D211 Post: Hoffman Estates High School Opens New AP Support Center


          Hoffman Estates High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new AP Support Center which is designed as a resource area for students taking Advanced Placement courses.  The Center was funded through grants and donations from Heart of America Foundation and Eon Clinics.

            HEHS Principal Josh Schumacher said the Center provides a space for students to collaborate with teachers and fellow students.

            “We are excited for both the present use of this new room as well as the future opportunities it will provide,” he said.

Hoffman Estates High School Principal Josh Schumacher talks with junior Jessica Freres and her mother Nancy during the grand opening of the Hoffman Estates High School’s AP Support Center.

            In his remarks during the ceremony, District 211 Superintendent Dr. Daniel Cates thanked Heart of America and Eon Clinics.

            “District 211 has steadily increased the percentage of students in AP courses across our student groups, many of them being first time AP students,” Dr. Cates said.  “We know this room will provide long lasting impact.  I want to express our thanks to Heart of America for connecting us with Dr. Rajan Sharma and Eon Clinics.  Their generosity is simply astounding and will provide this Support Center which will serve as an important resource for our students as they shape their future.”

Township High School District 211 Superintendent Dr. Daniel Cates discusses AP student data with Eon Clinic founder Dr. Rajan Sharma during the grand opening of Hoffman Estates High School’s AP Support Center.

            Hoffman Estates High School junior Jessica Freres, who is taking her first AP course is excited for the resources the Center will provide.

            “This Center provides a lot of opportunity for student growth,” she said.  “The Center is important because AP students really need to develop time management and peer interaction skills, and I think the Support Center really brings those skills together.”

            In discussing the difficulties and stress which comes with taking AP courses, Hoffman Estates High School AP English teacher Ryan Brown said the idea of how the course is presented has been one of acceptance and coordination.

            “We have challenged our students.  We have challenged them to strive for more; to work for progress, not just perfection.  We told them it’s okay to be afraid but to continue to show up, and they did,” he said.  “This physical space is their small part of the larger space.  This is where they can take off the mask and the AP armor; where they can come and ask questions and not be afraid if they don’t know.”

Hoffman Estates High School AP English Teacher Ryan Brown discusses the changes in AP courses since his time as a student during the grand opening of Hoffman Estate High School’s new AP Support Center.

            Eon Clinics founder Dr. Rajan Sharma said the decision to donate to the construction of the AP Support Center was a family decision. 

            “My oldest daughter is a teacher.  She told me, ‘if you give to AP students, they will rise up and teach another thousand,’” he said.  “After seeing this Center today, I am glad we did this.  It is very touching.  I am glad I am a part of that.”

Dr. Rajan Sharma, founder of Eon Clinic, discusses what led to his donating to the creation of Hoffman Estates High School’s new AP Support Center.

D211 Post: District 211 Placed on the College Board’s 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for 4th Year

Township High School District 211 is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.  To be included on the 9th Annual Honor Roll, the District had to, since 2016, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.


 “The District 211 faculty of teachers, counselors and administrators do an excellent job of finding unique and effective ways to help students succeed,” said Dr. Lisa Small, Associate Superintendent for Instruction.  “The AP District Honor Roll designation is evidence of our faculty ensuring our students have access to all the opportunities District 211 has to offer while providing the support needed to build students’ confidence to engage in college-level coursework and earn early college credit.”


National data from 2018 show that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. District 211 is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.


“Success in Advanced Placement is a combination of students’ own motivation and the opportunities educators provide for them,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and Instruction at the College Board. “I’m inspired by the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to earn college credit during high school.”


Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.

In 2018, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.


Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts;
  • Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2018 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2016 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.


When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30% or more are underrepresented minority students (American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) and/or 30% or more are lowincome students (students who qualify for free or reducedprice lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.


The complete 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found herehttps://apcentral.collegeboard.org/score-reports-data/awards/honor-roll

Conant High School Graduate Evan Barr Earns State AP Scholar Award

Evan Barr

A recent Conant High School graduate earned himself top honors in the State of Illinois for his involvement and achievements in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Evan Barr, a 2012 CHS graduate, received the Scholar with Distinction, State AP Scholar, and National AP Scholar award from the College Board, which is a national not-for-profit organization that promotes equity in education by providing scholarship and financial opportunities for students in grades K-12.

Of those awards, the State AP Scholar award is only given to two students in each state — one male and one female. Evan received the award by taking the highest number of AP tests from the College Board and earning a score of three or better. AP test scores range from one to five. He received a certificate from the College Board, in addition to congratulatory letters from Illinois State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

“I did not anticipate receiving this award in the least; I imagined the maximum number of AP tests taken by an Illinois student to be at least 23 or 24,” Barr said. “I took 21 tests not for the award, but rather to take advantage of the last opportunity for the least expensive college credit anyone can earn, to accelerate my academic career, to better prepare myself for college, and to challenge myself to realize my full potential.”

Evan started taking advanced placement courses when he was a sophomore at Conant High School.

“His first AP test was really an achievement,” said Mrs. Linda Barr, his mother. “He took accelerated chemistry, and then took the AP exam. He never took the AP course and scored a five on it. Many of the scores he received he never took the AP course in.”

Advanced Placement courses help students acquire the skills and habits required for coursework at a collegiate level. There are examinations at the end of a course that help colleges and universities determine whether or not they will accept the AP course in place of a pre-requisite for a higher level course.

“Now that I’m in college and I am exposed to all sorts of college professors, I appreciate even more how dedicated the teachers I had in high school are, and just how good they are at what they do,” Barr said. “I must also mention that I have retained a vast majority of the knowledge I demonstrated on these exams. The AP experience wasn’t about cramming then forgetting. The knowledge has stuck with me.”

Evan’s expansive AP experience allowed him to begin his college career at a sophomore level. Now, he is studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and is in the molecular biology and bioinformatics programs. He hopes to produce gene therapies for people born with genetic disorders.

“Gene therapy is a very recent development in medicine with much promise for curing previously fatal or highly debilitating diseases,” he said. “Entering this field relatively early in its history offers a unique opportunity to shape future of this technology. I aspire to found my own company on the premise of genetic medicine. I especially aim to engineer a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.”

If any student has received an award or recognition and would like an opportunity for a short feature in the D211 Post, please forward all information to editor@d211post.org. Not all submissions may be posted due to editorial scheduling.