RHS students excel in AP exams

Ridgefield High School students are passing AP tests at a rate more than 20 percentage points higher than the state average.

That was the report Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Beck gave to the Board of Education at its pre-Thanksgiving meeting on Nov. 13.

In the spring of 2017, 93.1% of RHS students passed one or more AP exams — compared with 72.2% statewide, according to Beck.

Beck said 62.2% of graduating seniors took and passed an AP test, and said, “I point that out to you because that’s what U.S. News [and World Report], uses as their district ranking.”

Ridgefield placed third for overall AP test participation out of the eight public school districts that make up the District Reference Group A (DRG A), with 32.1%. The town was behind Weston and New Canaan in the DRG rankings, which are used by the state to compare school districts of similar socio-economic standing.


RHS had the third-lowest average SAT scores in 2017 compared with the rest of DRG-A, at an average score of 1213, Beck told the board. Ridgefield beat out Westport and Region 9, which scored SAT averages of 1195 and 1160, respectively.

But Ridgefield juniors outperformed state averages when it came to the number of students who “met or exceeded” the test’s benchmark scores in math and English language arts.

Ninety-three percent of juniors who took the SAT met or exceeded the College Board’s benchmark for English language arts, Beck said, compared with 65.4% of students statewide. They also beat state averages in math, with 77.9% of juniors meeting or exceeding the benchmark. The average statewide was 41.3%.

Other benchmark

Board member Doug Silver raised a question as to whether AP and SAT results were the best measurements of student success.

He asked Beck whether the district had data on the number of high school students who enroll in college-level UConn classes at the high school, noting that those classes give students credit at a four-year institution.

Beck said that data was not available.

“I’m concerned about the kids we’re not seeing up there,” said Silver.