Four Long Island high schools have landed on the U.S. News & World Report list of Top 100 high schools in the nation.
South Side High School in Rockville Centre was ranked the highest at No. 22, Jericho High School ranked No. 94, Commack High School fell right behind at No. 95 and Locust Valley High School was ranked No. 99, according to the magazine.
The list looked at nearly 22,000 public high schools across the country and graded each on how well they prepare students for college and a variety of other factors. The four LI high schools successfully advanced through each step of the publications grading process and each one received a gold medal for college readiness.
William Johnson, superintendent of the Rockville Centre Union Free School District, said the news caught the district by surprise and he had to make sure the report was real before announcing it to the world.
He said he felt good knowing “that all the hard work and effort by our staff and students [and] by our families in this community is being recognized.”
South Side High School holds 1,130 kids, he said, noting that there’s open enrollment in all of its advanced classes.
“We really encourage our students to challenge themselves and take on the highest level of curriculum that we offer, and they do,” Johnson added. “And I think that’s one of the primary reasons why we are where we are.”
South Side received the highest college readiness index value of 100.
Anna Hunderfund, superintendent of the Locust Valley Central School District, pointed to the high school’s 96-percent success rate in students enrolling in college.
She said students are prepared for higher learning because they’re encouraged to take university level courses starting in their sophomore year. Hunderfund noted that 82 percent of Locust Valley High School kids complete at least one university level credit, while others go on to earn many more credits.
“One of the greatest predictors of success is how well the students do in university level courses when they are in high school,” she said.
Commack School District Superintendent Dr. Donald James released a statement on the district’s website, giving most of the credit to the students, staff and administrators for “having a hand in attaining this significant recognition.”
“Clearly, Commack is meeting and exceeding all standards and preparing students for success after high school,” James said.