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Massena Central earns silver in U.S. News ranking

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MASSENA - Massena Central School Superintendent Roger B. Clough says it’s their program offerings and teachers that have landed Massena a “silver” ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s latest annual review of high schools in the United States.

“I think it’s all of our programs. I think it’s because our teachers put in the extra time and effort,” he said.

Massena High School placed in the top 5 percent in the United States, ranked 1,073 out of 21,775 high schools, and 137 out of 1,165 New York high schools, placing them in the top 12 percent state-wide.

Only Canton’s Hugh C. Williams High School fared better for north country schools, coming in at 98th in the state, also earning them a “silver medal.”

Other local “silver medal” rankings were Potsdam Senior High (187th in the state), Hermon-DeKalb (196th in the state) and Norwood-Norfolk High School (230th in the state).

St. Lawrence County schools that earned “bronze medals” from U.S. News & World Report were Clifton-Fine, Lisbon and Morristown high schools.

U.S. News & World Report looked at whether a school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state on math and English Regents exams. They also calculated how well the least advantaged students (minorities and low-income) performed on the same tests.

Massena scored above the state average in both subjects—3.4 out of 4.0 in math and 3.5 out of 4.0 in English.

“You look at the math scores and ELA (English language arts) scores and they’re doing very good there,” Mr. Clough said.

They also measured college readiness by the percentage of students who took International Baccalaureate exams, or Advanced Placement for schools not offering an IB program, and what percentage of students scored a 4 or higher on those exams.

Massena scored a 30.3 out of a possible 100. The national median was 16.3.

In addition, the survey reported the student to teacher ratio, although that data did not factor into the school’s ranking.

In Massena’s case, the ratio of 14 students to teacher was in line with the state’s average.

When all the data was considered, the top 500 schools, or 2.3 percent of all schools, earned a gold ranking,” and the top 5 percent earned a “silver” ranking.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the finest high schools in our state and our nation,” Mr. Clough said.

He noted that Massena continues to provide a variety of programs that benefit students educationally, from pre-kindergarten and junior kindergarten to Tech Prep and Alternate Education and the International Baccalaureate program.

“We’re fortunate to have these programs. We have the best programs in the north country. Massena’s high school students have opportunities generally found only in the nation’s more affluent urban and suburban districts. Looking through the listing, you will see that the majority of the best New York schools are on Long Island and around ‘nicer’ suburbs. That’s one of the reasons why we’re one of the top schools. It paid off and here we are,” he said.

“The fact that Massena ranks so high is a testimony to those in the past who built an outstanding academic program, to our faculty and staff who continue in that tradition, to our residents who have so strongly supported our district and to the parents who invest so much of themselves to ensure their children do their very best in school,” he said.

The full report can be found at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-york/rankings .

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