How Penn-Griffin School for the Arts rose to No. 1 in North Carolina

Apr. 23, 2013 @ 06:09 PM

 Penn-Griffin School for the Arts earned the No. 1 ranking among North Carolina high schools and was ranked 43rd in the nation by The Washington Post.

So what is Penn-Griffin doing differently?

Graduating ...
Penn-Griffin has a 95 percent graduation rate, according to The Washington Post. The school has been awarded by the state’s “The Message: Graduate!” program because of its 100 percent graduation rate since the 2009-2010 school year. The Guilford County Schools four-year graduation rate is about 84 percent.

Testing ...
Not even looking at the scores just yet, only the number of exams. The Washington Post uses what it calls the Challenge Index to rank schools across the nation. The index is found by dividing the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. The average ACT score is 19 and the average SAT score is 1588.

Selecting...
Penn-Griffin is a public magnet high school for the arts, so in addition to applying for the magnet program, students have to audition to be admitted. This allows the school to accept the best in artistic fields including dance, choir, band and visual art.

Downsizing...
There were 26 students in Penn-Griffin’s senior class last year. This year there are 29 seniors. Teachers, counselors and administrators can give individual attention and really hold every student accountable for their education. In English I and Algebra I, Penn-Griffin’s class sizes are at or below the county and state averages.

Advancing...
At Penn-Griffin, 14 percent of its students are enrolled in AP or IB courses. That is 5 percent higher than the rest of the district and almost 10 percent higher than the state. The students are looking to the future to be prepared for the rigor of college courses. Nearly 90 percent of its students attend a four-year college or university.

Other county schools were ranked in the top 20 in the state by The Washington Post, including Grimsley at sixth, Weaver Academy at eighth and Page at 10th. Twelve GCS schools were in the top 50 in the state, including High Point Central at 22nd and Ragsdale at 31st.

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