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Adams High School ranked among top 5 high schools statewide

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 30, 2017

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ROCHESTER — Rochester Adams High School is ranked among the best public high schools in the state, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Adams was named as one of the top five Michigan high schools in the magazine’s 2017 “Best High Schools” list — a nationwide report that looked at overall student performance on state assessments and college readiness from the 2014-15 school year for 20,487 high schools throughout the country.

“We congratulate Rochester Adams High School on their U.S. News and World Report ranking as a top five public high school in the state,” Lori Grein, Rochester Community Schools community relations director, said in a statement. “We are equally as proud of our other high schools, who continue our tradition of providing academic excellence. We also can’t forget to recognize our elementary and middle schools, who provide our high school students with the foundation to succeed.”

To identify the best high schools, the magazine used a four-step process. The first three steps included student performance on the math and reading portions of state proficiency tests, graduation rates and how well all students were served. Schools that made it past the first three steps were then assessed on how prepared students were for college-level work. Only those schools that earned a national gold or silver medal were eligible for state ranking.

In Michigan, the study reviewed approximately 685 districts and 1,097 public high schools across the state, bestowing gold medals to six schools, silver medals to 79 and bronze medals to 160.

Michigan’s top five high schools, according to the list, are Wellspring Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids, Arbor Preparatory High School in Ypsilanti, Black River Public School in Holland, Rochester Adams High School in Rochester Hills and Saline High School in Saline. The only other high school in Oakland County to be ranked in the top 10 schools statewide was Troy High School, which received a gold medal and was ranked sixth in the state.

Rochester Adams High School, which was named the fourth-best high school in the state, was the only high school in the Rochester Community Schools district to be ranked.

RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said he is proud of the ranking, which he said is due to the work of the staff, the students and the parents who support the school.

“We are, of course, very proud of this, but we are also very proud of the entire school district and the hard work and teamwork that goes into something like this. Our strategic plan calls for us to be the best in (the) world, and we intend to make that districtwide. … This is a team effort of the entire school district,” Shaner said.

Although Stoney Creek High School and Rochester High School each received silver medals from U.S News and World Report last year, both were unranked this year.

But Shaner said he isn’t too worried about that.

“Do I have a worry as the superintendent of Rochester Community Schools? No, I don’t, because we have such a great community school district with the stakeholders behind our kids,” he said. “The individual principals, well, they might be a wee bit competitive and they definitely want to be ranked … and recognized for the hard work that their staff does. And I’ll tell you how far they go — they’ve actually worked with the metrics to try to find out what it is that caused them to be unranked this year, what function of the algorithm that U.S. News uses to determine that.”

A key metric for analyzing top high schools in the study is the level of college readiness of students. Shaner said all high school students in the RCS district have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams.

“Research indicates the more you can go up in the curriculum with kids, the better they do later on in life, so we have made a concerted effort to expand opportunities with AP classes and to raise expectations for kids. Because we know one thing: When high expectations are made, they exceed them almost every single time,” he said.

Shaner also pointed out that the district, as a whole, has a very high graduation rate — with 96 percent of its high school graduates attending post-secondary school. He also noted that the district’s mean SAT score is 12 percent higher than the state average and 14 percent higher than the national average.

“So we have some very high-achieving schools and some very high-achieving students,” he said. “It is truly something that keeps you young in this business, to be able to watch kids grow. It is so much fun,” said Shaner.

Adams, which earned a gold medal, received a score of 63.3 out of 100 in college readiness and ranked 316th nationally, according to the study. The high school has an enrollment of over 1,500 students, a 99 percent graduation rate and a ratio of one teacher for every 21 students. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 23 percent, according to statistics from the report. The AP participation rate at Adams is 69 percent, the report states.

Stoney Creek, which earned a score of 54.6 in college readiness this year, has an enrollment of over 1,600 students, a 98 percent graduation rate and a ratio of one teacher for every 21 students. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 17 percent, according to statistics from the report. The AP participation rate at Stoney Creek is 61 percent, the report states.

Rochester High School, which earned a score of 45.2 in college readiness, has an enrollment of over 1,500 students, a 97 percent graduation rate and a ratio of one teacher for every 21 students. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 30 percent, according to statistics from the report. The statistics show that the AP participation rate at Rochester High is 61 percent.

For the full rankings, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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