All three Coweta County School System high schools have been recognized as part of the country’s “Best High Schools” in 2020 by U.S. News and World Report.
U.S. News recently released the annual list, which recognizes high-achieving public, magnet and charter schools across the U.S., according to a press release from the school system.
U.S. News numerically ranked 17,792 high schools nationwide as part of its survey, and schools with a national rank in the top 40 percent achieved status as “best” high schools.
High schools are ranked based on a number of criteria, including the percentage of students who perform above expectations in state assessments for math and reading, the percentage of students who take and perform well on college-level exams such as Advanced Placement exams, and schools with high graduation rates.
“Over the past several years our elementary, middle and high schools have received state and national recognition. This recognition for our three high schools from U.S. News and World Report represents the hard work of teachers, students and all who support our students,” said Coweta County Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker.
“With a focus on providing advanced opportunities for students, our high schools continue to raise the bar,” said Barker in the release. “I am proud of our high schools and I appreciate all who tirelessly support our school system.”
“I’m proud of our students,” said Northgate High School Principal Ken Kesselring. “This distinction reflects our teachers’ and our whole staff's efforts to maintain a high level of academic rigor and opportunity at Northgate. That’s not just true here, it’s true throughout our whole county, because of Coweta County's focus on academic achievement from elementary grades and up.”
Newnan High School Principal Chase Puckett said the report reflects that all three Coweta County high schools focus on providing students with more advanced academic opportunities, including dual-enrollment and Advanced Placement.
“We are all focused on improving graduation rates, student attendance rates, providing support in the classroom for students who need targeted help, and prioritize building positive relationships between advisors and staff members and our kids,” Puckett said.
“The fact that all three high schools are making this ranking is commendable,” said East Coweta High School Principal Steve Allen. “I think it goes back to our last accreditation. Everyone took a direct, collaborative approach to student learning, improvement and advanced opportunity. Elementary schools, middle schools and high school planned together ways that we were going to improve how our students are learning and preparing for the next level, and that approach was supported by the district leadership and our school board.”
“I think we are seeing the benefits of how intentional we were,” said Allen. “It has paid off in our high school performance. Our whole system is following an approach of focusing on individual students, believing in each of them and supporting each of them. Once they get to us, students have the proper skill sets to advance in a high school setting.”
The criteria for ranking on the annual “Best High Schools” list includes college readiness, the proportion of a school's 12th graders that took and passed AP or IB exams; college curriculum breadth, 2017-2018 12th graders who took and passed multiple AP or IB exams; math and reading proficiency, compared against other schools from their state; math and reading performance, compared with what U.S. News predicted for a school with its demographic characteristics in its state; underserved student performance, assessing learning outcomes among several student subgroups; and graduation rate — the proportion of students who graduate on time.
To read more about U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best High Schools visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools .