GREENCASTLE -- A change in the Greencastle Community School Corporation's Advanced Placement testing policies could save the school more than $7,000 in the 2010-11 academic year.
The school board voted 5-0 Wednesday night to start charging students full price, $78, for taking Advanced Placement exams. In the past, the corporation has footed the bill for AP exams.
Greencastle High School counselor Shannon Fritz was before the board on the issue for the second straight month. She presented board members with three possible options. These included having students pay the full $78 per test; having students pay full price, but being reimbursed if they score a 3 (out of 5) or higher on the exam; and having students pay $25 test.
Fritz said the college board, which oversees AP testing, suggests schools charging $86 for tests to cover administrative costs as well.
"We don't need to do that," Fritz said. "Mr. Smith and I can handle it."
Fritz also presented the potential savings each of the plan would show. With an estimated 93 students taking the exam, paying full price would save $7,254. The reimbursement plan, assuming 38 percent of students score 3 or above, would save $4,498.
The partial pay plan would save $2,325.
Any score of 3 or higher is guaranteed elective credit at Indiana public universities.
While Fritz said the reimbursement plan would also not place undue burden on her department, board members expressed concern.
Other thoughts on the issue included possibly raising the standards for getting into AP classes. However, Fritz did not like this idea. She said students got a lot out of the AP classes, but the school could continue leaving it up to them whether to take the exam or not.
The board asked Fritz, Superintendent Bob Green and Assistant Superintendent Dawn Puckett their thoughts on the matter. All three thought the full payment plan was best.
"Because of our current financial situation, I've got to go with (full payment)," Green said. "It seems a little harsh based on our past policy, but I've got to look out for all our students, not only our top students."
Fritz liked the plan not only financially, but from an accountability standpoint. She said with the test being free to students, some did not take it as seriously. If payment were required, not all AP students would choose to take the exam, and those who did would take it much more seriously.
"I think it's an accountability issue. I'd like to see students who are taking time out of class to prepare for the exam," Fritz said.
At the beginning of Wednesday's meeting, the board reorganized for the upcoming year. Bruce Stinebrickner will serve as board president, Kelly Lewis as vice president and Mike Dean as secretary.