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- From the Senior High Principal
- Senior High School
Benilde-St. Margaret’s was recently named a Gold level AP School by the College Board. BSM is one of 914 schools nationwide and one of only 9 schools in the state of Minnesota to receive Gold recognition. The ranking places BSM in the top 12% of U.S. and top 10% of Minnesota schools.
“I am extremely proud of BSM’s commitment to AP for many years, but particularly proud of the significant increase in students who took an exam last year,” said Stephanie Nitchals, senior high principal. “The teachers and students in our AP program are working incredibly hard and it is nice for them to be recognized.”
To receive this honor, BSM needed to meet each of the following criteria grounded in research-based relationships between AP and college outcomes:
- College Culture:
40% or more of the graduating class took at least 1 AP Exam during high school
- College Credit:
25% or more of the graduating class scored a 3 or higher on at least 1 AP Exam during high school
- College Optimization:
2% or more of the graduating class took 5 or more AP Exams during high school.
Of the 226 members of BSM’s Class of 2023, there were:
- 7 AP Capstone Diplomas awarded with an average score of 3.96
- 35 AP Scholars with Distinction with an average score of 4.10
- 23 AP Scholars with Honors with an average score of 3.71
- 52 AP Scholars with an average score of 3.16
“In 2023, more than one-third of our high school students took a total of 669 AP exams,” said Nitchals, noting, “80.2% of BSM students received a 3+ score which far exceeds the state average of 28% of students scoring 3 or higher.”
According to Trevor Packer, Head of AP and Instruction at College Board, “Research shows students who take AP courses and exams are more likely to attend college and graduate on time. The students who enter four-year colleges with credit from AP accelerate their path to graduation and build confidence for college success. And even for those who don’t earn college credit, AP coursework provides early exposure to college-level work and contributes to a college-going school culture.”
BSM offers 23 Advanced Placement courses, the most available of any Catholic school in the Twin Cities.