TRAVERSE CITY — Leland Public School earned a Silver Medal ranking for the third consecutive year in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top high schools in the nation.
The school ranked 14th in the state, up six places from last year’s numbers, and ranked 593rd out of more than 19,000 schools across the country included in the report. Schools that ranked 1 to 500 nationally received Gold Medal rankings.
Benzie Central High School ranked 54th in the state and 1,827th in the nation and was the only other high school in the five-county Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District to receive a ranking this year.
“Earning the Silver Medal for three years in a row speaks to us that we’re doing our job,” Leland Public School Superintendent Jason Stowe said. “We’ve gone up all three years, which makes us feel good because we know we’re making progress.”
The report’s rankings were based on three factors: math and reading scores on state proficiency tests compared to statewide averages; math and reading scores for minority and low-income students compared to statewide averages; and student scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests compared to nationwide data.
Stowe said Leland offers a lot of college-level opportunities for such a small school. AP courses in literature, chemistry, calculus and human geography are all options for the 118 high school students enrolled this year.
The district also is in the process of applying for its IB certification, which would make more college-level courses available.
The rankings consider more than just college-readiness. “A great high school must serve all of it’s students well, not just those who are college-bound,” the criteria states.
Stowe is confident Leland fits the bill.
“We talk about college-readiness, and I think the right terminology is college- and career-readiness,” he said. “Not every kid is going to go to college. It isn’t always the right fit. We want to make sure that they have the skills they need to be successful in a career.”