News release issued by the William S. Hart Union High School District.
The Washington Post has released its annual rankings of America’s most challenging high schools with Hart and Saugus High Schools making the list. Only 12 percent of all American high schools, public and private, qualified for the list.
Hart ranked 1,149 out of the schools that qualified, with Saugus coming in 1,632.
The rankings were created through an index formula that considered Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.
Hart’s index ratio was 2.267 with a graduation rate of 98.6 percent. Saugus had an index ratio of 1.706 with a graduation rate of 99 percent.
“I’m proud that the effort on behalf of our teachers, counselors, and students is recognized annually by The Washington Post,” said Dr. Collyn Nielsen, Principal of Hart High School. “A lot of work goes into having a robust, successful Advanced Placement program, and it’s nice to see that work payoff for students in the form of accumulated college credits and getting a preview of what to expect at the college level. When the eighth graders come to Hart in the spring for orientation, we challenge them to take at least one AP class during their high school career to get a taste of what is waiting for them in college. Some of those students start in 9th grade with AP, while others take their first AP class as a senior. And that’s okay. It’s based on their readiness level, and they are better off for the experience.”
“At Saugus, we have been encouraging all students to take the highest levels of classes for many years,” said Saugus Principal Bill Bolde. “We believe in a most challenging environment and putting safety nets in place to assist when kids struggle. We have had record numbers of students taking AP and Honors classes and it’s a tribute to this faculty when we see such high test results and positive outcomes.”