Fairbanks High School (FHS) is the 46th best high school in Ohio and the 1,294th best in America for 2018, according to U.S. News.
U.S. News analyzed 822 high schools in Ohio and 20,500 high schools, and FHS placed in the top 6 percent of both Ohio and American high schools. This puts FHS at a silver medal standing among other schools, and is the only high school in the county that’s ranked.
“The rankings were good,” Fairbanks Superintendent Bob Humble said. “We fell a little bit from last year, but it’s always based upon a different set of students each year. It’s very tough to compare year to year because you’re talking about a different set of students.”
Though FHS’s score dropped in some categories, Humble said he’s still pleased with the fact this is the seventh year in a row FHS has been ranked. He said being ranked is an achievement itself.
“It’s very telling that the things we’re doing here are really working to help our students achieve,” Humble said.
One of the scores that dropped was the school’s percentage of students who received advanced placement (AP) testing. The school’s rates went from 66 percent tested in 2017 to 58 percent tested in 2018.
However, the number of students who passed their AP testing rose from 57 percent in 2017 to 59 percent in 2018.
Humble said what affected the school’s AP testing scores was the way it handles AP tests. He said FHS requires its AP students to take tests, which is uncommon for schools to do.
FHS principal Tom Montgomery said that decision was made because if a student is “willing to take the class, they should take the test.”
Montgomery said the testing helps AP teachers and the administrative team get feedback to make improvements to the AP courses.
Humble and Montgomery said FHS’s success stems from its goal of preparing students for life after high school.
“It is our desire to prepare any student who wants to go to college with the skills they need to go to college,” Montgomery said. “It’s also our intent to prepare our students who don’t want to go to a traditional four-year college but to be ready to go into the workforce or be ready to go into a two-year institution.”
Humble said the school’s addition of more technology into classroom instruction and incorporation of blended learning into lessons helps their students prepare for the working world.
“We’re giving students more choices in the way they learn and more choices in how we do assessments and being able to do multiple different things,” Humble said. “If they are going to college, they can be ready for that, or if they are going into the workforce, they can be ready to do those as well.”
Montgomery said there’s “always room for improvement” and to keep assessing students.
“We need to continue to look at the ways to make ourselves better as an educational institution,” Montgomery said. “We’re still producing students, according to the rankings, who are equipped to go into the real world, either to college, the workforce or a technical institution.”
Humble said once the district gets data on FHS, analysis is always done to see where the school can improve.
He said though the rankings took a slight drop since last year, FHS is “being very consistent,” and is “doing the things we need to be doing to get on the list to be as high as we are.”
Humble said being on the list itself is good enough.
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