We always welcome your thoughts! Please feel free to comment on specific posts or send your comments to us at feedback@tamdistrict.org.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council

The Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council is a group of parents from across the district that meets four times during the school year.  The advisory council is intended to provide two-way communication between parent representatives and the Superintendent and central office staff.
The Parent Advisory Council will:
  • Advise the Superintendent on district initiatives
  • Provide input on district and school related issues
  • Hear about and share opinions on current opportunities and challenges facing our schools
  • Bring to the Superintendent's attention existing and emerging issues expressed by parents
  • Further the District's efforts in expanding family and community engagement/involvement
The council will be comprised of three parents from each comprehensive high school and three parents from the alternative schools.  Members will serve on the council for one school year.  To ensue broad representation, the appointment of members will be made on a variety of factors including geographic location of residence and areas of interest and experience.
2014-2015 Meeting Location and Dates:
  • October 21, 2014
  • December 2, 2014
  • January 27, 2015
  • March 31, 2015
All meetings will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the District Office's Kreps Conference Center, which is on the Redwood High School campus in Larkspur.
Process for Interested Parents:
If you are interested in serving on the council, please submit a self-nomination form (click here for form).  The deadline for submission is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 26, 2014.  Nomination forms are available on the district website at www.tamdistrict.org or by requesting a copy via e-mail to jshaw@tamdistrict.org or by calling (415) 945-3720.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Advanced Placement Program Continues to Grow

The Tamalpais Union High School District is committed to providing meaningful, relevant and rigorous learning experiences for our students so they are prepared for college and career options.  Student achievement data gives us insight into what is working and helps us to identify areas for continued growth.  At TUHSD, we monitor many types of student data including state and national test scores as well as our own local measures of growth and proficiency.  One data set of importance to staff and to our community is participation and success in our Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams.  AP courses give students access to rigorous college-level work while in high school with the support of their high school teachers and peers.  A passing score on an AP exam can give students college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.
Participation in the TUHSD Advanced Placement program has grown tremendously over the past five years.  In 2010, we administered 1,482 AP exams and this number has grown to 2,100 exams in 2014.  This is a 42% increase!  It is notable we have also maintained extremely high pass rates with scores significantly above state and national averages.  In 2010, 83% of those who took an AP exam earned a passing score of a 3, 4 or 5.  Similarly, in 2014, 84% of students who took an AP exam earned a passing score.  The national average for students with a passing score is about 60%.
An abundance of research shows that a student's experience with Advanced Placement is connected to success in college.  A few interesting research highlights include:
  • Hargrove & Dodd (2007) found that students who successfully participated in at least one AP course and exam had higher college GPAs, earned more credit hours, and were more likely to graduate in four years than students from similar family economic status and with similar academic ability.
  • A study by Dougherty, Mellor & Jian (2005) found that students who scored a 3 or better on an AP exam were significantly more likely to graduate from college than their peers.
TUHSD currently offers course work to support 18 Advanced Placement exams.  The programs with the largest number of participants are English Language and Composition, Calculus, Environmental Science, European History, and Biology.
Each Advanced Placement course is developed at the national level by a committee composed of college faculty and high school AP teachers, and covers the breadth of information, skills, and assignments found in the corresponding college course.  AP courses at TUHSD are taught by our own highly qualified and talented teachers who participate in specific professional development so they are best equipped to teach students advanced, college level content.
The Advanced Placement program is just one more example of the rigorous programs offered for the students at TUHSD.  For more information regarding course offerings at your school please contact your counselor or principal.  For more information regarding the TUHSD Advanced Placement data, please contact Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Kim Stiffler, at kstiffler@tamdistrict.org