Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY MARK KIRLINSaucon Valley School Board member Bryan Eichfeld reacts to Principal Tamara Gary explaining Saucon Valley HS’s bronze medal ranking from U.S. News & World Report. PRESS PHOTO BY MARK KIRLINSaucon Valley School Board member Bryan Eichfeld reacts to Principal Tamara Gary explaining Saucon Valley HS’s bronze medal ranking from U.S. News & World Report.

School receives bronze medal ranking

Monday, October 8, 2018 by Mark Kirlin Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

On Sept. 25 Saucon Valley HS Principel Tamara Gary shared with the school board Saucon Valley HS’s bronze medal ranking from U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Rankings list. Saucon Valley was ranked #151 in Pennsylvania. It’s the second year in a row Saucon Valley has attained bronze status.

Gary said they will be hanging a sign in the school to celebrate the achievement.

Every year US News releases its list after analyzing data from 20,500 public schools nationwide. Only 5,948 schools received either the gold, silver or bronze ranking. This year’s rankings were based on the most recent numbers tabulated, which came from the 2015-16 school year.

The top 500 schools in the country received the gold ranking. According to Gary, Saucon Valley fell short of gold or silver due to its 13 percent college readiness score. The score is measured by the percentage of students who take advancement placement course work and exams. Gary is optimistic about future rankings due to a significant increase in the number of students enrolled in advanced placement courses. Gary said the current number is over 200 students.

Locally, other schools that made the rankings include Lehigh Valley Charter School in Bethlehem at #46 in Pennsylvania, Wilson Area HS in Easton at #68 in Pennsylvania, Quakertown Community HS at #83 in Pennsylvania and Whitehall HS at #123 in Pennsylvania.

The rankings are tallied based on four criteria, according to US News. First, the school attains performance levels that exceed statistical expectations given the school’s relative level of student poverty, as measured by state accountability test scores for all the school’s students in the core subjects of reading and math. Saucon Valley received a 90 in reading and an 88 in math. Second, the school achieves proficiency rates on state tests for its historically undeserved student groups (minority, low income students, etc.) that are equal to or exceed state averages. Third, the school graduates its students at a rate that surpasses a basic national standard. Fourth, the school prepares its students for college, as measured by student participation in and performance on AP and IB exams.