"We have two of the top 100 rated high schools in VA: SJHS is 88th and CHS is 90th! Thank you, Ms. Hensley and Mr. Dorman, for your leadership."
"This [US News & World Report National Bronze Medal], in addition to the niche.com ranking, speaks to the great work of you [Mr. Dorman] and your SJHS staff."
Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent
Shenandoah County Public Schools
Melissa Hensley, Principal of Central High School, and Mike Dorman, Principal of Stonewall Jackson High School, have good news to share. Niche.com has included both Central and Stonewall among the top 100 public high schools in Virginia. Stonewall is ranked 88th and Central is ranked 90th on niche.com’s recently published “Best K-12 Schools: 2015 Niche Rankings.” There are 312 public high schools in Virginia; so the rankings place both Central and Stonewall among the top 29% of public high schools in Virginia.
Both Ms. Hensley and Mr. Dorman are proud of the hard work and accomplishments of students and staff. However, neither principal was aware of the evaluations by niche.com despite the fact that parents and students had participated in surveys adding important information to the listings. Data from the Virginia Department of Education’s web site provided Niche with necessary academic and demographic information.
Niche.com prides itself on including “Real Outcomes” and “Everyday Experts.” For K-12 Schools, “Real Outcomes” are data from standardized tests and other scores. “Everyday Experts” are students, parents, and professionals who complete surveys.
US News and World Report/Education
Stonewall Jackson High School has yet another ranking – an even more impressive ranking – to claim. According to the US News and World Report, Stonewall Jackson High School ranks among the top 25% of high schools in America.
In an effort to find the Best Public High Schools in America, US News’ evaluation began with gathering data from 31,242 US Public High Schools from all 50 fifty states and Washington, D.C. Because not all schools had sufficient enrollment or academic data to be included in the study, the 31,242 number was reduced to 19,411 schools. Of this number, 97 Virginia schools received national rankings of Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Stonewall Jackson High School (Shenandoah County Public Schools) is one of those 97 schools having earned a bronze ranking at the national level.
US News worked with the American Institute for Research, one of the largest social science research organizations in the world, to conduct their study. There were critical questions that had to be answered before the research could begin: What are the characteristics of a “great” school? And how will we measure these characteristics?
The team determined that a “great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are going to college. Second, a great high school had to prove through measurable academic outcomes that the school was successfully educating its students across a range of performance indicators” such as standardized tests.
The researchers’ data included student/teacher ratios; scores on math and reading SOLs (or other state measures) with attention paid to scores of disadvantaged and less-advantaged students, number of students who took Advanced Placements exams, and the number of students who passed AP exams. These last two measures indicated college readiness performance.
Nationally, U.S. News awarded three top rankings with the following distribution:
Gold—The top 500 schools in the nation based on college readiness (500)
Silver—High performing schools with lower college readiness. (501-2019)
Bronze—High performing schools based on state exam performance (additional 2,688 schools)
Stonewall Jackson High School was awarded a Bronze Medal. In the national picture, Stonewall Jackson High School is among the best 4,707 schools (Medal Awards) in America. Statistically, this study, which included 19,411 public schools from across the USA, places Stonewall Jackson High School in the top 25% nationally!
In Virginia, there are 312 high schools with 97 of these schools nationally ranked. Stonewall Jackson High School is ranked among the top 31% of public high schools in the state.
For additional information about Shenandoah County schools’ rankings, please go to niche.com and usnews.com/education.