Nation's Top 8 Percent

Newnan HS ranked silver by U.S. News and World Report

by Staff Reports

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Submitted Photo

Newnan High science teacher Kelley Finger, center, consults with advanced chemistry students Lyndsey Gardner, left, and Bailey Bossman, right.

Newnan High School has earned high marks among the nation’s high schools in a recent U.S. News and World Report magazine ranking.

Newnan High received a silver medal national ranking in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best High Schools report, placing the school in the top 8 percent of the nation’s public, charter and magnet schools.

Some 21,035 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were evaluated in the report — the state of Nebraska was not included. From that, Newnan High ranked at 1,680 nationally – in the top 8 percent of high schools in the nation. Newnan High ranked 34th in the state of Georgia – in the top 8 percent of all Georgia high schools, including public, charter and magnet schools.

Newnan High School’s national silver ranking by U.S. News and World report is due to the school’s track record of producing achievement across a wide range of students, school system officials said.

“I’m proud that Newnan High can be recognized like this at the national and state level for the hard work our teachers and students are doing here,” said Dr. Doug Moore, principal. “Our teaching staff is dedicated to high standards of achievement among all of our students, and that’s true of all the high schools in our county.”

The report noted that 97 percent of Newnan High School students were proficient in math and 94 percent were proficient in English, according to state testing results. A high percentage of students – 28 percent — took Advanced Placement courses, and a high percentage of students passed AP exams.

Significantly, 71 percent of the students taking AP exams during the year surveyed scored a 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams (scores accepted as credit for similar college courses).

“Newnan High School ranked at a 21.9 on the report’s college readiness index. The national ranking is 14.8,” noted Newnan High Assistant Principal Chase Puckett. “That is something that our faculty is very proud of. It shows that we have been moving toward greater college and career readiness with our students here at Newnan High.”

“There has been a strategic move in the county and here at the school to increase participation in advanced level classes and Advanced Placement classes,” said Puckett. “Our teachers have worked hard to identify ways that our students can be successful with rigorous courses and in all aspects of their high school experience, and I think we have been successful with that. We have expectations that our students should be successful academically, artistically, athletically, and in terms of community service – all pieces of the high school experience are important.”

“Newnan High’s motto is ‘Every Opportunity for Every Student,’” said Moore. “That’s what we have lived by here, and it shows in the report.”

The report’s methodology also focuses on schools that produce high levels of achievement among all students.

The 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings can be found in their entirety at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools. 

U.S. News created this year’s report by partnering with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), and by examining test scores and other data from the 2010-2011 school year.

Moore and Puckett said success among a broad range of Newnan High’s student population is a result of high expectations, and a number of innovative strategies, including things such as a focus on STEM curriculum — a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, on mastery learning by students in the classroom, flexible grouping of students, incorporation of technology in the classroom, and other strategies.

“The speed of change in the world of education is unbelievable,” said NHS science teacher Kelley Finger. “We are constantly working together to stay ahead of the curve with innovative strategies and technology in order to prepare our students for a highly competitive college admission process and workforce.”

“In our classrooms, we strive to provide engaging instructional practices, faculty and student learning communities and effective use of assessment for student learning. When all three of those parts are in place it provides students with the safety net that many students need to tackle the rigor of the A.P. and advanced level courses we offer here at NHS,” said Finger.

“The best traditional methods are still in play, but we have an extremely talented faculty and we’ve encouraged them to think outside the box,” said Moore.

“This is another indicator of why Newnan is a great place to live and raise a family, and why Newnan High school is a great place for students to excel,” said Puckett.



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