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National Math and Science Initiative Selects Mississippi High School for its Advance Placement Program for Military Families

Innovative program, open to all students, will begin this fall at Ocean Springs High School, home of Kessler Air Force Base

DALLAS – The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) announced today that its highly successful Advanced Placement program for military families is being expanded this fall to public high schools serving families stationed at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., thanks to a grant from the Office of Naval Research.
“This innovative program can open doors to college for more students and give them skills they will need to not just be in position to find good jobs in fields such as engineering and technology, but to have successful and rewarding careers,” said Gregg Fleisher, Chief Program Officer for NMSI.  “Ocean Springs will serve as a catalyst for many more schools throughout the state. Most importantly, having NMSI’s AP program in place can help make a huge impact on young students’ lives.”
A special event was held at Ocean Springs High School on Monday to announce the expansion of the NMSI program to the school in fall 2013. The expansion will bring the total of schools implementing the NMSI program for military families to 54 schools in 16 states. Further expansion is anticipated to 75 schools next year.
“The Ocean Springs School District is delighted to partner with the National Math and Science Initiative to increase opportunities for our students and educators. This grant will provide the professional development that is needed to increase rigor in our classrooms to meet the demands of our new Common Core state standards and assessment systems coming to Mississippi,” stated Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter, Superintendent of Schools at Ocean Springs School District. “In addition, the opportunity to reward our students, teachers and school leaders for achieving higher levels of academic excellence serves to further our district goal of being a nationally recognized school system.”
The addition of Ocean Springs High School was made possible by a $982,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which also is supporting the NMSI AP program in four other military-impacted schools.  The ONR is the office within the United States Department of the Navy that coordinates, executes and promotes the science and technology programs of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
 Although the NMSI program targets schools serving military dependents, the program is open to all students in participating high schools who are eligible for AP classes.  Program components include study sessions outside of normal school hours as well as intense training for the AP teachers and teachers grades 6-12 who will build the pipeline of students who are AP-ready. Access to the college-level AP courses not only gives students the opportunity to earn college credit, but also increases their chances of succeeding in college. Students who pass an AP exam are three times more likely to complete their college education.
 The  NMSI AP program for military families was launched in 2010 in four schools in two states, expanded to 29 schools in 10 states in 2011, and currently is being implemented in 52 high schools in 15 states.  With additional funding, it is expected the program can be expanded to 200 high schools serving military impacted schools, ensuring that a high number of military families will be served.
 College Board results for high schools participating in the military families program during the 2011-12 school term showed an average 64 percent increase in qualifying scores on AP math, science and English exams. The increase in AP math and science scores alone was 85 percent -- nine times the national average.
 More than one million children have had a parent deployed during the last eight years. In all, there are more than two million children of active duty, National Guard and reserve military in the U.S. The long separations, concerns about parent safety and frequent transfers can be particularly hard on children whose parents protect our country. Many of those students are transferred six to nine times during their school career. Because the AP curriculum is uniform across the country, the NMSI AP program provides continuity and quality coursework for students when their families are transferred.
 Inaugural funding to launch NMSI’s program for military families was provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation.  Major funding to expand the program to more schools is being provided by the Army Education Outreach Program, BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and Northrop Grumman. 
 NMSI is leading this public-private effort in partnership with the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), the Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA), and the White House Joining Forces campaign to support military families.  For more information, visit www.nms.org
 About the National Math and Science Initiative: NMSI, a non-profit organization, was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to transform math and science education in the United States. NMSI has trained over 60,000 K-12 teachers to equip students to succeed and was selected in 2012 to create to establish an Educator Leader Cadre for Common Core State Standard implementation across the country.  NMSI also has gained national recognition for recruiting more college students to become math and science teachers through the UTeach program, which is transforming teacher preparation in 34 universities in 16 states.  NMSI’s national Advanced Placement program is increasing achievement in 462 schools in 18 states, including schools in the program for military families.
 NMSI has received major funding support for its groundbreaking national initiatives from Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with additional support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
  For more information, please visit www.nms.org.
 *Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board.
 Contact: Tinamarie Martinez   214-346-1211  tmartinez@nms.org