MASON — A Mason County high school has been recognized in the annual “Best High Schools” rankings by U.S. News and World Report for 2018.
Wahama High School received a bronze medal, and was one of 5,948 schools from more than 20,000 nationwide to be recognized.
Schools are presented gold, silver, or bronze medals. Wahama ranked 15th in the state, and was the only school in the county to receive the designation.
“It’s a great honor for Wahama to be recognized nationally,” said Principal Kenny Bond. “We take a lot of pride to work with stakeholders in the community to assure our students achieve academically.”
Bond also lauded the teachers, staff, and especially the students for their hard work.
U.S. News and World Report based the ranking methodology on the key principles that a great school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound. It also must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.
A four-step process determined the Best High Schools:
Step one determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state. The 10 percent of schools with the highest performance on their state’s reading and math assessment tests passed this step.
For schools passing step one, step two assessed whether their historically under served students (black, Hispanic and low income) performed at or better than the state average for historically under served students.
If step two was passed, the school proceeded to step three, which required schools to meet or surpass a benchmark for their graduation rate. High schools only passed this step if their graduation rate was 80 percent or greater.
Schools that made it through the first three steps were eligible to be judged nationally on the final step of college-readiness performance, using Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmark. The fourth step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students.
Only 500 high schools nationwide, or 2.4 percent, received gold medals. Receiving silver medals were 2,211 high schools, or 10.8 percent, and receiving bronze medals were 3,237 high schools, or 15.8 percent of the eligible schools.
Wahama’s statistics showed a total enrollment of 366 students, four percent of whom were listed as minority, and 49 percent of whom were listed as economically disadvantaged. There are 25 full-time teachers at the school, with a student teacher ratio of 14:1.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.