7 North Shore schools top U.S. News state rankings

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7 North Shore schools top U.S. News state rankings
Great Neck North High School is seen on a warmer fall day. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Seven North Shore high schools are among the 200 best in the state, according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report released Tuesday.

Great Neck North High School is No. 21 on the annual list of New York’s top high schools, the best ranking among schools in Blank Slate Media’s coverage area. The school was 164th on U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings.

The six other schools making New York’s top 200 were Manhasset High School at No. 25, ranking 177th in the nation; Great Neck South High School at No. 30, ranking 195th in the nation; Roslyn High School at No. 32, ranking 208th in the nation; Herricks High School at No. 33, ranking 213th in the nation; Port Washington’s Paul D. Schreiber High School at No. 36, ranking 223rd in the nation; and Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park at No. 154, ranking 1,790th in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks schools based on students’ performance on state tests, graduation rates, participation in college-level Advanced Placement courses and passing rates on Advanced Placement tests. The publication reviewed more than 20,000 public high schools across the country that were eligible to be ranked based on their size.

Four area high schools were not ranked: Mineola High School, New Hyde Park Memorial High School, Floral Park Memorial High School and the Wheatley School in the East Williston school district.

Some schools did not get rankings because they did not perform well enough on the U.S. News evaluation or did not report key data, according to the publication’s methodology.

For example, the Wheatley School has performed well in other rankings, but was not listed because U.S. News somehow did not retrieve information about its state English test scores, East Williston school superintendent Elaine Kanas said.

Stephen Lando, the Great Neck school district’s assistant superintendent for secondary education, said the district’s high schools are always glad to get recognition, but the high rankings are just “icing on the cake.”

“While we appreciate being ranked, we don’t set out to be ranked as we help students determine their course of study,” Lando said.

The U.S. News methodology may exclude certain schools that perform very highly but not quite high enough for the publication’s benchmark, Lando said. It also does not account for students’ participation in International Baccalaureate classes, for which many colleges also give credit, he said.

Fino Celano, the Herricks school district superintendent, touted Herricks High School’s repeat appearance on the U.S. News list.

“We are very proud of the achievements of our talented students, which could not be accomplished without the shared efforts on the part of our faculty, parents and Board of Education,” Celano said in a statement.

In email to his district’s staff on Tuesday, Manhasset school Superintendent Charles Cardillo credited them with Manhasset High School’s high ranking on the U.S. News list.

“It is fair to say thanks to everyone who works in the Manhasset school district to help make this meaningful recognition happen,” Cardillo wrote. “Thanks for helping to sustain Manhasset’s great tradition of excellence.”

Kathleen Mooney, the Port Washington school superintendent, commended Paul D. Schreiber High School’s staff and the principal, Ira Pernick, for earning the school a high rank.

“The fact that we have moved up in both the state and national rankings shows a commitment to continuous improvement,” Mooney said in a statement.

Representatives for the Roslyn and Sewanhaka school districts did not respond to requests for comment on the rankings.

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