As the summer sun streaks through the windows of Dodge County High School (DCHS) and the majority of its students and staff take a break from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of the academic school year, the learning community that makes up DCHS is being nationally recognized for its outstanding performance.
Recently, U.S. News and World Report awarded Dodge County High School as a bronze-level recipient of the “U.S. News Best High Schools award.”
According to U.S. News and World Report, 21,035 U.S. public high schools were considered in the competition based on their statistical data for the 2010-2011 school year; 10 were awarded gold medals, 37 earned silver medals and 41 received bronze medals. DCHS was one of only 88 of Georgia’s 440 public high schools to receive this recognition.
“It’s very exciting to be recognized by US News and World Report as one of Georgia’s and one of the nation’s top high schools,” said Dodge County School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Dennis. “I am very proud of the recognition and of the administrative team, faculty, staff and students of Dodge County High School! Being selected as a bronze award winner reinforces that we are doing great things in meeting the needs of students.”
“I think that I and other employees of the school system can say what a good system we have and people think that it’s our job and that we’re expected to say those things; however, when a reputable outside source such as US News and World Report recognizes us, it’s wonderful, particularly when this is an award based on their criteria and one for which schools don’t apply,” added Dennis.
To be recognized as a bronze award recipient, a review of school data was made by U.S. News and World Report and DCHS had to meet three criteria.
First, students at the school had to perform statistically higher than the average student in the state on math and reading state high school proficiency tests. DCHS students total proficiency in math was 89 percent, which matched the district’s proficiency and exceeded that of the state. The school’s reading proficiency was 91 percent, which matched both the district and state numbers.
Next, assessment was made of the success of the school’s least-advantaged students and their academic performance as compared to similar students in the state. Of DCHS’ student body, the percentage of disadvantaged students is 45, of which 88.1 percent achieved academic proficiency.
Lastly, the schools were judged based on their college-readiness performance, which, for this award, was based on Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate test data.
According to Principal Dr. Susan Long, this is area in which DCHS staff and students have really focused in recent years. “Since 2010-11, DCHS has continued to increase the number of AP classes that it offers for our students,” she said. “We presently offer AP Composition, AP Literature, AP Statistics, AP Spanish and AP World History. We plan to offer AP U.S. History and AP Biology beginning fall 2013 and AP Chemistry beginning with the 2014-15 school year.”
Dr. Long added that she couldn’t be more proud of the school’s faculty, staff and students for earning such a high honor.“I am so impressed and pleased that our teachers’ hard work to help all of our students achieve is being recognized,” Long said. “Even with all of the changes and challenges in education, with new increasingly tougher standards, furloughs and cuts, our teachers and students continue to shine.”
In reference to Dodge County High~ OUr other schools, such as our elementary schools are working hard as well! You will find us using new and innovative plans and processes preparing those students before they get there so that they are encouraged and prepared for the job! We meet all their needs, not just their academic needs and that is the true mark of a great educator and great system.