For the fifth straight year, Stillman Valley High School earned high national and metro-area rankings in 2021 Best High Schools in the annual U.S. News & World report.
The report, released on April 27, ranks more than 17,800 public high schools throughout the country, measuring how well schools serve students from various social and economic backgrounds.
“I would say that this is absolutely a collective effort,” said Dr. P.J. Caposey, superintendent of schools. “Not only is this reflective of our great faculty and staff, but students and community as well. Moreover, it is frequently lost in the messaging that while this is a high school award it would not be possible without the work done by all district staff in helping our students succeed.”
The top 10 schools in the national ranking represent 10 different states, demonstrating that high-quality public high schools can be found throughout the U.S. Among all ranked schools, 35.3 percent are in rural or remote areas and 24.6percent are in cities. Among just the top 5% of ranked schools, 7.2 percent are in rural or remote areas and 42.3percent are in cities.
Prior to starting its five-year run, Stillman Valley had not been honored in the report. Caposey said the district has worked hard for the success.
“We have made intentional programmatic decisions supporting Advanced Placement classes that have seemed to bolster our rating within the US News and World Report formula, but while we really like receiving this honor, it is not our focus,” he said. “We continue to try to improve student performance, school culture, and sustainable systems and we believe if we do the right work in the right way, we will continue to have success. “
The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The data used in this edition is from the 2018-2019 academic school year, and therefore was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Families can use the Best High Schools rankings to see how schools compare at the national, state and local level on factors like graduation rates and college readiness," said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. "The rankings also provide insight into academic performance among underserved groups."
Alongside the national rankings, U.S. News published rankings at the state, metro area and school district levels. Only metro areas and school districts with three or more high schools were included in these subrankings.
The Best High Schools rankings are available exclusively on USNews.com and include data on a variety of factors, such as enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price lunch programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessments. U.S. News worked with RTI International, a global research firm, to implement the comprehensive ranking methodology.