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Garden City Life - Schools

Making The Grade

Garden City High School

drops on Newsweek list

Garden City High School has always been considered one of the top schools in the country. Its efforts have consistently found students scoring high on numerous lists tabulating top high schools around the country. According to the Newsweek/Daily Beast Top 1,000 in the United States, the school was ranked 140th (107th in 2012) and 25th in the state.

According to the Daily Beast, the list is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent), and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).

Garden City wound up with graduation rates and SAT scores of 98 percent and 1673 with 99 percent of its students being college bound.

For Director of Guidance Gina Christel, this dip in the rankings is no cause for alarm and can be attributed to the fact that this list doesn’t solely focus on public high schools.

“We see very little movement, year-to-year with our high performing statistics and in the criteria used for these rankings, e.g., AP scores, graduation rates, etc. Ranking changes that do occur most likely are due to new schools joining the lists.” Christel explained. “In the case of Newsweek, please note that open enrollment, charter, magnet, and selective schools are included on the list — in other words, the schools who made applications are not all open enrollment public high schools like Garden City High School, and when new schools apply and are included, the number ranking may change our place.”

The school’s academic standards continue to run high with student grades and achievement reflecting this. Coming out of the 2012-2013 school year, 83 percent of the student body has achieved Regents status or above (35 percent Advance Regents diplomas, 48 percent Advance Regents Diplomas with Honors). In addition, Garden City High School had a total of 220 Advanced Placement (AP) scholars including 58 AP Scholars with Honor, 79 AP Scholars with Distinction and 18 National Scholars. With the plethora of lists out there and the myriad variables affecting ranking, it’s easy to get caught up with where a school winds up in the end. Christel is quick to point this out and as far as she is concerned, Garden City High School continues to graduate exemplary students.

“We moved from 107 to 139 on Newsweek’s list; [made a noted improvement and] went from 138 to 123 on U.S. News’ Best High Schools, and from 15 to 16 on NYS listing for the Washington Post’s 2013 High School Challenge,” Christel pointed out before adding, “We may go up or down slightly, depending on how many other schools come on board. Longitudinally, though, we have shown a consistently high performance on these rankings.”