SHERIDAN — On April 21, U.S. News and World Report released its high school rankings, with Sheridan High School ranked second in the state.
The results provide a time to celebrate and is an affirmation of what Sheridan Count School District 2 has been doing for a long time, SHS principal Brent Leibach said. The celebration is not only for SHS staff, but for the entire district.
The ranking reflects of the education students receive in SCSD2. Teachers from elementary schools and Sheridan Junior High School all contribute to student success at the high school level, Leibach said.
This success comes from collaboration between all schools, said SCSD2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty. Teachers at SJHS understand what is happening at the elementary level and teachers at SHS and SJHS communicate to understand where students are in their curriculum while they make the transition.
This is not the first time SHS has been ranked high but is consistently a top-ranked school in the state. Dougherty said it shows consistency.
SCSD2 has strong scores at all levels of education and teachers have high expectations for every student. SCSD2 believes every student is capable of receiving high-level education. There is dedication on all levels to make sure students succeed district-wide, Dougherty said.
SCSD2 schools build off of none another allowing for consistent student success.
Schools were ranked based on data from the 2017-2018 school year, looking at the full career of students enrolled at that time, said Madeline Smanik, media contact at U.S. News.
Six indicators of school quality were used to determine rankings: College readiness, college curriculum breadth, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, underserved student performance and graduation rate.
College readiness accounted for 30% of the score, math and reading performance and proficiency were 20% each and all other areas accounted for 10% of the score.
Number of students taking AP courses and passing AP exams accounted for the college readiness and college curriculum breadth while math and reading scores were taken from state assessments.
SHS had 43% of students take at least one AP exam and 30% passed at least one AP exam. Jackson Hole High School — the top-ranked school in Wyoming — had 73% of its students take at least one AP exam and 45% passed at least one exam.
Sheridan had higher marks in math and reading performances, with state rankings of No. 2 in math and reading proficiency and No. 3 in math and reading performance.
Classes taken at community colleges or universities were not factored into results, Smanik said.
SHS offers dual and concurrent enrollment with Sheridan College, a partnership SHS is always excited about, Leibach said, which has seen an increase.
AP and dual and concurrent enrollment classes all offer rigorous curriculum for students. Leibach said they are similar, with the main difference being how college credits are earned. Students in dual and concurrent enrollment need to pass the class by earning a high enough grade to receive credit, while in AP classes students need to reach a certain benchmark on the AP exams, usually scoring at least a three out of a five point scale to earn credit.
Leibach said there is a beauty to providing different options to students, and AP classes will be maintained.
Leibach said it is always interesting how organizations decide how to determine rankings and grades for schools. Each one adds and subtracts different areas to consider. U.S. News was focused on college preparation for schools to determine their rankings.
The ranking provides the opportunity to celebrate and will enjoy it for a time. There is still plenty of work to be completed, Leibach said. While recognition for achievements are good, there is still a focus on making sure every student receives the help they need and their needs are met.
There is always room for improvement and the goal is to ensure every group of students excel, he said.