Glacier High School earned high marks in the latest education rankings organized by U.S. News & World Report.
The Kalispell high school was ranked fourth best in the state and landed in the top 9 percent of all high schools in the U.S., according to the media company’s latest list of top-performing public high schools at national and state levels.
“Since day one, our vision has been clear and simply stated: We strive to be one of the top high schools in the nation. The Wolfpack team continually fosters a mindset of excellence, continuous growth, and persistence,” Glacier principal Callie Langohr said. “I am so proud of our Wolfpack family for this national acknowledgment of their hard work and dedication.”
With an enrollment of 1,294 students, Glacier was the top ranked Class AA school in Montana. Gardiner, with 78 students, was top ranked overall in the state, followed by Lone Peak in Gallatin County and Stevensville.
Overall, Montana ranked 31st in the nation.
At Glacier, 38 percent of the student body participates in Advanced Placement courses, which offers college credit opportunities. Of those who participated in AP courses, 63 percent passed, according to the U.S. News report.
Flathead ranked higher than its crosstown counterpart in both math and English proficiency and did not have an AP ranking because it offers an International Baccalaureate program, another renowned college preparatory program, instead of AP.
Glacier’s high honor arrives at the same time it is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The school is also among four high schools selected for having the most memorable graduation ceremonies in the nation, and it will find out in May if it was selected No. 1.
The U.S. News & World Report, a national media company that annually recognizes leaders in college, graduate school, hospital and other sectors, puts together its report based on a series of criteria analyzing how public schools best serve students, including disadvantaged populations. Overall, the rankings focus on student outcomes with an emphasis on graduation rates and state proficiency tests.
More than 22,000 high schools are studied. Roughly 6,000 schools receive national recognition from U.S. News, and students from these schools graduate at rates that are 15 percent higher, on average, than students at schools nationwide that are not ranked.
“It is critical that students graduate from high school to put them on a successful path to college and a career,” stated Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “We encourage parents to use the data included in the 2017 Best High Schools rankings to help make informed decisions about their children’s education.”
This year U.S. News made a change in the way it factors Advanced Placement exams as part of the tiebreaker in the methodology to better reflect schools that are preparing their students for college. The measure includes giving more weight to schools where students participate – and pass – a variety of college-level courses and exams.
“Research has shown that students exposed to a more diverse high school curriculum are better equipped for college success,” stated Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. “With this new tiebreaker measure, U.S. News is rewarding schools that make an effort to challenge their students in a broad range of subjects.”
Top Ranked High Schools in Montana
1. Gardiner (78 students)
2. Lone Peak (77 students)
3. Stevensville (386 students)
4. Glacier (1,294 students)
5. Big Timber (175 students)
6. Missoula Hellgate (1,205 students)
7. Corvallis (425 students)
8. Red Lodge (165 students)
9. Three Forks (168 students)
10. Polson (482 students)
11. Great Falls C.M. Russell (1,498 students)
12. Big Sandy (49 students)
13. Bridger (61 students)
14. Broadwater (203 students)
15. Fairfield (108 students)
16. Flathead (1,512 students)
17. Garfield County (53 students)
18. Harlem (158 students)
19. Lambert (45 students)
20. Plains (143 students)