Two Idaho schools earn recognition in Newsweek

As students across the country head back to school, two Idaho high schools received national recognition Wednesday as part of Newsweek’s 2015 High School Rankings.

NewsweekNotus Junior-Senior High School and Sugar-Salem High School appeared on “Beating the Odds,” the publication’s list of 500 high-performing schools.

The bad news: none of the Gem State’s schools landed on the other list the magazine released this week — ranking the country’s top overall high schools.

Notus — with a graduation rate of 100 percent, a college-bound rate of 86.4 percent and a poverty rate of 59.1 percent — ranked No. 404 on Newsweek’s “Beating the Odds” list. Newsweek assigned the Canyon County school a college readiness score of 78.2 percent, relative to other schools making the list.

Eastern Idaho’s Sugar-Salem came in at No. 473. Newsweek pegged Sugar-Salem’s gradation rate at 98.3 percent, its college-bound rate at 80 percent and poverty rate at 37.6 percent. Newsweek assigned Sugar-Salem a relative college readiness rank of 77.3 percent.

Sugar-Salem was also recognized for helping low-income students score at or above average levels on state assessments.

The rankings measure factors such as graduation rates, college go-on rates, SAT and ACT scores, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation, the ratio of full-time counselors to students, dropout rates, student poverty rates and eligibility for free and reduced price lunch, according to a Newsweek news release.

“Newsweek’s High School Rankings are exceptional because of the many factors we take into consideration when selecting top schools as well as our look at inequality when it comes to education,” Newsweek editor-in-chief Jim Impoco said in a written statement. “Our analysis looks at a broad range of criteria and sheds light on schools that are setting the bar high for their students and helping them to succeed in the next chapter of their education.”

The complete “Beating the Odds” and “America’s Top High Schools” lists are available online via Newsweek.

For more detailed performance data on Idaho’s public schools visit Idaho Education News’ sister site, Idaho Ed Trends.

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