by Dennis Dalman
The people of Sartell and St. Stephen have a very good new reason to be proud: Their high school recently earned top grades from “U.S. News and World Report.”
It was named 18th among the best non-private high schools in Minnesota. If that doesn’t sound so “tops,” consider the fact there are 1,144 non-private public and charter high schools in the state.
Sartell High School Principal Shayne Kusler reacted to the news with these words:
“We have great students and a great staff who work hard every day to reach their best success throughout our schools, preschool through 12th grade. This is a fantastic headline for Sartell High School, but it is truly a recognition of effort from everyone in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District, including students, families, staff and community members day after day, year after year. Great job everyone!”
Sartell High School received an overall rating of 93.08 out of a possible 100 points.
Nationally, the school ranked at number 1,224 among high schools nationwide. If that doesn’t sound impressive, consider there are 24,000 public high schools in the nation, all of them rated by U.S. News and World Report.
Each year, NWR undertakes a massive, data-based analysis of high schools. Its criteria include students’ performance on state-required tests, graduation rate and how well schools prepare students for college, among a wealth of other considerations. The results, just recently released, are based on data from the 2022-23 school year.
The NWR study revealed the following about Sartell High School:
Graduation rate: 97 percent.
College readiness: 42.3 percent out of 100.
Ratio of female to male students: 51 percent, 49 percent.
Participation in reduced-price lunch program: 5 percent.
Full-time equivalent teachers: 61 of them.
Students who passed state-level required tests: 95.7 percent.
Students who passed advanced-placement exams: 75 percent.
Advanced Placement (college-level) courses’ participation rate: 51 percent.
Minority enrollment: 12.7 percent, which includes Hispanic (3.7 percent), Asian (2.5 percent), Black (2.1 percent), American Indian (0.3 percent).
Other data from NWR: Enrollment 1,354 grades 9-12; student-teacher ratio 22-1; economically disadvantaged students, 13 percent.
The six top-rated high schools in Minnesota all were among the top 500 schools in the nation. They are:
- Math and Science Academy, Woodbury. 137th nationally.
- Nova Classical Academy Upper School, St. Paul. 152nd nationally.
- Eagle Ridge Academy Charter School, Minnetonka. 186th nationally.
- Orono Senior High School, Long Lake. 381st nationally.
- Edina Senior High School. 428th nationally.
- Minnetonka Senior High School. 454th nationally.