Area school districts tout rankings by national group

Chesaning Union High School was recently named among the top 300 high schools in Michigan by U.S. News and World Report. New Lothrop, Corunna, Owosso and Ovid-Elsie high schools also placed within the top 300 in the state.

Five area high schools recently were recognized by a national publication as being among the top high schools in Michigan and the U.S.

In the recently released 2020 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, New Lothrop, Chesaning, Corunna, Owosso and Ovid-Elsie high schools each placed within the top 300 high schools in Michigan — and within the top 8,800 high schools nationwide.

New Lothrop High School (NHS) ranked 193rd out of 645 ranked high schools in the state, placing the school in the top 30 percent.

Chesaning, Corunna, Owosso and Ovid-Elsie high schools also ranked within the top 300 high schools in Michigan, placing 219th, 263rd, 295th and 297th, respectively.

“We are extremely proud of our U.S. News ranking. This accomplishment is not something we take for granted,” New Lothrop Area Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Berthiaume said via email. “Obviously, our students deserve the bulk of the credit; as individuals and as a group, they earned this achievement.

“I would (also) like to acknowledge our teachers, board of education, administrators, support staff, and the community as a whole for emphasizing (our) ‘Students First’ philosophy,” Berthiaume continued, “and (for) creating a supportive Pre-K to 12th grade learning environment for our students. The ranking upholds the tradition of excellence that our community has come to expect from our school district.”

Nationally, New Lothrop placed 5,570th out of the 17,792 high schools ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

Chesaning Union High School (CUHS) placed 6,333th in the national rankings, while Corunna, Owosso and Ovid-Elsie high schools were 7,729th, 8,775th and 8,792nd, respectively.

“We are pleased to be included in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools rankings,” Mike McGough, superintendent of Chesaning Union Schools, said via email. “I attribute Chesaning High School’s success to a variety of factors, including extremely high standards at every level of the district, strong building leadership, a dedicated and highly capable teaching and support staff, hard working students, and a supportive community.”

U.S. News and World Report considered several factors in its national assessment of high schools, among them students’ reading and math scores on state proficiency tests from the 2017-18 school year, taking into account the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, who tend to score lower.

New Lothrop’s reading proficiency rate was 71 percent and its math proficiency, 41 percent. At Chesaning Union High School, reading proficiency was 59 percent while math proficiency was 37 percent.

Corunna High School recorded a reading proficiency of 63 percent and a math proficiency of 32 percent. Owosso High School’s reading proficiency rate was 49 percent, and its math proficiency, 21 percent, while Ovid-Elsie recorded proficiency rates of 70 percent for reading and 46 percent for math.

Additionally, the magazine compared each school’s math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students — black, Hispanic and low-income — with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that performed better than the state averages.

The magazine determined that 48 percent of both Chesaning Union High School students and Owosso High School students were considered economically disadvantaged.

Economic disadvantaged rates among Corunna, Ovid-Elsie and New Lothrop high school students, meanwhile, stood at 47 percent, 36 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

U.S. News also evaluated schools using a College Readiness Index, based on the proportion of 12th-grade students who took and passed Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.

The AP participation rate at New Lothrop was 53 percent, with 16 percent of students passing at least one exam.

At Owosso, approximately 44 percent of 12th-grade students took at least one AP exam, with 27 percent passing at least one.

Chesaning, Corunna and Ovid-Elsie high schools recorded AP participation rates of 27 percent, 20 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Overall, Corunna Public Schools Superintendent John Fattal said the district’s U.S. News ranking reflects well of the staff.

“Our loyal staff works hard every single day to live up to our mission statement: To prepare an unprecedented number of students for college and/or careers, regardless of demographic factors,” Fattal said via email. “This measuring stick says that we are making progress. We are dedicated to that mission and will continue to make every effort to assist our students in being their best. There are still many areas where we are continuing to improve what we do and how we support our students and families on a daily basis.”

Owosso Public Schools Superintendent Andrea Tuttle said the district’s latest U.S. News ranking is indicative of its dedicated team.

“From preschool to high school, Owosso Public Schools’ innovative and diverse learning opportunities are complimented by International Baccalaureate instruction that is delivered by an outstanding team of highly skilled and caring educators who prepare students for academic and personal success,” Tuttle said via email.

Other state-ranked schools in the area include Laingsburg High School (301st in state), Perry High School (387th), Byron Area High School (451st) and Durand Area High School (466th).

Morrice Area High School was recognized in the state rankings in a group among 467 to 645, but did not receive an individual numerical rank.

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