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U.S. News & World Report names Highlands one of America's Best High Schools




(May 17, 2018) Highlands High School was again named one of “America’s Best High Schools” by the recent U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best High Schools 2018” report, receiving a Gold Medal designation, ranking 2nd in Kentucky and 308th nationally. 


More than 20,500 high schools were analyzed based on 2015-16 data, and the gold medal designation is awarded to the top 500 schools. Only five high schools in Kentucky earned a gold medal designation, the highest award given. Additionally, Highlands High School is in the top 5 in the Greater Cincinnati area with Walnut Hills, Wyoming, Indian Hill and Madeira high schools.


Superintendent Karen Cheser stated, “We are very proud of the tremendous work our faculty and students do at Highlands High School. From preschool through 12th grade, our teachers teach at a high level and are innovative in their approaches to make sure every student succeeds. And as rankings like the U.S. News and World Report list demonstrate, students respond. Once again, Fort Thomas Independent  Schools excels, no matter the measure.”


Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on state proficiency standards, how well they prepare students for college, and other factors. To produce the 2018 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm.


RTI implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on these key principles: that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.


Steps in the methodology used to determine the awards are

  1. Students exceeded expectations in their states – HHS performed better than the state on reading (81% proficient) and math (73% proficient) end-of-course assessments.
  2. Underserved students performed better than the state average – HHS performed better than the state on reading and math end-of-course assessments combined (55% proficient).
  3. Student graduation rates – HHS graduation rate is 95%.
  4. Students were prepared for college-level coursework – 60% of HHS students graduating in 2015-16 passed at least one AP exam.


For more information about these rankings, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings

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