By Joseph Pratt
May 2, 2014
South Webster Junior/Senior High School was recently ranked as a top academic school, both on the state level and nationally, by U.S. News and World Reports. The school placed 15th for Ohio schools and 393rd nationally. This is the fourth time that the school has placed on these lists.
Ratings are based on teacher/pupil ratio, reading/math achievement data, and college readiness. The range of teacher to student ratio in the Ohio classroom is from 2:1 to 66:1. South Webster’s average is 14:1.
The school’s AP test scores are also better than the state average as well and the students scored 97 percent proficient with state exit exams in 2013. These scores add up to make South Webster 75 percent more successful than the average Ohio school.
“I think we place because we not only value education, but we value each and every student who walks through our doors,” Principal Brett Roberts said. “We obviously offer the basic courses, but we also offer intervention for students who struggle in math and reading, we offer advance placement courses that greatly prepare students for so college and we recently began offering dual enrollment courses for students.”
The dual enrollment courses that South Webster offers, not only provide a higher level of education for students, but also gives them college credit. Students can receive a physics credit through Zane State and English and math credits through Ohio University Southern.
“We really just started the dual enrollment this year and they have been excellent additions to the curriculum. We have had really good feedback from the students and staff and we are really excited to be able to give the students transferable college credit that is free to them,” Roberts said. “Our kids really, really enjoy the classes and we feel it is going to lead them to success in college.”
College readiness is scored by the graduating students who attend college after high school, AP test scores and students who go directly into the college-level courses without taking remedial courses.
“We are very proud of our teaching staff,” Roberts said. “It is a huge effort by everyone; it isn’t just one group of people. This award isn’t for any singular individual, but the entire student and faculty body and all of their hard work. Even the elementary teachers play an instrumental part in receiving this status, because they are incredible at preparing students for high school and getting them ready to succeed. I am very proud of our students and faculty.”
For a list of schools that made national rankings, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings. For a list of schools that made the Ohio rankings, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/ohio/rankings.
“I think that when our students come to school, they feel confident they are receiving a quality education and they know they have plenty of opportunities here at South Webster. We prepare students for college and for careers. Society is ever-changing and we want to prepare our students for the world,” Roberts said.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.