Hart district officials tout spots in national rankings  

The William S. Hart Union High School District office
The William S. Hart Union High School District office

Six public high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley were named in the U.S. News & World Report rankings released Tuesday as among the top 14% nationally.  

Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch high schools made the list, with Castaic High School not quite having enough data to be eligible, according to school officials. 

“The Hart district is very pleased with the recognition it received today from the U.S. News and World Report. All six of the district’s comprehensive high schools that were eligible to be ranked were placed in the top 14% of public high schools nationwide,” said Hart governing board President Bob Jensen, in a statement emailed to The Signal on Tuesday.  

The publication’s Best High Schools Rankings compared the Hart district’s high schools against about 18,000 public high schools based on six factors, according to the district’s news release: college readiness; math and reading proficiency; math and reading performance; underserved student performance; college curriculum breadth; and graduation rate. 

“We had one ranked in the top 4% (West Ranch) and another in the top 14% (Golden Valley High), with the other four ranked between these two (the other four were ranked at 7% (Saugus), 10% (Valencia), 11% (Canyon) and 12% (Hart), respectively). This is an outstanding accomplishment,” he said, adding the district has “much to be proud of.”  

The numbers also indicate that most local schools improved in the rankings since the April 2022 edition of the list

West Ranch improved in the rankings from No. 840 in April of last year to No. 715 to lead the district. Saugus High went from No. 1,126 to No. 1,187. Valencia improved from No. 2,014 to No. 1,789.  Canyon moved one spot, from No. 1,959 to No. 1,960. Hart moved up from No. 2,316 to No. 2,035. Golden Valley dropped down from No. 2,359 to No. 2,474.  

The rankings noted advanced placement participation rate, graduation rate and college readiness, according to a news release Thursday from the district. 

Hart district officials also addressed why Academy of the Canyons, which is frequently a leader in the district in terms of students’ academic performance, was not on the list.  

“Academy of the Canyons does not offer AP classes, which goes against them on the magazine’s ranking system, but instead their students take college classes concurrently with their high school coursework,” according to the release, which also stated every district student has opportunities to take concurrent classes at College of the Canyons.   

Santa Clarita Valley International came in at No. 10,721 according to the report, No. 1,154 in California. The charter school on Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic is a K-12 with a total enrollment of about 247, according to the report’s website. The school also boasted a 100% graduation rate, according to the report.  

“This year’s U.S. News & World Report has reaffirmed the outstanding national reputation of Hart district schools,” Hart district Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said in the district’s news release. “This achievement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our dedicated students, staff and families, who have united to foster remarkable learning experiences for all individuals involved.” 

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