Nearly 60% of Q.I. Roberts seniors have passed enough tests for advanced diploma
About 85% of students from the class of 2020 Cambridge program received the prestigious Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, entitling them to the full Florida Bright Futures scholarship.
The district said 200 Q.I. Roberts Junior-Senior High School students have achieved the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma since the program started in the 2013-2014 year.
At Q.I. Roberts, 59% of students from the class of 2021 have passed enough exams during their 10th- and 11th-grade years to qualify for the Advanced diploma, with 16 students needing only one or two more exams.
“We are extremely proud of our kids and their academic work here at Q.I. Roberts,” Principal Joe Theobold said. “The program and learning are world-class and we have the students meeting those challenges.”
Director of Federal Programs Melissa Coleman, a former Q.I. Roberts principal, said she was impressed by the scores from district students in the past few years. She said the program succeeded because of teacher collaboration across schools.
“It’s guaranteed the students don’t have to worry about a college or university not taking the credits,” Coleman said. “That’s been enormously helpful as a county to help our students get access to college or university and gain college credits while in high school.”
The Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education is a college-prep program, similar to Advanced Placement, where students earn college credit in high school for completing coursework and passing an end-of-the-year exam. Students have to pass seven Cambridge exams to receive their Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education diploma.
“To me, that is saving our parents a lot of money and giving our kids opportunities they might otherwise not have,” Superintendent Rick Surrency said. “It prepares them for going right into a prestigious four-year college with that AICE diploma. I think in the future, we’re going to see these kids come back to Putnam County and really excel in our community by virtue of having those opportunities in high school and accelerated programs in K-12.”
The Cambridge program began in Crescent City High School for the 2017-2018 school year, meaning the class of 2021 will be the first from the school to graduate with Cambridge diplomas.
CCHS students had three tested subjects with a 100% pass rate.
Surrency said the success of Crescent City shows the need for an expansion of Cambridge programs.
“Crescent City High started small but their numbers are growing. We have Cambridge at all three levels now in Crescent City,” Surrency said. “That feeder program is going to continue to grow and you’ll see those numbers continue to grow as well.”
CCHS Principal John Shelby said 16 of 26 students met graduation requirements before their senior year. He said school staff is cheering on those final 10 students to meet the criteria so they can receive a Cambridge diploma.
Shelby became an assistant principal at the high school in 2016 and became principal for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The class of 2021 I characterize as champions. They are the first cohorts to have worked their way through all of the challenges they’ve faced academically and have come out as Cambridge graduates,” Shelby said. “We’re just proud of them because the first group to accomplish this is always something special.”