15 CT High Schools Among Nation’s Best for College Readiness

A total of 15 Connecticut public high schools made the list of the top 500 high schools in the nation, compiled by Newsweek magazine.  The top-ranked Connecticut school, Weston High School, ranked #47 in the U.S. and was the only school in the state to crack the top 50.  Also reaching the top 100 was Staples High School in Westport at #63. Three high schools were ranked between 100 and 200 on the national list – Ridgefield High School at #119, Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford at #158, and Lyme-Old Lyme High School at #185.

The Newsweek High School Rankings—recognizing the achievements of the best public high schools in the United States for college readiness—have been published for more than a decade. The rankings were compiled using several metrics, including graduation rate, college enrollment rate, SAT and ACT scores, AP and IB scores and participation, teacher-student ratio and dropout rates.

Newsweek places an emphasis on criteria like college enrollment and graduation rate since “we know that those are some of the biggest indicators of whether students are prepared for college,” Newsweek officials said.  This year’s rankings were weighted by:0aedbf26799cf8087f8e3041633f6b4e6430abfb

  • Enrollment Rate—25 percent
  • Graduation Rate—20 percent
  • Weighted AP/IB/Dual Enrollment composite—17.5 percent
  • Weighted SAT/ACT composite—17.5 percent
  • Change in student enrollment between 9th-12th grades, to control for dropout rates—10 percent
  • Counselor-to-Student Ratio—10 percent

There are almost 30,000 public high schools in the United States.0806100thinking01

Also earning a spot among the top 10 Connecticut high schools on the list were Daniel Hand High School in Madison (#213), Simsbury High School (#273), Newtown High School (#308), Farmington High School (#312), and Woodstock Academy (#337).

The top high schools in the United States, according to Newsweek, are Thomas Jefferson High (Alexandria, VA), High Technology High School (Lincroft, NJ) and Academy for Mathematics Science and Engineering (Rockaway, NJ).

Newsweek also publishes a second list, called “Beating the Odds” which seeks to identify schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage.  Three Connecticut schools reached that list of top schools – Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford at #164, Central High School at #270 and The Bridge Academy at #466.  The poverty levels for the three schools were listed as 25%, 99.9% and 80.8% respectively.


Connecticut High Schools Rank #3 in USA

Connecticut has some of the nation’s best high schools according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.  Overall, the caliber of the state’s high schools made Connecticut the number three state in the nation.  The schools were ranked using state assessments in math, science and English language arts. Picture1Maryland was ranked at the top of the list, with nearly 30 percent of it’s schools earning gold or silver medals. California came in second with 27 percent, and Connecticut had 25 percent.

Connecticut’s top ranked high school, the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy in East Hartford, earned a place in the nation’s top 50 high schools, ranked at #34.

Here are the top 10 high schools in Connecticut, according to the list:

  1. Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy in East Hartford
  2. Amistad Academy in New Haven
  3. Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford
  4. Conard High School in West Hartford
  5. Weston High School in Weston
  6. Simsbury High School in Simsbury
  7. Staples High School in Westport
  8. Darien High School in Darien
  9. Wilton High School in Wilton
  10. Farmington High School in Farmington

In the 2015 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, Connecticut has 14 gold medal schools, 35 silver medal schools and nine bronze medal schools. One of the bronze medal winners, Sports & Med Science, is in Hartford.dd-academics

On the national list, Connecticut’s second ranked high school, the Amistad Academy in New Haven, was ranked #145.  The Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Hartford was ranked #171 in the nation.  West Hartford’s Conard High School was ranked #203, Weston High School was #264 and Simsbury High School was ranked #300 in the nation.

Just outside the top 10 high schools in the state, Ridgefield High School was #11, Hall High School in West Hartford was #12, Joel Barlow High School in Redding was #13 and Greenwich High School was #14.

To produce the 2015 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News & World Report teamed with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm.  The magazine used a  three-step process to determined the Best High Schools. The first two steps was designed to ensure that the schools serve all of their students well, using their performance on the math and reading parts of their state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work, the magazine explained.

CT Would Be 22nd State to Require CPR Training in High School

Connecticut is poised to become the 22th state to pass legislation requiring CPR training as a high school graduation requirement, according to data from the American Heart Association and the National Center for Education Statistics. The state legislature’s Public Health Committee approved a bill last week that would establish the requirement in Connecticut schools, following passionate testimony supporting it, from the public and legislators.  The bill must be approved by the House and Senate before moving on to Governor Malloy to sign into law.

West Virginia recently became the 21st state to pass a CPR bill, which was signed into law by that state’s Governor earlier this month. A similar bill is now being considered by state legislatures in Missouri and Florida.

Every hour in the U.CPRS. approximately 48 people will have a cardiac arrest event outside of the hospital. Nine out of ten people will not survive. However, if lifesaving CPR is performed, a victim’s chance of surviving can double, or even triple, according to the American Heart Association.

The AHA is among the organizations supporting the legislation, working in Connecticut and across the country to pass state laws “that will assure all students are trained in life-saving CPR before they graduate from high school.”  In addition, a website, becprsmart.org, has been developed to provide information related to theUnited-States-High-School-CPR-Map1-1024x731 national initiative.

The organization’s CPR in School Training Kit is portable, durable, designed to train 10 to 20 students at once, and comes with “everything you will need to quickly and easily teach your students,” the AHA website points out, noting that “one CPR in Schools Training Kit can train hundreds of students!”

In testimony at the Connecticut State Capitol, Elizabeth Schiller, president of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians, said that CPR “may mean the difference between life and death. By instituting education at the high school level, young adults will become familiar with the process and hopefully will feel comfortable assisting others in a time of need.”

The CPR in Schools Training Kit empowers students to learn the core skills of CPR in under 30 minutes, and it teaches AED skills and choking relief, according to the AHA. Described as an “easy-to-use kit,” it is designed “specifically for the needs of school educators. It’s portable, allowing for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. It’s also reusable.”

The CPR in Schools Training Kit was developed by the American Heart Association and “incorporates the very latest science.”  The American Red Cross also offers a range of first aid courses for students, including CPR.



Additional information:  www.cprcertificationtrainingonline.com/


13 CT High Schools in Nation’s Top 500, Up from 8 Last Year; Four CT Schools "Beat the Odds"

Thirteen Connecticut high schools rank among the nation’s top 500 according to a report compiled by Newsweek Magazine – an increase from eight schools a year ago. Connecticut did not have a school ranked in the top 100.  The highest ranked Connecticut school on the list is Amity High School in Woodbridge, which placed at #112, up from #667 last year.  Connecticut’s top-ranked high school in last year’s analysis, the Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford, also ranked #112 that year.  This year the IB Academy was at #140, the second highest ranked school in Connecticut.bestschools-share

New to the top 500 from Connecticut this year were Litchfield High School, Greenwich High School, Daniel Hand High School in Madison, South Windsor High School, Fairfield Warde High School, East Lyme High School, Wolcott High School, East Lyme High School, Wolcott High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Haddam-Killingworth High School, Pomperaug High School in Southbury and Cheshire High School. 

Every year Newsweek announces the nation’s best high schools that do an outstanding job of preparing students for college.  The magazine teamed up with a research group to compile the list.  They said their methodology was more stringent than ever with new measures of quality and a high standard of data, utilized a College Readiness Score that was based on the following six indicators:

  • Enrollment Rate—25 percenthigh school
  • Graduation Rate—20 percent
  • Weighted AP/IB composite—17.5 percent
  • Weighted SAT/ACT composite—17.5 percent
  • Holding Power (change in student enrollment between ninth and 12th grades; this measure is intended to control for student attrition)—10 percent
  • Counselor-to-Student Ratio —10 percent

The number one spot in the nation went to Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA.  Connecticut’s 13 high schools ranked in Newsweek’s Top 500 include:

  • Amity High School in Woodbridge (#112)
  • Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford (#140)
  • Litchfield High School (#164)
  • Greenwich High School (#168)
  • Daniel Hand High School in Madison (#179)
  • South Windsor High School (#226)
  • Fairfield Warde High School (#227)
  • East Lyme High School (#228)
  • Wolcott High School (#337)
  • Lyme-Old Lyme High School (#352)
  • Haddam-Killingworth High School  (#336)
  • Pomperaug High School in Southbury (#386)
  • Cheshire High School (#401)

A year ago, there were eight Connecticut high schools in the top 500.  The top-ranked school in the state was the Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford, at #112.  Also ranking in the top 500 in 2013 were Weston High School at #190, Staples High School in Westport at #196, New Canaan High School at #227, Ridgefield High School at #270, Farmington High School at #405, and Valley Regional High School in Deep River at #441.  All but the Connecticut IB Academy fell out of the top 500 this year.

Among this year’s top 500, Greenwich High School was #573 a year ago, Daniel Hand High School in Madison ranked #589, Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge was #667, and East Lyme High School was #723.

"Beat the Odds" Schools

In a separate ranking of the nation’s top schools for low-income students, which Newsweek describes as "Beat the Odds Schools," the highest-ranked Connecticut high school was the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, which ranked #266.  It is one of four Connecticut high schools to reach the nation's top 500, according to the Newsweek analysis.  The Connecticut IB Academy was the second-ranked Connecticut high school on this list as well, coming in at #275.  Bunnell High School in Stratford was #290, and Common Ground High School in New Haven was #316.

With the list, Newsweek sought to “recognize schools that beat the odds, performing better than statistically expected for their level of poverty.” Schools were ranked on how well they prepare their students for college, taking students’ socio-economic background into account.

44 Connecticut High Schools Among Best in US; Top School in State Is #15 Nationally

Forty-four Connecticut high schools have earned a slot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the nation’s Best High Schools. The top school in Connecticut, according to the rankings, is Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, an inter-district magnet school run by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), which came in at number 15 in the U.S. rankings.

The title of number one school in the country went to School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas.  The top ten nationally included schools in Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Michigan and California.  TAmericas-Best-High-Schoolshe publication’s 2014 Best High School rankings, included a review of 19,411 public high schools.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Connecticut has 17 gold medal schools, 20 silver medal schools and seven bronze medal schools. In order to be eligible for a state ranking, a school must be awarded a national gold or silver medal.

CREC’s Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, at #15 nationally, was the only Connecticut school to make the top 30.  The school plans to move to a newly constructed school facility in Windsor next year. It is a grade 6 – 12 magnet school with programs that build upon each other to help students gain skills and unique experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that prepare them for college and high-demand professional careers. The diverse student body comes from more than 30 cities and towns in the Greater Hartford area.

The Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy, in East Hartford, ranked #2 in Connecticut and #31 in the nation, according to the US News rankings.  The #3 high school in Connecticut ranked #182 nationally – Weston High School.

In addition to the top 12 high schools in Connecticut (see chart), those making the U.S. News list included Joel Barlow High School (Redding), Simsbury High School, Greenwich High School, Newtown High School, New Canaatop high school listn High School, Fairfield Ludlowe High School, Avon High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School,  Brookfield High School, Fairfield Warde High School, Amity Regional High School (Woodbridge), Guilford High School, Glastonbury High School, Suffield High School, Litchfield High School, Metropolitan Learning Center (Bloomfield), and Bolton High School, all among the top 1,000 high schools nationally.

Also reaching the U.S. News list, were Valley Regional High School (Deep River), Bristol Central High School, South Windsor High School, Daniel Hand High School (Madison), Southington High School, Hill Regional Career High School (New Haven), Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School (New Haven), and Northwestern Regional High School (Winsted), which placed among the top 1,640 high schools nationwide.

Among the Connecticut high schools (see the full list of rankings) the top ranked school for college readiness was Lyme-Old Lyme High School, followed by Old Saybrook High School and Pomperaug Regional High School (Southbury).awards pie

The best student-teacher ratio in the state was 10:1, occurring in 13 high schools, including Bloomfield High School, Windsor High School, East Windsor High School and Windham High School.   Twelve schools were tied with the highest math proficiency in the state; four schools had the highest reading proficiency among their students – Newtown, Greenwich, Brookfield and Farmington high schools.

The US News site explains that "a three-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work."

  • Step 1 determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state.
  • Step 2 determined whether the school's least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
  • Step 3 judged college-readiness performance using Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success.

Gold medal designation went to the top 500 schools (about 3 percent) based on the highest college readiness, the silver medal to high performing schools with lower college readiness numbers (about 9 percent of schools), and the bronze designation went to high performing schools based on state examThe Changing Prairie performance (about 15 percent of schools).  Three-quarters of the schools whose data was analyzed did not earn a “best” designation.

Pilot Proposed to Track High School Sports Injuries; Prospects in Doubt

Even with increased attention of late on the prevalence of concussions in youth sports, the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association (CATA) says there is no reliable sports-related injury data compiled by secondary schools across Connecticut – for concussions or other injuries. They’d like to change that, and are urging legislators to  The goal is to “make recommendations to decrease the number” of injuries, and to quantify the need for appropriate medical coverage for secondary school student-athletes.

The proposal is opposed by the state Department of Public Health (DPH), citing a lack of funding for such a pilot.  In testimony earlier this month for the legislature’s Public Health Committee, Commissioner Jewel Mullen said “DPH does not have resources to conduct a pilot program solely for the purpose of studying injury rates in school athlcata_invertedLOGOetic programs.”

She went on to offer that “the DPH can assist in providing support to statewide injury prevention initiatives that would address systems and environmental change to prevent injuries and disabilities to Connecticut residents.”

The department’s Office of Injury Prevention (OIP) “ceased to exist” in August 2010, after 17 years, when it was unsuccessful in obtaining federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  A five-year grant from CDC, which had supported operations of the OIP, expired in 2010.

The new pilot program being proposed by CATA and a coalition of statewide organizations would:

  • Collect injury data from 20 schools over a 2-year period
  • Identify injury rates, patterns and trends among high school sports participants in CT
  • Assist with the development of evidence-based interventions to improve the health and safety of participants by lowering the number and/or severity of injuries and illnesses
  • Provide evidence that may drive rule or policy change to ensure athlete safety
  • Quantify the need for appropriate medical coverage for secondary school student –athletes

Thomas H. Trojian, Sports Medicine Fellowship Director at the UConn Health Center and a member of the Connecticut Concussion Task Force, described the plan as “vital to the health and safety of the children of the state of Connecticut.”  He told the committee that “due to the lack of a data collecting process, both physicians and those involved in these sports at a regulatory level cannot make fully educated decisions regarding interventions or rule changes to protect the health and safety of our student athletes in Connecticut.”

A multi-disciplinary group has begun collaborating, and supports the initiative.  Included are the Connecticut Athletic Trainer’s Association, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, Connecticut State Medical Society, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Nationally, there are 30 million high school students participating in organized sports, with more than 2 million sports-related injuries each year.  The Connecticut State Medical Society said the pilot program proposed in Connecticut is “the appropriate first step by putting in place the appropriate entities to study and report on incidence of injuries and concussions at the high school level.”  The organization added that “it has been estimated that up to 50% of injuries may be preventable or at least have the long-term consequences lessened if tracking and reporting occurred.”

In her testimony, Mullen noted that “unintentional injuries cause 25% of all deaths among Connecticut children 1 to 14 years of age and approximately half of all deaths among young persons between the ages of 15 to 24 year.”

Connecticut athletic trainers are licensed health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients.  Athletic training encompasses the prevention, assessment and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitation and disabilities.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has formed a Youth Sports Safety Alliance, with more than 100 health care and sports organizations and parent activities involved.  Their goal:  to make America’s sports programs safer for young athletes.

The organization has developed a “Secondary School Student Athletes’ Bill of Rights,” and urges schools to adopt safety measures to protect students from injury or illness, particularly cardiac events, neurological injuries, environmentally-induced conditions and dietary/substance-induced conditions.