Thursday, September 11, 2014

Two of America's best

There are 22,000 public high schools in the United States of America.  Are your kids attending the right high school? According to a recently released national ranking of America’s Top High Schools the answer is a resounding “Yes”…. if you live in Oconee County, Georgia.  Oconee County Schools maintains only two of the 22,000 high schools in America.  Yet, those two schools, North Oconee High and Oconee County High, are quickly becoming known as two of the best in the nation.

The Daily Beast, a nationally-recognized online publication with ties to Newsweek, recently conducted a research study to find out which high schools were turning out the top students in America.  The study reviewed 2012-2013 data from the Department of Education and targeted high schools with a graduation rate of 85 percent or higher.  Researchers then compared college acceptance rates, academic rigor using AP, IB, and AICE classes and test scores, and finally, student performance on college admission exams such as the ACT and SAT.  Once the dust settled, just over 700 of the 22,000 high schools remained. 

North Oconee and Oconee County high schools were listed in the top 2 percent of all high schools in America, with NOHS receiving a ranking of 487 and OCHS a ranking of 341.  As of today, those marks place North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School as two of the top six schools in Georgia!  In addition, Oconee County Schools is the only school district in Georgia with all of its high schools represented on this prestigious list!  

Congratulations to our students, parents, teachers, and community for being named one of the best educational environments in the country.  Accolades like the one mentioned above are not easily garnered and should be celebrated, recognized, and acknowledged.  In addition, we all understand that student learning does not begin at the high school level and that our middle and elementary schools are playing a vital role in preparing our students for successful futures.  Our kids are achieving amazing results through their hard work, dedication, and drive; our teachers are diligently working each day to prepare students for greatness and our parents and community place a high value on education.  These ingredients contribute to a beautiful recipe that yields outstanding student achievement. 


The goal, however, of Oconee County Schools is one of continuous improvement and sustained excellence.  That is why we embarked last year on the creation of a strategic plan and this year we began the implementation of that plan in our schools.  It is the goal of our community and our school leaders to get better each day and ask the same of our students.  As we are now twenty days or just over ten percent into our 2014-2015 school year, I would like to know how your students are progressing. Please share your thoughts on the start of the year, your student’s journey and experience, and how we can better meet their needs at jbranch@oconeeschools.org

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