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Salisbury High makes US News & World Report list

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY ó Salisbury High School has made the U.S. News & World Report annual list of Best High Schools for the fifth year in a row.
ěWeíre always proud to be recognized for our academics,î Principal Dr. Windsor Eagle said Thursday. ěAnd since we donít apply for it, itís just awarded, we think thatís just fantastic.î
The school is one of 50 of the stateís more than 400 public high schools to be named to the list and the only one in the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Nearly 22,000 public schools were analyzed for the report.
U.S. News & World Report use a three-step process to determine the best high schools. The first two steps use state proficiency standards as the benchmarks to ensure that schools serve all their students well. A third step assesses the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.
Salisbury High is one of 1,189 high schools in the country to receive a bronze medal designation, which is given to high schools that pass the first two steps, but donít receive a high enough college readiness score, based on Advanced Placement test data, to be awarded silver or gold status.
ěI am very proud of the administrators, teachers and students from Salisbury High School for successfully ranking as one of the top high schools in the nation for their accomplishments in how well they are serving the diverse population of students that attend Salisbury High,î Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said. ěDr. Eagleís staff and students have consistently received this recognition for a number of years and that sends a clear message that they are focused on educating and meeting the needs of individual students.
ěI could not be more happy and pleased with this great success.î
Salisbury High received a silver medal in 2008, along with just six other high schools in the state. This year, two schools in the state received gold, 11 silver and 31 bronze.
The school has also been ranked 1,167 out of 2,051 on the Washington Postís High School Challenge, a list included in Newsweek until this year. The list represents about 10 percent of American high schools.
The ranking measures how well high schools prepare students for college by dividing the number of AP tests the school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. Schools must apply to be included in the list.
Salisbury High had the largest number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses last year at nearly 180. Eagle said the school is currently offering about 16 AP courses this year.
According to the Washington Post report, about 18 percent of seniors had at least one AP score that would qualify them for college credit.
Eagle will be presenting the information about the schoolís bronze status and High School Challenge ranking to students during an assembly today. Heíll also share End-of-Course test results along with SAT and AP scores from 2010-11.
Salisbury High boosts the highest average SAT score in the district at 1,480, five points above the state average.
The school did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress, the reading and math accountability standard required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, this year. Only five of the districtís 35 schools met those goals.
Salisbury High did meet academic growth under the stateís ABC accountability model.
Eagle said he presents the information to the entire student body every year.
ěItís just important for them to know how we play the game and whether we won or lost,î he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Twitter: twitter.com/posteducation
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