HONOLULU (Feb. 14, 2014) -- The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) program, which encourages high school students to enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) classes and take AP exams, awarded Kalaheo High School a $112,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), Monday.

In recent years, four Hawaii high schools -- Campbell, Leilehua, Mililani and Radford -- have launched the NMSI Comprehensive AP program with support from ExxonMobil, DODEA, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

In the 2012-13 school year, these schools showed a 65 percent combined increase in the number of students taking the math, science and English AP exam. Additionally, these students combined for an 89 percent increase in AP scores of three or higher, which potentially qualifies them for college-level credit. These gains were made over a two-year period from the 2010-11 school year.

"The incredible AP results at Campbell, Leilehua, Mililani and Radford high schools are proof that a state can work together with school and business leaders to help students succeed," said Gregg Fleisher, chief academic officer at NMSI. "The State of Hawaii continues on the upward trend in AP success with Kalaheo High School implementing the college readiness program this 2013-14 school year."

Gov. Neil Abercrombie was in attendance for the award presentation to officially proclaim Feb. 9-15 as "College Readiness Week" in the State of Hawaii.

"Preparing our keiki for a college education is crucial to Hawaii's future," Abercrombie said. "Our students hold the intellect and creativity that will ensure our state's future challenges are met. Investing in education is an investment in our future."

"What better way to recognize College Readiness Week than before the students who are proving that our partnership with NMSI affirms our commitment to equip students from military families with consistent, high-quality math, science and English education," said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "This would not be possible without the support of the Department of Defense and Educational Activity, the Office of Naval Research, and ExxonMobil."

The Hawaii State DOE is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students.

Hawaii's public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.