Every student at Norman High meets with an advisor to make sure their course work is engaging and challenging, Beck said.
“Taking on challenges is built into our culture,” he said. “If you’re not challenged, something should change.”
Norman high schools doesn’t screen AP classes and encourage any student interested in taking an AP class to enroll.
“We have outstanding teachers who buy into the philosophy that every student will succeed. They’re not going to let a student fail,” Beck said.
Norman High and Norman North both offer 20 AP courses. Additionally, both high schools will become AP Capstone schools next year.
Beck, who initiated the district’s interest in the AP Capstone program, said the district would be one of 149 schools in the U.S. to offer such a program. To receive an AP Capstone diploma, Norman students must make a 3 or better on four AP exams, as well as pass AP Seminar and AP Research courses.
In addition to rankings, Norman’s high schools are leaders in a variety of programs, such as Norman High Yearbook’s recent national championship, top robotics program and Speech & Debate Team’s state championship and Norman North DECA’s state winners and Class 6A state swimming championships.
“None of that shows up in the rankings,” Beck said. “We’re proud of our excellent teachers who reach out to students academically, as well as teach them practical skills. These accomplishments should be celebrated, too.”
The complete list of Washington Post’s Top 10 in Oklahoma is as follows:
1. Classen School of Advanced Studies
2. Harding Charter Prep
3. Booker T. Washington
4. Edmond North
6. Edmond Memorial
7. Norman High
9. Edmond Santa Fe
10. Norman North
For more information about NPS, visit norman.k12.ok.us.
For more information about the Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, visit apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge.
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