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A $508,266 Grant Sets Oklahoma High School on Track to Create Record Setting AP Results

DALLAS – This 2013-2014 school year is expected to bring unprecedented results to a college and career-focused school in Oklahoma. Memorial High School and Engineering Academy will offer the National Math and Science Initiative’s (NMSI) Comprehensive AP Program to an estimated 260 students thanks to a $508,266 grant from the Tulsa Community Foundation and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
 
“This is a fantastic partnership with the Tulsa Community Foundation and the Oklahoma State Department of Education to provide teachers with the resources necessary to increase rigor and ensure students are challenged with content that promotes higher level thinking,” said NMSI CEO Sara Martinez Tucker.
 
Qualifying scores in AP math, science and English at Memorial High School are expected to increase by 67 percent over the three year life of the grant. “This grant opens up tremendous educational possibilities at Memorial High School,” said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. “AP level courses and programs are vital to ensuring students are college and career ready when they graduate high school and the science and math programs will likely go a long way in bolstering Memorial’s already wonderful STEM program. We are very thankful to NMSI as well as the Tulsa Community Foundation and the OSDE for their support of Tulsa schools.”
 
NMSI’s Comprehensive AP Program components include Saturday study sessions which facilitate an extra three weeks of instruction to students’, mock AP exams which provide additional AP practice and financial incentives to help motivate students.
 
“We are so excited that we have the opportunity to partner with NMSI and to have received their Pre- AP/AP grant,” said Darin Schmidt, principal at Memorial High School.  “We believe it will impact our academic achievement significantly and strengthen our goal of preparing our students for college and career success. In addition, this partnership will increase our student participation and success with our AP courses in the areas of math, science and English to a level of very high expectations at Memorial High School.”
 
“The fundamental benefit of the NMSI grant here at Memorial is the support it will provide for AP/Pre-AP teachers and students. This network of support is a game changer for our AP/Pre-AP program and gives us the tools to reach more students,” said Merrie Wolf, math department chair at Memorial High School.
 
To prepare for the program, teachers attended NMSI’s Summer Institute to receive intense common core aligned math, science and English training for grades 6-12. “The NMSI APSI was an exceptional experience! Our AP biology instructor was phenomenal and provided us with a wealth of excellent resources,” said Adrienne Elder, AP biology and Pre-AP biology teacher at Memorial High School.
 
The generous three-year grant from the Tulsa Community Foundation and the Oklahoma State Department of Education marks the first-ever partnership between private and government sectors to support a NMSI school in Oklahoma.
 
“It’s been proven that students who pass one AP test are three times more likely to graduate from college. So, TCF’s investment with the State of Oklahoma was a simple one to make,” said Phil Lakin, CEO of the Tulsa Community Foundation.  “Our investment will train the teachers and incentivize the students, with the end result being many more college graduates.  And we all know how valuable a college degree will be to the student who has earned it.”
 
“I'm excited to see that Tulsa's Memorial High School students will have the opportunity to engage in more rigorous AP math, science and English courses,” said Dr. Janet Baressi, Oklahoma State Department of Education State superintendent of Public Instruction. “I've witnessed the NMSI program's success in other Oklahoma schools and am confident that it advances the knowledge of students and teachers and prepares students for college and their careers.”
 

A special event will be held in the fall to celebrate the expansion of NMSI’s AP program at Memorial High School.
 
About National Math and Science Initiative:  NMSI, a non-profit organization, was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education and science to transform education in the United States. NMSI has received national recognition for training K-12 teachers and improving student performance through the rapid expansion of these highly successful programs: NMSI's Comprehensive AP program, NMSI Teacher Training program and UT Austin’s UTeach program.  Inaugural funding for NMSI was provided by the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, visit www.nms.org.
 
*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board.
 
Media Contact:  Mary Ortiz, 214-346-1245, mortiz@nms.org­­­­