Niskayuna High School among nation’s best in Newsweek ranking

Niskayuna High School signNiskayuna High School was ranked 26th among high schools nationwide for preparing students for college in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine.
Niskayuna High School sign

Niskayuna High School was ranked 26th among high schools nationwide for preparing students for college in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine.

Niskayuna ranked 26th, according to the magazine. Among local high schools, Shenendehowa (183rd), Saratoga Springs (293rd) and Bethlehem (398th) also appeared in the Top 500 ranking.

A tick more than one in 10 schools in the Top 500 (51) come from New York state.

Niskayuna has regularly appeared near or atop regional, statewide and national rankings.

“We have a pretty hardworking group of teachers and a hardworking group of students,” Niskayuna High School Principal John W. Rickert said. “It’s nice to see it rewarded.

“Every school district has its unique set of circumstances, its unique culture. We set our goals pretty high.”

According to the magazine, schools were indexed based on performance indicators such as rates on state standardized tests. College readiness scores were based on six indicators: enrollment rate, graduation rate, weighted AP/IB composite scores, weighted SAT/ACT composite scores, holding power (change in student enrollment between ninth and 12th grades, a designed control for attrition) and counselor-to-student ratio.

Rickert announced Niskayuna’s ranking to staff in an email Thursday morning, then to the student body during homeroom announcements.

“We look at where we need to get better,” Rickert said, “and we celebrate when we did a good job.

“Our students and our staff and our community should be proud.”

That said, school officials said while they welcome rankings such as this, they can’t become satisfied by them.

“OK, this is good, but you have to remain focused and remain critical, and say, ‘This is where we can do better,’ ” school board President Patricia Lanotte said.

Board member Rosemarie Perez Jacquith praised the staff, faculty, students and parents alike for Niskayuna’s national standing, but noted the designation is not an endpoint.

“It’s a wonderful recognition. Rankings are great,” she said, “but what we do in school every day is even more wonderful.”

—By Mark McGuire, Gazette Reporter