All three Indian Prairie District 204 high schools — including Waubonsie Valley and Metea Valley in Aurora — cracked the top 25 in the state for the first time in the 2018 Best High Schools ranking from U.S. News & World Report.
Each year the publication reviews comprehensive data from the roughly 20,500 U.S. public high schools, including 670 in Illinois. From that, more than 5,900 of the nation’s highest-scoring schools were ranked. In Illinois, 182 high schools were recognized.
Rankings are based on state assessments, graduation rates and how well schools prepare students for college.
U.S. News ranked District 204’s Neuqua Valley, located in Naperville, 16th best in the state and 646 in the nation, Metea Valley came in at 19th in the state and 854 in the nation, and Waubonsie Valley ranked 24th in the state and 1,143 in the nation.
“We are excited to share this good news with our community. It reflects that our students are meeting the challenges of a rigorous curriculum that prepares them for their futures,” District 204 Superintendent Karen Sullivan said in an email. “I’m proud of their work, and the work of our teachers who deliver instruction in a way that engages our students.”
The three District 204 high schools also came in slightly higher than the two Naperville District 203 high schools.
Naperville Central ranked 28th in Illinois and 1,210 in the nation, and Naperville North was 29th in the state and 1,234 in the nation.
District 204 high schools have been climbing progressively in the ranking over the last few years.
The biggest jump came from Waubonsie Valley in Aurora, which moved up to 24 in the rankings from 42 in 2017 and 59 in the state in 2016.
Last year Metea Valley High School in Aurora cracked the top 25 with its rank of 23, which was up from 42 in 2016.
Neuqua Valley’s rise to 16 in the state is up from last year’s rank of 25 and 34 in 2016.
Some other schools in the Fox Valley also popped up on the list. St. Charles North came in at 18 and St. Charles East at 23 in the state.
“We appreciate any recognition that highlights our staff and their commitment to continuous improvement and academic achievements of our students,” St. Charles District 303 Superintendent Jason Pearson said in an email.
Geneva High School in School District 304 placed 44th on the Illinois list. No other Fox Valley high schools finished in the top 50.
The Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora was not eligible for the list because it is a three-year school.
The top public high school in Illinois in the 2018 U.S. News ranking is Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago, and eight of the top 10 schools in the state according to the list are located in Chicago.
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