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Potsdam, Colton-Pierrepont ranked among nation’s top high schools

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COLTON - Among the thousands of public and private high schools in the country, Potsdam and Colton-Pierrepont central schools have again been ranked among the best.

The U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of the top schools ranks PCS as 1,322 in the nation and 106 in the state. CPCS ranked 1,365 in the United States and number 107 in the state.

The magazine makes its rankings based on numerous criteria.

“From what I read, it has to do with the number of AP courses, our graduation rate, our student-teacher ratio, etc.,” Colton-Pierrepont Central School Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash said. “We were called and notified by U.S. News and World Reports recently. ... (Our ranking) has been in the same neighborhood each time. I think this might be the fourth year that we’ve been considered. It has been four or more years now.”

Potsdam High School Principal Joann Chambers said this marks the second consecutive year Potsdam has appeared on the list.

“We’re very proud of those results,” she said. “We have very talented teachers who bring out the best in our students.”

Ms. Chambers also said the district’s strong leadership sets a great example for the district’s students.

“We have very strong leadership from the board of education to the superintendent on down,” she said, referring to Superintendent Patrick H. Brady.

Mr. Brady and Ms. Chambers said as administators in Potsdam they are fortunate to work in a community that cares deeply about education.

“We are fortunate to be in a community that values education,” Ms. Chambers said.

Mr. Brady agreed, “We are very fortunate to have a community that values education with excellent teachers and leadership at the board level.”

CPCS’s 2014 “Academic Indicators” include a 28.0 college readiness index, a 3.2 math proficiency score, a 3.6 English proficiency score and a 9:1 student/teacher ratio. The college readiness index is based on the percentages of 12th graders who were tested and passed AP exams, with a maximum possible score of 100. The proficiency scores are based on how students do in their state exit exams.

According to the U.S. News website, the AP participation rate in Colton is 40 percent.

Potsdam’s academic indicators included a 14:1 student teacher ratio, 3.2 math proficiency score and 3.4 English proficiency score. The district also achieved a 28.3 percent college readiness score, with an AP participation rate of 39 percent.

“It’s always an honor when a national organization recognizes any small north country school and the quality of education we can offer in our area,” Mr. Kardash said.

Those sentiments that were echoed by his colleague in Potsdam.

We are very pleased of this accomplishment and appreciate the opportunity to be recognized,” Mr. Brady said.

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