Three of U.S. News & World Report’s top 29 Georgia high schools are right here in Hall County.
East Hall High School, Gainesville High School and Johnson High School made the national magazine’s “America’s Best High Schools 2010” bronze list in an analysis of 21,786 public high schools in 48 states and Washington, D.C.
This year marks the third the magazine has ranked public high schools. Gainesville High and East Hall High made the 2009 bronze list. Johnson High, North Hall High and West Hall High made the same list in 2008.
U.S. News & World Report studied how each school’s students performed on state tests, how well disadvantaged students performed and whether the school provided college-level coursework.
“This is the second consecutive year that GHS has made the list,” Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said in an e-mail. “It is a reflection of the work that our school system, not just the high school, has done on making our children, no matter where they came from or where they live now, to strive toward high goals for themselves. Our high school staff are ‘possibilitarians.’ They help the kids to believe that possibilities are open to them. We are extremely proud of our high school and the schools that prepare them.”
Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said he is pleased Hall County high schools have made the list for three years.
“It is always reinforcing when high quality organizations from outside the field of education acknowledge excellence in your schools,” he said in an e-mail. “Our system looks beyond a 55 percent poverty rate and a third of its students' primary language not being English, and commits to provide high level, rigorous programming such as International Baccalaureate and (Advanced Placement courses) for all students.”
With 29 schools awarded the bronze medal or better, Georgia ranked No. 20 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s analysis of the number of best high schools. Georgia’s only gold medal high school, John S. Davidson Fine Arts School in Augusta, ranked No. 100 in the magazine’s top 100 list.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. ranked as the nation’s best high school, according to the magazine. The school has courses in DNA science, neurobiology and quantum physics. The school also charges students to explore the responsibilities of educated people.