EHS, CHS place in national academic rankings

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

It’s no secret that Evergreen and Conifer high schools are sporting rivals. And the academic rivalry is just as strong, but maybe a bit friendlier.

That’s why both principals are applauding their national rankings among the top 500 high schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and their rankings as two of the most challenging high schools in the country by the Washington Post.

“We certainly have a rivalry with Conifer and other schools in Jeffco,” said EHS principal Matt Walsh, “but I would say that it’s the best kind of rivalry. We bring out the best in each other. On many occasions, we share best practices back and forth in order to help one another be their best.”

CHS principal Mike Musick agreed.

“It’s obviously a friendly rivalry,” he said. “Both (CHS and EHS) do such amazing things for kids. When we send kids off to college, they are prepared. Our efforts are for all the kids.”

Both Musick and Walsh attribute their success to their teachers, hard-working students, their communities, and the elementary and middle schools that prepared the students.

“What shouldn’t be lost in these rankings is all of the hard work that our elementary and middle school colleagues do for our kids,” Walsh said.

Musick added: “(The rankings) recognize the excellent work we’re doing at our schools. Getting the recognition gets the word out that our students are doing great work.”

Best schools

CHS ranked as the 13th best high school in the state and 415th nationally, and EHS was ranked the 14th best in the state and the 439th nationally in the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools list.

Lakewood High, where some foothills students attend because it is an International Baccalaureate school, ranked 18th in the state and 594th nationally. Platte Canyon High ranked 32nd in the state and 1,605th nationally. Clear Creek High was rated but not ranked in this study.

Last year, Conifer ranked 16th in the state and 454th nationally, while Evergreen ranked 15th in the state and 440th nationally.

U.S. News and World Report looks at 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The rankings are based on the number of students taking Advanced Placement classes, grades students get on the Advanced Placement tests, and standardized tests scores.

According to the rankings, the best school in Colorado is Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette. The top school in the nation is the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas.

Most challenging schools
The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list puts EHS as the 391st most challenging high school in the country, with CHS as the 508th. Lakewood High ranked 475th.

All schools listed in this ranking are the top 10 percent of public high schools in the country.

Lafayette’s Peak to Peak Charter School ranked 75th as the top Colorado school, and the Washington Post ranked the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif., as the most challenging school in the nation.

The ranking are determined by the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041.

For more information …

For more about the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools list, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

For more about the Washington Post list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools, visit apps.washingtonpost.com/highschoolchallenge.