Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools will be getting some major recognition today (Friday) for their students' performance on Advanced Placement examinations and academic achievement.

The National Math and Science Initiative will recognize Aberdeen High School as the organization's School of the Year for its outstanding academic performance in the 2012-13 school year.


The math and science organization will also announce the annual results of its program focused on serving military families for both Aberdeen and Havre de Grace high schools, during events the schools at 9 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., respectively.

Students at both schools showed "phenomenal gains" on Advanced Placement test scores last year, said Lindsay Bilodeau, media specialist for Harford County Public Schools.

Aberdeen High School was chosen for its top award from among 465 schools nationwide that participated in National Math and Science Initiative programs last year, according to the organization.

National Math and Science Initiative says its Comprehensive AP program particularly focuses on high schools that serve military bases to ensure consistent, rigorous course work is available to military-impacted students as their parents move between bases.

The Comprehensive AP program is geared toward increasing the number of students at these schools who take and pass Advanced Placement math, science, and English exams at these schools to earn college credit. The two Harford County schools serve students of families connected with Aberdeen Proving Ground.

According to AP performance reports compiled by Harford County Public Schools, at Aberdeen High, which is home to the Science and Mathematics Academy countywide magnet program, 50 of 57 students who took the AP Calculus AB exam last year had a passing grade of 3 or better, an 88.7 percent pass rate. (AP tests are scored on a scale of 1 to 5).

The pass rate was even better for the 41 Aberdeen students who took the higher level AP Calculus BC exam, with 39 students passing, 95.1 percent.

Army Col. Rich Morales, executive director of the White House Joining Forces Initiative, The Boeing Company and NMSI are co-hosting the School of the Year event at AHS, along Interim Harford Superintendent Barbara Canavan and AHS Principal Mike O'Brien. The NMSI Comprehensive AP Program at AHS is made possible by a grant from Boeing.

The Havre de Grace event will also recognize exceptional student achievement at the school through the partnership between the Department of Defense Education Activity, which funds the National Math and Science Initiative AP program at the school. Canavan will be joined by Havre de Grace Principal James Reynolds and Mort Orlov of National Math and Science Initiative.

According to National Math and Science Initiative, in 2013, the 52 schools in its program for military families saw a 67 percent increase in qualifying math, science, and English AP scores - more than nine times the national average. African-American and Hispanic students saw an 80 percent increase in qualifying math and science AP exams while females saw a 62 percent increase.

National Math and Science Initiative, a non-profit organization, was launched in 2007 by leaders in business, education, and science to transform education in the United States. NMSI has received national recognition for training teachers and improving student performance through its Comprehensive AP program, NMSI Teacher Training program, and UT Austin's UTeach program. Inaugural funding for National Math and Science Initiative, was provided by the Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.nms.org.