Legacy Schools Solution

Legacy Schools Solution

Over the next five years, Colorado Legacy Schools will enroll 30,000 new math, science, and English AP students at demographically diverse schools throughout Colorado. They will support the success of 5,200 new students passing AP exams in these subjects, drastically reduce the number of students taking remedial courses in college, and increase the number of Colorado high school students likely to complete college degrees in STEM fields.

Average First-Year Growth (23 Colorado Legacy Schools)


Average Three-Year Growth (National Program Schools – National Math & Science Initiative)


Studies have shown that students who take AP courses are less likely to need remediation and more likely to graduate from college. A high school student who passes just one AP exam has a 72% chance of graduating from college compared to a 30% chance without an AP course. In fact, students who take an AP course but do not receive a passing score on the AP exam are still 24% more likely to graduate from college than their peers who have not engaged in AP coursework.

AP courses give students an edge in college and career preparation. Unfortunately, many students either are not offered this opportunity or do not take advantage of it; 70% of Latino and 80% of African American students who show potential to succeed in AP classes do not enroll. If we hope to close the achievement gap, expanding access to and success in AP must be part of the solution.

  Click here to see how the Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative is making a different in Colorado high schools!

The Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative works to change school culture related to AP courses by helping schools recruit and support students who might not typically enroll in AP courses.

Specific program components include:

Training for AP and pre-AP teachers: AP success is contingent on excellent and effective teachers who are able to reach every student in their classrooms. AP teachers are offered more than 40 hours of training, in addition to instructional support, in their AP subject areas. Pre-AP teachers are offered similar trainings and strategies to challenge their students and prepare them for AP enrollment and success.

Student and teacher incentives: Both students and teachers receive incentives for every qualifying score achieved on an AP math, science, or English exam. These incentives honor the additional effort and dedication required from both student and teacher for the student to master AP coursework.

Tutoring: Students are offered an additional month of instructional time per AP subject through Saturday Study Sessions.

Instructional support and coaching: The Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative’s content specialists in math, science, and English provide AP teachers with personalized and ongoing instructional support and guidance.

Updated technology and equipment: Schools receive up to $10,000 in annual funding to purchase technology and equipment for their AP classrooms so that they can keep instruction current and relevant.

Exam fee subsidies: The Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative covers up to half the cost of AP exam fees, reducing the burden to students and their families.

Culture-shifting strategies: We work with school administrators and counselors to build a school culture that embraces AP participation and success for all students, helping schools develop open enrollment policies and strategies for recruiting students who show potential for AP success but who may not enroll without encouragement.

The Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative’s staff members help build vertical teams by subject, which enhances communication and coordination between teachers from middle school through AP. These vertical teams work together to prepare students, from middle school on, for AP success.

In 2010, with generous funding from the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the National Math and Science Initiative began transforming schools that serve military families. The results have been stunning. In 2012, schools in the program for military families were state leaders in the increase of qualifying AP math, science and English scores.

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