Merced County Times Newspaper
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Le Grand High ranks first in annual magazine survey

Le Grand High School has been ranked the top high school in Merced County through the U.S. News and World Report magazine’s annual survey. And this isn’t a one-time fluke — the school also received similar honors from 2016 through 2019 academic years.

Donna Alley, superintendent of the Le Grand Union High School District, said what she is most proud of is how the district’s heightened efforts to improve mathematics proficiency have paid off.

On state rankings, 32 percent of Le Grand High’s math students have been deemed proficient, where the state average is 30 percent. Le Grand High regularly participates in a summer math academy put on by UC Merced.

Alley said the school campus has several banners with U.S. News & World Report emblems on them and these are also displayed on the district’s website. Parents also are aware of the district’s latest achievements. Alley reported 14 Le Grand High students have been accepted at UC Merced this fall. Just over 40 percent of the district’s students are considered college-ready.

Alley said the new magazine findings came out at the end of April. It showed 56 percent of the district’s students took advanced placement tests and 36 percent passed.

Le Grand Union High School District has 479 students in ninth through 12th grades, with 26 teachers. It has a 19-1 student-teacher ratio.

The district has 95 percent minority enrollment, which includes 90 percent Hispanic, 5 percent white, 3 percent with two or more races and 1 percent American Indian. Statistics show 79 percent of Le Grand students are considered economically disadvantaged.

Le Grand High is ranked 511st within California and 3,360 in national rankings. Schools were ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation rates and how well students prepare for college.

Le Grand High’s graduation rate is 91 percent and 46 percent of its students are proficient in reading skills.

The 2021 edition of Best High Schools includes a numerical ranking of nearly all public high schools nationwide – almost 18,000 of them. There are rankings within each state and within each census-designated metropolitan area that has three or more high schools, as well as the Best STEM Schools ranking and comprehensive Best Charter Schools and Best Magnet Schools rankings.

In its latest report, U.S. News has published detailed school-specific information on enrollment, graduation rates, student body demographics, location, school type and results of state assessments as well as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.

The Best High Schools rankings, available online only, are produced in conjunction with RTI International, a global research firm. U.S. News doesn’t collect data directly from high schools – all data comes directly from official third-party sources. U.S. News receives AP and IB data directly from the College Board and International Baccalaureate, respectively, for use in the rankings. The state assessment data and graduation rates are from each state, and other data comes from the U.S. Department of Education Common Core of Data.

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