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Sahuarita Unified celebrates AP success with NMSI’s College Readiness Program

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  • Amber Woods/Sahuarita Unified School District

Sahuarita National Math & Science Initiative College Readiness Program

Sahuarita Unified School District announced dramatic improvements in Advanced Placement performance in school year 2014-15 resulting from a partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative’s (NMSI) College Readiness Program.

The school posted a 103 percent increase in qualifying scores on AP math, science and English exams, increasing from 62 scores in the 2013-14 school year to 126 in 2014-15.

Sahuarita Unified celebrates AP success with NMSI’s College Readiness Program SahuaritaSTEMAPHPEnrollment has increased in AP courses as well. This year 428 students are enrolled in English, math and science AP courses. That number is up from an enrollment of 218 just 2 years ago.

AP exam scores of three or higher (on a five-point scale) qualify students for college credit at many colleges and universities across the country and are a prime indicator of whether students are adequately prepared for college and whether they will succeed when they get there.

Students who master AP courses in high school are three times more likely to graduate from college. For minority students, that multiplier is even greater: African-American and Hispanic students who succeed in AP courses are four times more likely to graduate from college.

“The National Math & Science Initiative is designed to bring high-level learning and academic rigor to the school subjects that help students excel in STEM fields,” says Brett Bonner, SUSD assistant superintendent. “NMSI provides educators with the training, methods, materials and resources that contribute to academic excellence in these areas.”

Based on data from the College Board, the first-year increase in qualifying math, science and English exam scores among NMSI partner schools is 68 percent — 10 times the national average of 6.6 percent.

Sahuarita Unified celebrates AP success with NMSI’s College Readiness Program SahuaritaSTEMAP2Proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is crucial to our country’s capacity for innovation and future economic growth. NMSI’s College Readiness Program is addressing this urgent need by partnering with schools that are committed to raising the academic bar and working with teachers, students and administrators to set and achieve ambitious academic performance goals.

The program’s key elements of success include shared accountability and goal setting with schools, intensive teacher training and support from expert mentors, more time on task for students through tutoring and study sessions, open enrollment to broaden student participation, and achievement-based awards for teachers and students.

To date, NMSI’s College Readiness Program has been implemented in more than 750 schools across 30 states and the District of Columbia. Sahuarita Unified School District is the first and only N.M.S.I. partner in Arizona.

About the National Math and Science Initiative:

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming math and science education in today’s classrooms with proven, effective programs that can be replicated nationwide. NMSI’s College Readiness Program dramatically increases the number of students succeeding in rigorous coursework in math, science and English and expands access to traditionally underrepresented students. The program boosts Advanced Placement performance in partner schools by 10 times the national average and builds teacher capacity to advance student achievement at all levels. Learn more at

Advanced Placement® and AP® are registered trademarks of the College Board.

About Sahuarita Unified School District

Sahuarita Unified School District #30 is a public school district, serving grade K-12, located 9 miles south of Tucson, AZ. One of few growing districts in Arizona, SUSD continues to seek out innovative and quality approaches to education. Through exemplary programs, students learn the skills they need to achieve success.  Visit for more information about the exciting education opportunities at Sahuarita Unified School District or follow us on Facebook or @SUSD30 on Twitter.