By JESSICA ROBINSON
Riverside High School was recently ranked the fifth best Wyoming high school, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The Best High Schools list ranks and identifies the top performing public high schools in the country. According to its website, the goal is to “provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students — from the highest to lowest achieving — in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.”
Information collected for the list comes from third party sources such as The Common Core of Data, statewide math and reading level assessment tests and high school graduation rates, the College Board and the International Baccalaureate.
The data collected was from the 2016-2017 school year.
Each school is ranked nationally. Then there are individual lists for the top schools in each state. For the 2019 list, U.S. News & World Report entirely revamped the methodology it uses to rank schools. Schools were rated on six measures: college readiness, college curriculum breadth, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance and graduation rate.
“We work real hard to ensure our students’ success,” said RHS Principal Tony Anson.
He said that the number of AP courses the school offers affects the ranking. RHS does not offer AP courses. Anson said RHS has so many college courses the students can take. It is better for students to take the college courses than the AP courses, he added.
In an overview on the ranking factors of the 17,245 schools ranked nationally, Riverside did not rank with the college readiness index and college curriculum breadth index. RHS tied for the number one spot for both math and reading proficiency and performances. RHS tied for 12,198th nationally for graduation rate.
Nationally, the school ranked 2,535 out of the 17,245 schools.
U.S. News and World Report listed the student-to-teacher ratio for Riverside at 7 to 1. The total of minority students was reported at 14 percent. It was also stated in the report that 51 percent of the students at Riverside were economically disadvantaged.
The overall score that Riverside received was 85.3 out of 100 points on the scorecard.
“I am extremely pleased that Riverside High School has been recognized by US News and World Report and as a top five school in Wyoming,” said Superintendent Dave Kerby. “This ranking is in line with the ‘Exceeds Expectations’ they received this fall on our state ESSA report. This ranking is a reflection of solid principal leadership and a quality staff who take a personal interest in the education of all BHCSD No. 4 students. It is also a reflection of students making a good effort and caring parents who support those students and teachers.”
The four schools ranked above Riverside were Jackson Hole High School, Sheridan High School, Laramie High School and Pinedale High School.