Santa Cruz Sentinel: Mount Madonna School Makes AP Honor Roll

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/6/2023, “Mount Madonna School makes AP Honor Roll,” story and photo by Aric Sleeper.

The Mount Madonna School in Watsonville announced that it recently made the top-tier of the Advanced Placement School Honor Roll, which is a distinction recognized in October by the national nonprofit College Board.

“Academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development are the three founding pillars of Mount Madonna School,” said Head of Mount Madonna School Ann Goewert in a statement. “Mount Madonna School’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence and expanding access to advanced coursework is reflected with the school earning the top-tier platinum distinction on the Advanced Placement Program School Honor Roll.”

According to its website, College Board’s Advanced Placement School Honor Roll recognizes schools based on commitment to increasing college-going culture, providing opportunities for students to earn college credit and maximizing college readiness. Schools are recognized with four levels of distinction, including bronze, silver, gold and the top award of platinum, which Mount Madonna School received.

Of the Mount Madonna School seniors that graduated last June, 100% took at least one advanced placement exam during high school, 100% of those seniors scored a three or higher on at least one advanced placement exam and about 40% of those seniors took five or more advanced placement exams.

The school also earned the Advanced Placement Access Award, which recognizes Mount Madonna School as providing all students with the chance to participate in advanced placement courses, which includes students from underrepresented groups and low-income families.

“This award recognizes Mount Madonna School’s college-going culture and our commitment to ensuring that all of our students, including those from underrepresented populations, have access to AP courses and AP testing,” said Shannon Kelly, Mount Madonna’s upper school director. “It also represents one of many ways that we help our students achieve their college goals.”

According to the school’s spokesperson Leigh Ann Clifton, between 2019 and June 2023, Mount Madonna School had 88 students in 10th through 12th grades that took advanced placement exams with a total of 170 exams taken and with 77% of those that took the advanced placement exams receiving scores of 3 and higher. AP exams are scored from 1 to 5 with a score of 3 or above allowing the student to receive college credit.

All together, Mount Madonna School’s awards and distinctions from College Board from 2019 through June 2023 include AP 2023 School Honor Roll, platinum distinction, AP 2023 Access Award, four AP Scholars with Honors, 12 AP Scholars with Distinction, 11 AP Scholars and one National AP Scholar.

“AP represents an opportunity for students to stand out to colleges, earn college credit and placement, and potentially boost their grade point averages,” said Trevor Packer, head of College Board’s AP program. “The schools have shown that they can expand access to these college-level courses and still drive high performance. They represent the best of our AP program.”