SHS on Forefront of Lead Higher Campaign
SHS on Forefront of Lead Higher Campaign
Betsy Bailey
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Searcy School District is happy to be one of three school districts in Arkansas leading the charge for the ‘Lead Higher ‘national initiative to promote and encourage Advanced Placement  (AP) courses. Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key even invited Searcy administrators Gene Hodges and Dr. Sheena Williamson to sit on a panel that discussed equal opportunity for students taking AP classes.

Searcy along with Jonesboro Public Schools and Bentonville Public Schools are currently working to increase the number of students in their schools to register for AP courses. Advanced Placement courses are proven to raise ACT scores and provide more money for college. In addition to these two positive outcomes, students are taught to think more critically and participate in higher level thinking so they are more prepared for the college setting. Many students who take AP classes in high school are able to test out of entry-level college courses and move more quickly through the collegiate process.

Searcy High School principal Gene Hodges has worked endless hours researching student data and identifying those students whose test scores indicate they would greatly benefit from participating in AP courses, but they have never been encouraged to do so. In addition to Mr. Hodges’s hard work, the Arkansas Department of Education recently sent letters to parents whose students exhibited test scores that show AP potential. Arkansas is putting a lot of emphasis on adding more students to the G/T program and the Advanced Placement program, and we at Searcy School District are proud to be on the forefront of this initiative.