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Ottawa Hills High School is once again the top high school in Ohio as well as No. 1 in the state for STEM subjects. 

"This is a tremendous honor and one that many families, students, and teachers share," said Ben McMurray, principal of the Junior/Senior High School. "The rankings reflect a community-wide commitment to our schools and the success of our students."

The rankings were announced today by U.S. News & World Report. The national rankings compared more than 17,800 high schools across six criteria, including graduation rates and AP testing, among students who attended high school in the 2018-2019 school year. Ottawa Hills finished No. 131 in the United States.

The building has now been ranked in the Top 5 statewide for four consecutive years and as the top STEM school in Ohio for two consecutive years. Statewide, the news organization compared 750 high schools.

“Our school has proven itself again to be not only Ohio’s best, but one of the nation's best. As proud as we all are with this ranking, it is truly just one way we recognize success,” said Superintendent Dr. Adam Fineske. “There are many others, including those even more important to me such as what happens daily in our classrooms, in our hallways, and on our playgrounds.”

Here are the six indicators of school quality that U.S. News uses to calculate the rankings:

  • College readiness, based on the proportions of 12th graders who took and earned a qualifying score on AP and/or IB exams.
  • College curriculum breadth, based on proportions of 12th graders who took and earned a qualifying score on AP and/or IB exams in multiple content areas.
  • Math and reading proficiency, based on student performance on state-required tests.
  • Math and reading performance, based on whether performance on state assessments exceeded expectations given the school's proportion of underserved students.
  • Underserved student performance, based on how Black, Hispanic and low-income students performed on state assessments compared with those who are not underserved in the state.
  • Graduation rate, based on the proportion of students who entered ninth grade in 2016-2017 and graduated four years later.

Learn more about the rankings

The ranking formula used those six factors to produce 0-100 percentile scores from which each school’s rank was determined. The highest-ranked schools were those whose students demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in state assessments, participated in and passed a diverse array of college-level exams, and graduated in high proportions.

For the first time, the rankings incorporated state assessments in science in addition to mathematics and reading.

Another change was necessitated by COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of most state testing in the spring of 2020. The 2022 rankings were to use 2019-20 assessment data for all subjects. Instead, U.S. News incorporated mathematics and reading data from three prior ranking years – 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 – as a reflection of each school’s recent performance. Science assessment data were only incorporated from the 2018-19 test year.

In addition to state assessments, the rankings again factor graduation rates and college readiness, which was measured by participation in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and performance on those examinations. These data were available for 2019-20. The weights of the six ranking factors weren't changed in 2022 compared to last year.

RTI International, one of the world's leading research institutes, worked with U.S. News to implement the ranking methodology.

In addition to the main national rankings, U.S. News released separate numerical rankings for all the high schools by state, district, and metropolitan region. The Best High Schools for STEM will again be a national ranking of the top 250 schools whose students excel on AP science and math tests.

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