Northeast Magnet High School in Wichita once again made the list of top 10 public high schools in Kansas in the 2016 rankings of the nation’s best high schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Northeast Magnet ranked seventh in the state and was designated a silver-medal school in a list dominated by Kansas City-area high schools.
Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their students’ graduation rates, performance on state tests and college readiness.
Blue Valley North High in Overland Park ranked No. 1 in the state.
“I think it just reminds me what a great place we have,” said Matthew Creasman, principal at Northeast Magnet in Wichita.
“It has always been an outstanding school. But the school that’s here right now, the staff that’s here right now, the students that are here right now – it’s as good as it’s ever been,” he said. “I’m just proud of the work that our teachers do and that our students do.”
Northeast Magnet opened in 1990 with 395 students. The school offered specialized programs in science and visual arts with a humanities program. It merged with the Downtown Law Magnet, once housed at Wichita’s City Hall, in 1996. In 2012, the school moved to its new building at 53rd Street North and Rock Road.
About 700 students attend Northeast Magnet this year. Creasman, the principal, said next fall’s freshman class will be the largest yet, with 250 students, but the school’s growing popularity means the waiting list is getting longer, too.
“We’ve always been one of the best schools. … So I think people know that, and I think they appreciate that, and they want to be a part of that,” Creasman said. “I want people here who want to be here. It’s too bad there aren’t more choices like us.”
The other schools in the state’s top 10 were Blue Valley High in Stilwell, Blue Valley Southwest, Olathe Northwest, Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley West, Liberal Senior High, DeSoto High and Mill Valley High in Shawnee.
In the national rankings, the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas claimed the title of No. 1 public high school in the country. Students there are required to take at least 11 AP courses and partner with area universities to conduct field research.
In the magazine’s state-by-state rankings, Kansas ranked No. 46 among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the 314 Kansas high schools eligible for the rankings, based on the magazine’s criteria, none received a gold-medal ranking and only 10 – 3.2 percent – received a silver medal.
Maryland was this year’s leading performer, with 28.9 percent of its eligible schools earning gold or silver medals. Connecticut came in second and California was third.
The schools won’t receive a monetary award but will have their rankings, medal designations and data published online at www.usnews.com.