Spring 2013 State of the Schools

Lopez School Awarded Silver Medal for Best High Schools by US News and World Report

Lopez School Awarded Silver Medal for Best High Schools by US News and World Report

Lopez School officials are pleased to announce that Lopez Middle/High School has just recently been awarded a Silver medal for Best High Schools, in the 2013 US News and World Report ranking of the nation’s best public high schools. Lopez School ranked #21 in Washington State and in the top 1000 nationally. The school rose in the rankings from their 2012 rank of Bronze.

The US News and World Report public high school ranking project began in 2007 and seeks to identify the nation’s top performing public high schools. The magazine’s goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well our public schools serve their students, as they prepare them for proficiency in basic skills and college readiness. In a published statement from the magazine, the editors stated that “US News and World Report’s editors believe high schools are among America’s most important institutions. Education drives our country’s future. Recognizing schools that are performing well and providing models to other schools will inspire educators and communities to do better.”

Over 21,000 public high schools across the country, as well as the over 600 high schools in Washington State were evaluated for these rankings. Based upon a belief that the best schools must serve all students well and must produce measurable academic outcomes that support that mission, the evaluations for ranking included review of state assessment scores for a variety of categories, how well the schools prepare their students for college, as measured by AP participation and performance, combined reading and math proficiency indicators, as well as graduation rates, student to teacher ratios, and other factors. The rankings reflect a strong emphasis on college readiness.

“To have our Lopez School ranked #21 in the state and in the top 1000 nationally, is quite an honor and is further recognition of the continuous efforts toward educational excellence by our Lopez School staff, students and community.” stated Lopez Superintendent Bill Evans.  

Lopez School ranks highest in similar-sized school districts (150-250 students) across Washington State, reported school officials. It should be noted that all of the San Juan Islands schools ranked very high in this latest report, with Orcas High School also receiving a Silver medal and ranking #25 in Washington, and Friday Harbor High School receiving a Gold medal and ranking #5 in the State. “Congratulations to Orcas and San Juan Island Schools for their excellent work. There is some impressive learning and educating going on in these islands!” declared Superintendent Evans. “What an amazing place to live and raise children.”


Spring 2013 State of the Schools: Lopez Schools Continue to Do Well

 Lopez School officials report that the Lopez Schools are doing well, and continue to provide quality educational experiences for their students. The level of instruction remains high and a number of indicators bear witness to the high level of education the students in the Lopez Schools are receiving.

In the latest US News and World Report (2012) ranking of Best High Schools in the Country, Lopez High School received another Bronze medal, ranking within the top 22% of the almost 22,000 public schools in the United States evaluated for this annual survey, and in the top 100 of Washington State's 626 high schools evaluated. Lopez School also received a Bronze Award in 2007, and school officials predict it will be ranked as high, or higher in the 2013 rankings, due out in a few months. Helping to achieve this national ranking is Lopez School's adjusted 4 year graduation rate of 100% and its almost 80% post secondary enrollment, well above the state's 62% average.

Lopez graduates continue to be accepted at a variety of colleges, and this year's Seniors are no exception. Institutes of higher learning to which the Class of 2013 have already been accepted include University of Portland (3), Tulane, Whatcom Community, Lewis and Clark (2), Barnard, Colorado College, St. Edwards University, Montana State, South Dakota State, Southwestern, Willamette, Brigham Young, Central (2), Clark, University of Denver, Syracuse, University of Washington (3), Pepperdine, Santa Clara, Western, Eastern, and Harvey Mudd. Lopez School graduates have also, in the past, served in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps, upon graduation. Seniors at Lopez have proven their academic prowess by historically being recognized as Washington State Honors Award winners (in 2010 over 1/3 of the graduates earned such distinction).

International travel and foreign exchange opportunities continue to be extended to Lopez students, including trips this year to Nicaragua and Quebec, and historical foreign exchanges to Argentina, Brazil, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Denmark, and Spain.

Washington State testing data shows Lopez students to be performing well.  A review of the 2011-12 school year school-wide testing scores for the Measure of  Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) show that the 4th graders scored 80% in reading (71% State), 66.7 % in math (59% State), and 66.7% in writing (61.4% State). Lopez 5th graders scored 85.7% in reading (71% State) and 81% in science (66.3% State).  Sixth graders scored 73.7% in reading (70% State). Lopez 10th graders scored 85% in reading (81% State) and 88.9% in writing (85.4% State). Lopez students scored 83.3% on the End of Course Biology exam (64.3% State). 

Current enrollment in the District is up from budgeted, and is approaching 230 students (head count), including 10 students enrolled as Lopez students in distance learning opportunities through Columbia Virtual Academy, and an ever-increasing kindergarten class.

“We are very proud of the education that our staff provides to our students,” stated Superintendent Bill Evans. “It is through their impressive diligence and dedication, and the strong support of the community, that we continue the journey to excellence in the nurturing and development of our community's greatest resource – our children.”

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