RHS, 4th in state, named a 'gold medal' school

Ridgefield High School certainly has a gold standard.

For the second consecutive year, the school earned the district a “gold medal” designation from U.S. News and World Report for finishing in the top 500 public high schools out of 21,000-ranked schools in 49 states.

The school ranked No. 4 in the state and No. 250 in the nation, according to the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools reports released Tuesday.

“Obviously we are thrilled with the recognition,” Ridgefield High School principal Stacey Gross said. “It’s a testament to our staff, our students and the parental community that surrounds the school. We are proud of all the students who take AP exams, but that is just a piece of what makes this such a great school.”

The magazine evaluates student performance on state tests, as well as on how their performance on advanced placement exams that determine college and career readiness.

“We provide an environment where students have a lot of opportunities that foster academic success,” Ms. Gross said. “We also have opportunities outside of the classroom that cater to the whole child….

“We hire very well qualified teachers and provide development programs that facilitate their growth and I want to applaud them for their efforts.”

The magazine’s list is based on three benchmarks: Proficiency in reading and math measured by the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), college readiness measured by Advanced Placement exams and the racial and economic achievement gap compared to the state average, according to the magazine’s website.

Darien High School was named the No. 1 high school in the state, rising six spots in the rankings from No. 7 last year. Nationally, Darien leaped from No. 324 to No. 217, just outside the top 1% of schools.

Conard High School in West Hartford finished a spot behind Darien in both the state and national rankings, while Weston High School finished No. 3 in the state and No. 240 nationally.

Farmington High School rounded out the top 5, finishing No. 258 in the national rankings.

Wilton, Staples (Westport), William H. Hall (West Hartford), Joel Barlow (Redding) and the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy (East Hartford) rounded out the top 10.

Last year, Ridgefield ranked No. 226 nationally and finished No. 3 in the state.

Five years prior to that, in 2007, the school finished No. 16 in the state and No. 505 nationally.

For complete rankings, see U.S. News & World Report story.

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