Half Hollow Hills High School East and West were both named top schools in the state and country today in the U.S. News edition of Best High Schools rankings.
For Hills West, the ranking is a step up from 2008. Both high schools were given the silver medal distinction that year. The high schools were not ranked in 2009 and U.S. News did not do the high school rankings in 2010 and 2011.
The rankings are based on how well students school performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (low-income, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests. It also takes into consideration how well students perform as compared to state and national averages.
The gold medal high schools are the top 500 high schools in the country, while silver is awarded to schools ranked from 501 through No. 2,008.
The difference in the medals are based on the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work. U.S. News analyzes student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which include college-level courses. college readiness index, which measures the degree to which students are exposed to and master some college-level material while in high school, including AP and IB exams.
The AP participation rate at Hills East is 49 percent, compared to 52 percent Hills West, according to data provided by the district
This year, U.S. News named 68 gold medal schools in New York State, including Commack and Cold Spring Harbor.
In the state rankings, Hills West comes in at No. 61 and Hills East at No. 69. Nationally, Hills West is ranked 447th and Hills East is ranked 506th.