New Trier named #14 high school in country, top IL open enrollment school on Newsweek list
New Trier High School is the 14 th best high school in the country and the top open enrollment high school in Illinois, according to a list published this week by Newsweek magazine.
"America's Best High Schools 2015" takes a number of factors into account in ranking high schools, including college enrollment rate, graduation rate, enrollment in AP courses, weighted SAT and ACT composite scores, student retention, and the ratio of counselors to students. New Trier was one of only three schools in the top 20 with open enrollment - meaning it is a school that accepts all students within its district boundaries. Most of the other schools in the top 20 were selective enrollment, magnet, or charter schools in which students must meet certain criteria to attend.
"I am thrilled that New Trier is being recognized not only for our academic excellence, but also for our commitment to serving every student with a developmentally appropriate curriculum and unique student services such as our adviser program and post-high school counseling department," said Dr. Linda Yonke, Superintendent of New Trier Township High School District 203.
Yonke said the school was also proud to appear on the publication's "Beating the Odds" list, ranking schools by how well they prepare their low-income students for college. New Trier ranked 66 th in the country and 4 th in Illinois on that measure, with three selective enrollment Chicago magnet schools being the only schools that ranked higher.
New Trier has not always participated in the Newsweek rankings. Philosophically, the District has objected to rankings that consider only one criterion, such as enrollment in AP courses, without including other important criteria. New Trier analyzed Newsweek's revised methodology and determined the magazine did a better job than others in trying to assess the overall student experience in each school.
Unlike other publications, Newsweek looked not just at AP course enrollment, but also at factors such as student retention, college enrollment, and the student-to-counselor ratio. New Trier provides every student with a post-high school counselor who provides individual guidance on college applications, gap year opportunities, and other post-high school decisions. In addition, the school's nationally recognized adviser program offers a home-school link in which students start their day with an adviser and the same group of 25 students for all four years of high school.
While Yonke said she was pleased that New Trier received such a high ranking on the Newsweek list, she cautioned that no list can capture all of the unique qualities that make the school so special. New Trier's success is built upon factors including its extraordinary faculty, unique student services, rigorous curriculum, and expansive extracurricular program - factors that cannot be quantified on a rankings list. The school will continue to resist the urge to change its core values simply to climb in the rankings on this or any other publication's list.