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Evanston Township High School hosted the first-ever AP Winter Combine on Jan. 12.  Freshmen, sophomores and juniors considering taking Advanced Placement classes were invited to attend the Combine for an introduction to AP course offerings, course expectations and community-building.

Dale Leibforth, ETHS mathematics teacher and instructional coach, has filled the newly created position of Advanced Placement Recruitment and Retention Coordinator. 

Mr. Leibforth said, “We want every student at ETHS to successfully complete at least one AP class in an area of their interest. My goal is to help ensure that this happens. Increasing access to AP classes is a school-wide initiative that requires the collaborative efforts of students, families, counseling, academics, college and career, curriculum and instruction, academic supports, research and evaluation.”  

Mr. Leibforth and ETHS College and Career Coordinator Beth Arey facilitate teamASAP (team Access and Success in Advanced Placement), a diverse group of AP students whose mission is to help ensure that all students have access to AP courses, are prepared for those courses, are confident in their ability to succeed and have positive, successful experiences in AP courses.

Mrs. Arey says she believes “the best part of teamASAP is that it grew organically from conversations with students. …”

The AP Winter Combine attracted over 200 student participants, including freshmen, sophomores and juniors exploring their AP options as well as teamASAP student mentors.  Twenty-seven AP teachers were also on hand.

Ms. Arey said, “Satisfaction with post-secondary results requires students to begin thinking about their future early in their high school career. Holding true to that, we opened all AP awareness events to freshmen.”

Additional events are scheduled for the spring and summer, said Mr. Leibforth. An AP spring training program will offer students the chance to get more in-depth, content-specific knowledge and meet potential classmates and AP teachers.

An AP Summer Camp will help prepare students for their courses before the beginning of the school year.  

Mr. Leibforth said, “These events are a great opportunity for students to see themselves in the teamASAP mentors. Through teamASAP’s leadership, future AP students get a chance to see that the students who came before them did it and gain a firm belief that they can do it too.  These early supports also offer a chance for students to connect with teachers and classmates to create a stronger classroom and academic community.”  

The percentage of ETHS students of color taking AP courses has increased from 23% of all students taking AP courses in 2001-02, to 36% last year.