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TrekNorth, BHS ranked among top state schools

BEMIDJI – TrekNorth High School has been ranked the fourth best high school in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report.

Additionally, Bemidji High School was ranked No. 30 in the state.

The report ranked the top 46 schools of Minnesota’s 722 public high schools.

Schools were ranked based on their student-teacher ratios, college readiness (through Advanced Placement scores), and math and reading scores.

TrekNorth, which was eighth in the rankings last year, is now ranked No. 396 in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report listing.

Dan McKeon, executive director of TrekNorth Junior & Senior High School, said the school emphasizes Advanced Placement curriculum to its students, through aligned curriculum that builds from seventh grade through 12th grade.

“Trek follows the philosophy that nearly every kid, regardless of race, of socio-economic background, can be successful with Advanced Placement,” McKeon said. “Every year we have a higher percentage of kids who are genuinely ready for the rigors of Advanced Placement. So, based on the way U.S. News measures school success, which puts a premium on college-readiness as indicated by AP participation and success, TrekNorth does really well.”

Sixty-two percent of TrekNorth students took AP tests, of which 46 percent obtained passing scores, according to the data from the U.S. News & World Report.

McKeon said those figures are from 2010-11, and in 2011-2012, 62 percent of TrekNorth students passed an AP exam.

“Getting that percentage to 80 percent and higher is where we’d like to be, because that would be a definitive indicator that we’re doing right by all of our students,” McKeon said. “AP success means great opportunities for kids – greater opportunities to pursue their dreams and happiness and a fulfilling life – and we want that for all of our kids.”

‘we’re very proud’

For BHS, the high school was near state averages for college readiness, math and reading scores, which led to its ranking as 30th in the Minnesota.

“It’s a testament to our whole family, our whole education system, the community, pre-K through high school,” said Brian Stefanich, principal of BHS. “It’s not just the high school; it’s the preparation all the way through and all of the hard work from all of our staff.”

Stefanich said BHS’ AP scores continue to rise. In 2011-2012, more than 83 percent of all BSH students who took a test received a passing score.

“We’re very proud not only of our AP program, but collaborative working arrangement with Bemidji State in our College in the Classroom … and also Project Lead the Way, our pre-engineering program,” Stefanich said. “Just all of the opportunities that our students have … that’s only possible because of the community support, for the bonds and referendums.”


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