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Foxcroft School Earns Fourth College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Foxcroft School Earns Fourth College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

The School is one of two in Virginia and 64 worldwide to earn the prestigious awards in both AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) courses.

MIDDLEBURG, VA – Foxcroft School has been recognized as one of two schools in Virginia and only 64 in the world to earn the prestigious College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in both AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) courses during the 2021–22 academic year.

This is the second time the school has received both the AP CSA and AP CSP Female Diversity Awards and the fourth time it has received AP Computer Science Female Diversity Awards. The prior Awards were for both categories for the 2019–20 academic year, AP CSA during the 2018–19 academic year, and AP CSP for the 2017–18 academic year.

“This recognition is a proud moment for Foxcroft,” said Head of School Cathy S. McGehee. “Our School is leading the way in STEM education for girls by encouraging our students in record numbers to participate in computer science. The technology field is one where women continue to be underrepresented and efforts such as ours can make a difference. Congratulations to our AP Computer Science students and their outstanding teachers.”

Schools receiving the Award have either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science examinees meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population.  

“Our students’ broad participation in computer science has helped grow other programs at Foxcroft, including the CyberPatriot competition, eSports, and most significantly, the FIRST Tech Robotics challenge,” said Innovation Lab Director (and AP Computer Science Principles teacher) Alex Northrup. “Of the 40 teams that competed at our most recent robotics event, Foxcroft was the only all-girls team.”

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is necessary to ensure gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and representation. Per research compiled by College Board, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $97,430 in May 2021. However, women represent just 24% of the 5 million people in computing occupations.

According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research also finds that AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework. Additionally, research from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) shows that attending an all-girls school strengthens interest and success in STEM fields. Specifically, in math and computer skills, girls’ school graduates rate their confidence in their abilities at least 10% higher than their coeducated counterparts. 

These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP Computer Science classrooms. The 1,105 schools that received this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools. Foxcroft School is fully committed to delivering a STEM program that inspires girls to pursue studies in fields where women are underrepresented, as evidenced by the School’s recent announcement to begin construction on the Mars STEAM Wing, with state-of-the-art equipment and spaces that reflect best practices for teaching girls the way they learn best.

Photo courtesy of Christine McCrehin.

Posted on: March 7, 2023

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