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Three Washoe County School District high schools rank top 10 in Nevada

By Erin Meyering
North Valleys High School

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked three Washoe County School District (WCSD) high schools among Nevada’s top 10 high schools. The Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology (AACT) ranked first in the state, Galena High School ranked second, and Reno High School ranked seventh among the total 139 high schools in Nevada.

“This is a wonderful tribute to our District staff, students, and families,” said Traci Davis,  WCSD Superintendent. “We have worked hard as a team to increase the number of students who are earning advanced and honors diplomas, increase our graduation rate, and support our students in preparation for college and highly-skilled careers. When a national publication recognizes the great work being done in Washoe County, that is a testament to the dedication of our staff members and students.”

The rankings were determined based upon factors including: student performance on state-required tests, how effectively the schools educate disadvantaged students, how well schools prepare students for college based upon participation and performance in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and for the first time, the publication ranked schools based upon graduation rates.

WCSD posts 75 percent of students earning diplomas District-wide. Its goal is to reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

The District also ranks highly in the nation as far as the percentage of students participating in—and performing well on— AP, SAT, and ACT college readiness exams. According to College Board, approximately 33 percent of high school graduates nationwide took at least one AP course before graduating. In WCSD, 56 percent of students took at least one of those courses.

North Valleys High School“The Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology is proud of the accomplishments of our staff and students,” said Josh Reddig, principal of AACT. “This outcome is a reflection of a united effort by teachers who have a vision of the expectations of college for all of our students and the ability and skill set they will need to be a success there. This accomplishment is the culmination of those efforts. Our students and teachers continue to improve, and this is only the beginning of our ongoing effort to make every student a college graduate.”

“All of us at Galena High School are so proud to be included on this Top Ten list,” said Tom Brown, principal at Galena High School. “This is a true testament to the great students, families, and staff that are part of the Galena community. Our students’ hard work, combined with the constant support of their families and the dedication of the entire Galena staff, make our school– like so many schools in the WCSD– a great place to get an education and participate in high school life.”

“We are very proud of the hard work and dedication of our outstanding staff members, amazing students and supportive families,” said Kris Hackbusch, principal of Reno High School. “It is a great honor, for a large public high school like ours, to be mentioned alongside the high-performing magnet schools in our state.”

For details on the U.S. News & World Report study, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/nevada/rankings?int=c0b4c1.

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