Pictured are Stoney Creek High School Principal Brian Shelson with student council president Dave Palazzolo, Rochester High School Principal Josh Wrinkle with student council president Eden McCullough, and Adams High School Principal Pasquale Cusumano with student council president Carson Collins.

Pictured are Stoney Creek High School Principal Brian Shelson with student council president Dave Palazzolo, Rochester High School Principal Josh Wrinkle with student council president Eden McCullough, and Adams High School Principal Pasquale Cusumano with student council president Carson Collins.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools


RCS high schools among top 50 in the state

U.S. News & World Report releases 2022 Best High Schools list

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 4, 2022

 High School students in the Rochester Community Schools district collaborate during class.

High School students in the Rochester Community Schools district collaborate during class.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools

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ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Three high schools in the Rochester Community Schools district are ranked among the best public high schools in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 17,800 schools at the national, state and local levels.

In Michigan, the report pit approximately 660 high schools in the state against each other.

The state’s top five are City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids at No.1, the International Academy of Macomb in Clinton Township at No. 2, the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills at No. 3, Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti at No. 4, and Troy High School at No. 5.

In the Rochester Community Schools district, all three of the district’s conventional high schools ranked in the top 50 in the state. Rochester Adams High School came in at No. 6 in Michigan, Stoney Creek placed No. 18 and Rochester High was ranked No. 41 in the state.

Nationally, Adams ranked No. 273, Stoney Creek was No. 731 and Rochester High placed No. 1,298 out of 17,843 high schools across the country.

“When we get these accolades, we’re certainly very proud to get them, but it’s important to say that this is indicative of an entire system’s worth of work — from our teachers to our support staff to our administrators, our central office, our Board of Education. It’s strong leadership, strong teaching and a desire to make sure that every student knows that they are safe, valued and respected and loved,” RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said.

There were a couple of schools in the district that were ranked that Shaner said should not have appeared on the list — Reuther Middle School and the Dr. John M. Schultz Educational Campus. The Dr. John M. Schultz Educational Campus accommodates several programs and services, including the Special Education Adult Transition Program and Services, the Alternative Center for Education, the Rochester Adult Center for Education, and offices for the RCS Virtual Campus.

“There are some buildings that were included that shouldn’t be,” Shaner explained. “We have no idea how that happened, but certainly Reuther Middle School is not a comprehensive high school; nor is the Schultz campus.”

Officials from U.S. News said the rankings this year used six factors: reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, graduation rates, and college readiness — the last of which was measured by participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. For the first time, science proficiency and performance were also incorporated into the methodology for states where science assessment data was available.

Eric Brooks, a principal data analyst at U.S. News, said the Best High Schools rankings take a comprehensive approach to evaluating schools.

“Looking at factors like graduation rates and underserved student performance, families can use this information to learn more about their local schools,” he said in a statement.

RCS Executive Director of Secondary Education Neil DeLuca said the district’s three conventional high schools work collaboratively to provide the same programming districtwide.

“We are a cohesive unit of three buildings working together to serve all high school students of Rochester Community Schools,” he said.

He added that the methodology for the rankings involves the number of students taking the AP test, the students taking College Board exams, PSAT and SAT data, as well as students with their Common Core assessments coming from the middle school level, which is why the rankings between the high schools vary.

“At Rochester High School, Stoney and Adams we offer 25 AP courses across the board as a district standard, but each school might have a different population there in the number of students taking the AP test,” said DeLuca.

Districtwide, Shaner said, RCS has 444 Scholars of Highest Distinction this year — which requires a grade point average of 3.9 or higher and the completion of four or more AP classes — 24 National Merit Finalists, 105 Scholars of Distinction and 184 Scholars of Achievement.

“We want to make sure we are celebrating this in the right way, which is not only celebrating the hard work of our staff, but the commitment of our students to academic excellence,” he said.

Teaching, Shaner added, is as much of an art as it is a science, and he said administrators appreciate the hard work across the district that comes with that. Approximately 92% of the district’s teachers or administrators carry expert degrees — either a master’s degree, an educational specialist degree or a doctorate — according to district officials.

DeLuca said the district’s parents also have an investment in the education of their students.

“The thing I’m proud of most is the inclusive nature of our high schools,” Shaner added. “We have a really diverse offering. We have a strong AP program, kids have access to Oakland Technical Early College and a career in technical education programming. Our arts programs are amazing. All of that stuff adds to helping develop well-rounded students who excel and serve the world well.”

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

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