Campus High School was one of five Kansas schools recognized Tuesday as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The award honors public and private schools where students either perform at high levels or where significant improvements are being made in achievement.
Campus, part of the Haysville School District, was recognized for improvements in student achievement, a category in which schools with at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievements in state assessments.
“It’s a great honor, it really is. It’s just an indication of the quality of teachers we have, and the commitment of our parents and kids to learning, too,” said Myron Regier, principal.
State assessment scores in math and reading have been climbing at Campus, he said. Last spring 86.4 percent of Campus students passed state math assessments. That number was 44.8 percent in 2006.
Last spring, 93.5 percent passed state reading assessments, up from 76.3 percent in 2006.
Campus had 471 students who enrolled in Advanced Placement classes last year, compared with 224 in 2006, Regier said. Its graduation rate was 89.6 percent in 2012, compared with 76.7 percent in 2004.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of different things that we’ve done. We’ve really tried to improve academic rigor here,” Regier said.
He cited the school’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program, which helps focus students from non-traditional college backgrounds on taking AP courses and preparing for post-secondary education.
Campus also has an alternative school that helps students who fall behind due to academic or family problems get back on track to graduate.
The school will receive a flag to fly in recognition of its status as a Blue Ribbon school, Regier said. Ideas are being formulated for a celebration at the school.
Campus will be among 236 public and 50 private schools to be honored by the Education department at a ceremony Nov. 18-19 in Washington.
West Franklin High School in Pomona also was recognized for improvements in achievement.
Mission Trail Elementary School in Leawood, Chapman High School in Chapman and Oswego Neosho Heights Elementary School in Oswego were recognized for exemplary academic performance.