The 2018 installment of U.S. News & World Reports’ annual Best High Schools rankings gives Shawnee Mission schools high marks.
The rankings put three SMSD schools — SM East at number three, SM South at number 9 and SM Northwest at number 10 — among the top 10 in the state.
Only Blue Valley, which had four high schools among the top 10, fared better in the rankings than Shawnee Mission. (Of note, Blue Valley Southwest did not receive a numerical ranking in the latest release — likely an error on the part of U.S. News).
SM West and SM North received high marks from the publication as well, coming in at numbers 21 and 23, respectively, among the 306 Kansas public high schools considered in the rankings.
The results mark an improvement over the previous year, when only two Shawnee Mission schools made the top ten list, with SM East the district’s top rated at fifth in the state.
In the context of the 20,500 public U.S. high schools considered in this year’s rankings, SM East comes in at 1,117 in the nation. SM South was 1,988th and SM Northwest was 2,216th.
SM East, South and Northwest earned “Silver Star” status in this year’s rankings, a distinction given to just 11 percent of high schools considered which denotes high performing schools. SM West and North earned “Bronze Star” status, given to just 16 percent of schools, and denoting above average performance on state exams. More than 70 percent of the schools considered receive no medal designation.
The rankings look at a number of factors, including whether students were performing better than expected based on statistical projections for the state; whether traditionally underserved students were performing at or better than state averages; and whether schools graduated students at a benchmark rate. You can see the magazine’s full explanation of its methodology here.