Humboldt rates high in advanced placement

HUMBOLDT – Humboldt High School was ranked by the University of Iowa College of Education as one of Iowa’s top 50 schools for advanced placement courses.

It is the first time the school has received the honor.

According to Lori Westhoff, HHS principal, it is important to offer advanced placement courses.

“The rigor and work and quality of work that is expected of students prepares them for college,” she said. “It does an excellent job as far as the amount of reading and writing and quality of writing, and the deeper thinking processes are very helpful to them.”

Humboldt High School teachers provide advanced placement courses in language and composition, literature and composition, government, and calculus, in addition to multiple AP courses online through the Belin-Blank Center.

HHS earned this honor through the Belin-Blank Center’s AP index.

“It has to do with the number of advanced placement exams that were taken in a school relative to the number of students who have graduated,” Susan Assouline, Belin-Blank Center director, said.

It was the school’s students, Westhoff said, that made the honor possible.

“We’ve been very pleased that our parents and students have decided to challenge themselves by adding advanced placement courses into their schedule,” she said. “We encourage all students planning to go to a four-year school especially to take an advanced placement course, but they’re open and available to everyone.”

She added, “Our teachers work very hard and we’re very proud of our students for taking these courses and doing so well.”

The effort to offer advanced placement courses at Humboldt High School has been ongoing since 2005, Westhoff said.

“Initially we started our students with just the opportunity to take online advanced placement courses, and then we expanded to offering courses here on our campus and expanded the online advanced placement courses that are available to students,” she said.

Advanced placement courses are beneficial to students, Assouline said.

“Offering advanced placement courses is probably the single most important intervention a high school can do for its bright students, because the research documents extensively that students who have experiences like advanced placement or international baccalaureate are better prepared for college, and there’s truly no substitute,” she said.

She added, “Advanced placement is college. It’s college in the high school.”