The U.S. News & World Report has spoken, and Ridgefield High School is once again one of the top schools in the state of Connecticut.

RHS ranked fourth in the state and 298th in the country, according to the latest “Best High Schools” report.

The school earned one of eight gold medals awarded by U.S. News & World Report.

“Ridgefield High School is ranked fourth within Connecticut,” the report said. “Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. The AP participation rate at Ridgefield High School is 68%. The student body makeup is 50% male and 50% female, and the total minority enrollment is 11%.”

Amistad Academy in New Haven, Weston High School, and East Granby High School finished in the top three of the rankings, respectively.

Staples High School in Westport, Conrad High School in West Hartford, New Canaan High School, and Farmington High School were the other four schools to earn gold medals, finishing No. 5 through No. 8, respectively.

Simsbury High School and Fairfield Ludlowe High School rounded out the top 10.

Amistad Academy was the only school in Connecticut ranked in the top 100 nationally, finishing No. 20.

Weston placed No. 231, while East Granby finished four places above Ridgefield at No. 294.

Data process

The 2017 rankings of best high schools identify the top-performing public schools at both the national and the state level and include data on more than 20,000 high schools. To be considered among the best, high schools had to pass a rigorous four-step process that sought to determine whether a school was serving all of its students and not just those who are college bound.

The first step determined whether students at a particular school were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state, factoring in percentages of economically disadvantaged students to identify schools. Schools that passed this step then moved on to step two, which assessed whether disadvantaged students performed at or better than state averages for the least-advantaged students.

For the next two steps, U.S. News looked at graduation rates and college readiness performance. To pass step three, high schools had to have a graduation rate of 75 percent or greater. For the 2017 rankings, the graduation rate reflect students who entered the ninth grade in the 2011-2012 school year. Finally, U.S. News calculated a college readiness index, which was the number of 12th graders who took and passed at least one AP test, divided by the number of 12th graders at that school.

To be ranked numerically nationally, schools had to pass steps 1-3 and have a college readiness index of 20.91 or above.

Top 10 listed

The top high 10 schools in Connecticut are:

Amistad Academy, New Haven (National Rank: 20)

Weston High School, Weston (National Rank: 231)

East Granby High School, East Granby (National Rank: 294)

Ridgefield High School, Ridgefield (National Rank: 298)

Staples High School, Westport (National Rank: 391)

Conard High School, West Hartford (National Rank: 450)

New Canaan High School, New Canaan (National Rank: 464)

Farmington High School, Farmington (National Rank: 495)

Simsbury High School, Simsbury (National Rank: 517)

Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Fairfield (National Rank: 655)