Each of the comprehensive high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District and Academy of the Canyons were recognized in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings. Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch high schools each earned Silver Medals, meaning they ranked anywhere from No. 501 to No. 2,711 on the list, while the Academy of the Canyons was awarded a bronze medal in the rankings. Hart High School placed the highest in the rankings within the district at 171st in California and 982nd nationally. “It is exciting to see the hard work of our teachers and administrators at all six of our comprehensive high schools, plus AOC, pay off with this recognition,” said Vicki Engbrecht, Superintendent of the Hart School District. “Our focus has been and continues to be on the preparation and success of all our students, and that is what truly matters.” More than 22,000 public high schools across the country were compared using schools performance on state assessment tests and how well schools prepared students for college, as well as other metrics. The rankings noted Advanced Placement participation rate, graduation rate and college readiness as the factors for the Hart district’s success. According to U.S. News & World Report, four steps were used to determine the awards: students perform better than expected in their state; disadvantaged students perform better than state average; student graduation rates meet or exceed a national standard; students are prepared for college-level work. honored with distinctions Academy of the Canyons, a middle college high school, was penalized in the ranking system for not offering AP classes. District officials noted AOC students take college classes concurrently with their high school coursework, adding every student in the Hart School District has the opportunity to take concurrent classes at College of the Canyons.