Lenoir County Early College High School is one of America’s best, rankings in an annual listing from U.S. News & World Report show.
Early College earned a bronze medal in the 2017 Best High Schools ranking, which honored 142 of 603 high schools in North Carolina. Nationally, U.S. News spotlighted 6,041 of the roughly 28,000 high schools in the U.S. for academic achievement.
“We are certainly proud of this national recognition,” Early College principal Diane Heath said. “Our students and teachers deserve all the credit for their hard work and dedication in pursing the mission and vision of our school. Our students’ diligence is reflected in this honor.”
U.S. News awards gold, silver and bronze medals based on high schools’ performance in the rankings methodology. The analysis looked at four keys areas:
- If the school was performing better than statistically expected for students in that state. Results of state reading and math proficiency tests figured significantly in this standard, along with the percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled. Early College paces all LCPS high schools in reading and math proficiency.
- If disadvantaged students performed at or better than the state average for the least-advantaged students. Ninety-eight percent of Early College’s student body was classified as disadvantaged in the U.S. News data.
- If the school met or surpassed a benchmark graduation rate of 75 percent. Early College posted a 100 percent graduation rate in 2014-2015, the school year from which data was pulled.
- If the school produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentage of students – or its college-readiness performance based on Advanced Placement test data. Early College does not offer AP courses since after two years most of its students move directly into college classrooms at Lenoir Community College.
“To be recognized as one of the top high schools in the country is a great accomplishment,” said Nicholas Harvey II, who came to his current position as assistant superintendent for operations in June 2016 after three years as Early College principal. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve such a awesome group of individuals. The hard working staff and students at the Early College High School are a shining example of how students that commit themselves and have high aspirations can flourish academically. With the continued support of parents and the strong partnership with Lenoir Community College, the Early College High School will continue to be successful.”
Lenoir County Early College High School gives students the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree from LCC, where the school is housed. Of the 38 graduating seniors in the Class of 2017, all have earned their high school diploma. Seventeen will also earn associate degrees and three will earn occupational certification this month.
The Class of 2017 is scheduled to graduate May 10. Most members of the class will be awarded their college degrees the following night.