CCUSD among first to join new College Board Pre-AP Program

Cave Creek, Arizona -Cave Creek Unified School District was selected from over 1,000 schools worldwide that will participate in the new Pre-AP Program next school year. Pre-AP is designed to give all students the opportunity to learn the foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful in Advanced Placement and other college-level coursework. The College Board  selected Cactus Shadows High School as a partner who is committed to college readiness for all students.

“We are so excited to be among three schools in Arizona to receive the honor of becoming a Pre-AP District. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of our students and teachers.”, said Laurie Umbarger, Assistant Principal at Cactus Shadows.

Participation in challenging coursework helps prepare students for success in high school and beyond. However, less than 50% of U.S. high school students are ready for college. And more than 300,000 high school students aren’t taking AP courses and exams that they’ve demonstrated the potential to succeed on, based on their scores on an SAT Suite assessment. With this data in mind – along with feedback from teachers who’ve said  they’d like to help shape a curriculum that prepares students before they enter an AP class – the College Board has developed the Pre-AP Program.

Pre-AP courses are open to all students. The Pre-AP Program objectives are to:

– Significantly increase the number of students who are able to access and complete college-level work, like AP, before leaving high school.

– Improve the college readiness of all students.

Cactus Shadows will receive an official Pre-AP designation for each course and the chance to bring engaging coursework to all their students. This designation signals consistent, high standards in focused courses that help build, strengthen, and reinforce student’s content knowledge and skills. The eight new 9th grade courses provide teachers and students with instructional resources, classroom-based assessments, high-quality professional learning, and focused practice.

“We applaud the educators and administrators in Cactus Shadows High School who have worked to clear a path for all of their students,” said Auditi Chakravarty, Vice President of SpringBoard and Pre-AP Programs. “They are fostering a culture in their schools and classrooms that allows all students to learn the foundational knowledge and skills they need to be successful.”

Each Pre-AP course has been developed by committees of expert educators, including middle school, high school, and college faculty. These development committees work with the College Board to design effective instructional resources that emphasize and prioritize the content and skills that matter most for later high school coursework and college and career readiness. Pre-AP will continue to evolve through educator involvement, and Cactus Shadows will be a critical partner. Throughout the initial cohort experience, Pre-AP course teachers will be encouraged to share feedback that will help shape the program in years to come.

More information on the College Board Pre-AP Program can be found here: