GCS High Schools Ranked Top in the Country

Newsweek ranks one school on top high schools
list and five more for “beating the odds.”

"Greensboro, N.C. – Six Guilford County Schools were recognized by Newsweek’s 2015 Top High Schools list, one on the general list and five on the magazine’s “Beating the Odds” list.

Northwest High was one of 15 schools in the state, and one of two in the Triad, ranked on Newsweek’s 2015 Top High School List. Northwest received additional recognition for economically disadvantaged students performing at or above the state average.

Another five schools made it onto the magazine’s Beating the Odds list of the nation’s top high schools. That list identifies schools that do an excellent job of preparing students for college while also serving a high percentage of students who live in poverty. Across the U.S., socioeconomic status is closely correlated with academic achievement.

The Middle College at Bennett was ranked 86th in the entire country, followed by The Academy at High Point Central, The Middle College at GTCC-High Point, The Middle College at GTCC-Greensboro and Grimsley High.

Each list includes 500 high schools of the approximately 22,000 in the country, putting GCS’ schools in the top three percent in the nation.

Between 2010 and 2014, The Middle College at Bennett graduated all of its students. An all-female, minority-majority school, Bennett students take both high school and college courses while enrolled and can earn transferable college credits before they graduate. Every student in the school’s class of 2015 also was accepted to a four-year college and received academic scholarships. In addition, the Middle College at Bennett was recognized in 2015 as A National School of Character.

“We encourage our students to set and meet high goals, and they know we are here to support them every step of the way,” says Middle College at Bennett Principal Esther Coble. “We’re building strong women and community leaders as well as strong students.”

Newsweek’s rankings were determined by six indicators:

·        College enrollment rate (25 percent)
·        Graduation rate (20 percent)
·        Weighted AP/IB/dual enrollment composite (17.5 percent)
·        Weighted SAT/ACT composite (17.5 percent)
·        Student retention (10 percent)
·        Counselor-to-student ratio (10 percent)

This is the third national list to recognize GCS schools for academic excellence. Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report also recognized three GCS schools in its 2015 Best High School Rankings with national gold medal status, and the Washington Post named 15 GCS high schools as some of “America’s Most Challenging.” That list recognized schools for persuading a diverse group of students to take college level courses and exams.

The Washington Post rankings put the schools in the top 11 percent in the entire country, three were ranked in the top 10 for the state of North Carolina, and one school made the newspaper’s “Public Elite List.”

The recognition validates GCS’ efforts to encourage more students to not only graduate, but to challenge themselves academically before they do.

Research shows that just taking one AP, IB or college-level course in high school improves a student’s chance of success in college. In the class of 2015, more than third (37 percent) of graduates not only took but also passed an AP exam, IB exam or college-level course and associated exam.

Increasing student access to advanced academics and preparing students more successfully for college and career are main goals outlined in the district’s 2016 Strategic Plan – Achieving Educational Excellence: Personalized Learning."

- A Press Release

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