Leander ISD has been named a College Board Advanced Placement® District of the Year for being the national leader among large-sized school districts – defined by those with 50,000 students or more – whose AP programs are delivering results for students while broadening access.

LISD was one of more than 12,000 school districts across the U.S. and Canada whose schools achieved high placement on the annual AP School Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year – one for each category of district population size: small, medium, and large – were selected based on research-based criteria that reflect a commitment to increasing college-going culture, providing opportunities for students to earn college credit, and maximizing college readiness.

“I am humbled and honored by this tremendous achievement for Leander ISD, “ Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., said. “To be recognized as AP Large District of the Year reflects the unwavering dedication and steadfast commitment of every individual that completes #1LISD. From our outstanding educators and administrators to our diligent students and supportive families, this distinction belongs to you, aligned to our core beliefs, mission and vision to create the most sought-after creators of our future world.” 

Over the past year, Leander ISD high schools:

  • Maintained 40% or more of the graduating cohort taking at least 1 AP Exam during high school, and simultaneously 25% or more of the graduating cohort scored a 3 or higher on at least 1 AP Exam during high school, ultimately achieving 83% of district schools achieving recognition on the AP Honor Roll
  • Demonstrated a clear and effective commitment to equitable access to advanced coursework by having 60% of the district’s schools earn the AP Access Award

“This award shows that Leander ISD is challenging many students to achieve at the highest levels,” said Trevor Packer, head of the College Board AP Program. “Leander ISD schools are ensuring that all learners have greater access to earning college credit in a wide variety of AP subjects. Congratulations to all the educators and students whose dedication and hard work garnered this well-deserved recognition.”

Participating in AP coursework can lead to college savings for families. The typical student who scores a 3 or higher on two AP Exams can save, on average, $2,252 at a public four-year college and over $8,308 at a private institution. 

Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) has played an instrumental role in creating equitable access opportunities for all students. For the past 10 years, LEEF’s funding has paid for 3,710 LISD students who could not afford to pay for  the exams, providing the opportunity to take these tests and earn college credit. 

“The goal of equitable access in the district’s strategic plan is that each and every student will have opportunities to actively participate in their learning and grow to become the best version of themselves,” Leander ISD Board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D., said. “This recognition is confirmation of our pursuit of that goal.”

While 2 out of 3 AP students earn some college credit, success in AP is measured by more than exam results. Research shows students who take AP courses and exams are more likely than their peers to attend college and graduate on time. Even AP Exam scores of 1 or 2 predict better college outcomes than academically similar college students who didn’t take an AP course and exam. 

In 2023, more than 3,400 colleges and universities worldwide received AP scores for college credit, placement, or consideration in the admissions process. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores. 

To learn more about AP, visit exploreap.org.

Located northwest of Austin, Leander ISD is a public education school district where teachers and support staff focus on engaging and inspiring students for achievement and lifelong success. A growing district, LISD adds several hundred students every year, serving families in nine different jurisdictions, including the cities of Austin, Cedar Park and Leander. LISD educates more than 42,500 students at its 48 campuses. The district encompasses nearly 200 square miles.