Kingston High School earns national ranking
By Jon Dohrer
Kingston Public Schools
KINGSTON — Kingston High School is one of few schools in the area to achieve a national rank on U.S. New & World Report's official index.
Kingston achieved the "Bronze Medal" ranking. according to the U.S. News' website, which ranks "Best High Schools." The school is one of only three in the immediate area to achieve a national rank.
The ranking system measures schools' proficiency in numerous areas, including Advanced Placement course work, college readiness and performance of disadvantaged students at the school.
High School Principal Brenda Foster had high praise for everyone who helped Kingston earn the prestigious designation..
"Our district was very excited to achieve the 'Bronze Medal' level ranking," Foster said. "This was achieved due to a team effort by our employees, from the support personnel who take care of our grounds and beautiful facility to the superintendent and Board of Education."
The U.S. News ranking is among a number of recent indicators of academic improvement at Kingston High School. Rising scores on end-of-instruction examinations, an average ACT score among the top schools in the area and success in competitive academics are some of the school's achievements this year.
"It's been a great year for academics at Kingston," McAdams said. "The quality of instruction, the hard work of our students and the support of our parents are all coming together and starting to pay dividends for us. The Bronze Medal ranking is yet another example of what our students and teachers can accomplish, and I expect this to continue."
Foster said the scholastic success begins with motivation to achieve a common goal.
"The sense of school pride is evident in everything we do," Foster said. "Our master teachers educate and motivate our students and they take great pride in doing their best to pass the end-of-instruction tests. They take advantage of the extra educational opportunities which are provided for before- and after-school tutoring and Saturday school."
Foster said the school has a number of policies and programs in place to help create an environment for academic success.
"ACE Remediation is provided during the school day, which has also helped on student test performance," Foster said. "Teachers have been provided professional development opportunities to strengthen their academic areas. Our curriculum director (Paula Oliver) meets weekly with our faculty to check curriculum objectives and student progress. She provides up-to-date information and materials, which is helping our staff transition into the Common Core State Standards, which begin in 2014-15."
U.S. News & World Report teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research to compile the results. The data is assembled from the schools annual reporting, according to U.S. News' website.
"AIR implemented U.S. News's comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators," said U.S. News reporter Robert Morse in an April article.
The report on Kingston can be found by accessing http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/oklahoma/districts, and selecting "Kingston from the menu. Other schools can also be selected for comparison.
The overview includes not only academic information, but also demographic data. It includes information about the make-up of each class, teacher-to-student ratio, percentage of economically disadvantaged students and other general information.
The website shows KHS to be above the state average in algebra test results, and at proficient levels in English. It should be noted that the report is based on information from the 2010-11 school year. Scores at Kingston have improved since that time.
The school was also above average in the percentage of disadvantaged students who performed at proficient or advanced level.
"Kingston Public Schools is very blessed to have such a dedicated staff and parents who are always willing to go that extra mile to help our students achieve success in everything in which they participate," Foster said. "In closing, I would like to share the outstanding news that we have had 160 students out of 275 at KHS earn the right to compete at the state level! This includes academics, art, band, vocal music, FFA, FCCLA and athletics."
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