Numbers may not mean much to some people, but some numbers hold great significance, especially when it is tied to achievement with kids.
Wheelersburg High School has achieved just that with their kids, as the school has now been ranked nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report.
In the U.S. News and World Report May issue, Wheelersburg High School is ranked No. 1,306 in the national rankings, and earned a silver award. Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. According to the magazine, students have the opportunity to take advanced placement course work and exams. The AP participation rate at Wheelersburg High School is 50 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female.
Principal Chris Porter says of the silver award the school received, “Obviously, U.S. News is a very creditable source. We’re very happy they recognized what we are doing here at our school and it’s an honor to be ranked, because looking at the criteria to get on that list, it requires math proficiency, reading proficiency, AP indicators college and the college readiness indicator — those are the main things they look at. We’ve just been fortunate to do well on those things. Our staff, our students, work really hard, and it’s really nice to get the recognition for all their hard work. And our community supports what we are doing here. It’s a team effort. It’s also our other schools — the middle school and elementary school — they are a part of that too, because we’re getting those kids from there every year. It’s a high school award, but we know that it doesn’t just happen overnight. Those people have helped along the way as well.”
Wheelersburg is ranked 48th in Ohio, which may not seem significant, but this ranking is quite different because other things are taken in consideration.
“One thing I think you will see [in the Ohio rankings] that you won’t see on a lot of the schools listed above us is that we have a 31% economically disadvantaged rate, which compared to the schools above us on that list, that’s a pretty high rate,” Porters says. “When compared to those above us who have a less than 10 percent or a lot even at a three percent at the economically disadvantaged rate. I think the message we are sending there is we are not going to allow the poverty rate to be a hurdle to achievement. All students can learn, and we are going to do our best to teach everyone. Our staff just does a great job of teaching the content, plus preparing our students for their careers. It’s really just something that’s a good thing that’s been going on, and we’ve been on their list before. Again, it’s an honor to be up there, because most of those schools — you could see in the demographics of those schools — they’re not the same as ours. Our community values what we do here at the school, and they are a part of our success. They send us kids everyday that are ready to learn and dedicated to being at school. Those are things we have going for us.”
Stated in U.S. News and World Report, Wheelersburg’s scorecard is: College Readiness Index 40.1, AP Tested 50%, AP Passed 73%, Mathematics Proficiency 64%, Reading Proficiency 79% and Graduation Rate of 98%.
“All of the schools in the area are working hard, and ODE (Ohio Department of Education) changes things over the years to make our jobs tough. It’s nice to get a little recognition when you see something like this, and it makes you feel good about what you are doing,” Porter is quick to mention.
When asked about how the teachers at Wheelersburg feel about the recognition and if they are excited, Porter says, “Absolutely, they’re very excited and it’s something that just shows them that a lot of hard work, staying the course and doing these changes, it’s nice to see a payoff.”
The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 20,500 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
How the Awards were Determined
Step 1 | Students exceeded expectations in their state.
USN&WR looked at whether each school’s relative performance in its state reading and mathematics assessments exceeded expectations, factoring in the proportion of its student body that is economically disadvantaged and projected to score lower.
Step 2 | Underserved students performed better than the state average.
USN&WR next compared each school’s reading and mathematics assessment scores among only their historically underserved students — black, Hispanic and low-income — with the average statewide results for these subgroups. Schools were selected that outperformed their state averages.
Step 3 | Student graduation rates met a threshold.
USN&WR excluded schools from consideration if their graduation rates were lower than 80 percent.
Step 4 | Students were prepared for college-level coursework.
For schools passing the first three steps, USN&WR calculated a College Readiness Index based on the percentages of each school’s students who took and passed AP and IB exams. Tiebreakers determined the ranks of schools achieving the same CRI.
Award Distribution: Gold 2%, Silver 11%, Bronze 16%, No Medal 71%
When distribution of awards is considered, Wheelersburg has truly accomplish a great feat. Wheelerburg High School being recognized is exciting and wonderful. Congratulations to the teachers and students who contributed to this honor and recognition.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928
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