Sherman Independent School District students who achieved the Advanced Placement Scholar distinction were honored at Monday’s board meeting. Of the 269 Sherman High School AP students, 155 of them scored a three or higher on an AP exam last year.

SHS AP Teacher Diane Clark announced the scholars. She explained the program began in 1995 and has grown rapidly since then.

“In 1995 we gave a total of 63 tests to two classes,” Clark said. “Fast forward 10 years down the road and by 2004 we gave 167 tests and had eight classes. Last year we gave 269 student 653 tests. We have fantastic teachers. We have teachers that put time in. They are here on Saturdays giving practice tests. Without them the program would not work.”

Students present at the meeting received three categories of designation. Thirteen students received the AP Scholar designation for achieving a three or higher on three tests. One student received the AP Scholar with Honor designation for achieving a score of three or higher on four tests. One student received the AP Scholar with Distinction designation for taking five or more tests with an average score of 3.25 or higher.

AP exams are scored on a scale ranging from one to five. A one represents no recommendation and a five represents extremely well qualified status. The scores are a weighted combination of multiple-choice answers and a free-response section.

The AP program was created by the College Board and is offered in the United States as well as Canada. The program was designed to offer college-level courses and exams to high school students. Curriculum for the courses is created by a panel of experts and educators for each field of study.

In order to receive the AP designation, a high school course must be audited by the College Board to assure it satisfies the officially designated AP curriculum. Colleges and universities may grant course credit to students obtaining qualifying scores on the exams.

Clark said the program is constantly being assessed and reassessed.

“We try very hard to increase the diversity in our classes,” Clark said. “I think we have succeeded in that quite well. We continue to focus on preparing these kids for college. What we do does help prepare our students for whatever they decide to do. I am very proud of the program and very privileged to be a part of it.”