students nationally and 63 percent of students in Minnesota earning 3's or higher.
"Unbelievable" is how the results were described at the July 19 school board meeting, by Jeremy Kovash, associate principal and coordinator of the school's Advanced Placement program.m
Advanced Placement (AP) scores are carried to college where students are placed in advanced coursework. Colleges generally award 4 credits for a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the calculus exam.
"We are really proud of our aggressive curriculum and look forward to more progressive opportunities in the future," stated Kovash. Kovash sees the success of PHS's AP Program as a collaborative effort between motivated students and families, dedicated teachers, and a committed high school.
Perham-Dent Superintendent Tamara Uselman adds that "at PHS, we are determined to prepare students for their futures, not for our pasts. AP calculus is part of that commitment."
Perham offered AP calculus this year for the first time, and the test scores the students earned after taking the class is "proof positive that ISD # 549 has high expectations in curriculum, including math and science," said Kovash.
Perham Principal John Rutten said adoption of the AP curriculum is a "step towards building PHS into a math and science leader in the state."
Perham administration, staff, and parents have begun investigating engineering curricula. In addition, Perham plans for expansion in college and AP course offerings.
Along with the AP calculus course instructed by Jeff Morris, PHS students may take an additional 45 college credits right on the PHS campus. With that many credits, students can enter college with nearly two years of credits--a considerable savings in higher education expenses for the student and parents.
In addition, Perham High School has secured agreements with technical schools in the area for additional business and technical classes.
"Perham High School has been so great to me. I am just now starting to realize the benefits of all of the college courses and the AP exam. I will begin college as a sophomore, well ahead of my classmates" states Marquette-bound Angie Strege (PHS '06).
"My PHS courses will save me thousands of dollars and have prepared me for the college experience" added Evan Meece ('06) who took all college classes PHS had to offer and is headed to the University of Minnesota- Duluth.
Kovash secured a Minnesota state grant to pay the $82 per/student AP course fee this year. The 549 Family Foundation supported the project as well, agreeing pick up the remaining tab for the testing fee.
"To earn all of these college credits for free is a great opportunity for me to start college on the right foot. I should be able to get a double or triple major" adds PHS student Rocki Lueders who is set to attend Bemidji State University. Lueders and Meece each have aspirations of becoming teachers in the future.
"It is great to see our students heading into the next phase of their lives with math and science skills necessary for success," concluded Kovash.