Ocean City makes Newsweek's "Best High Schools" list

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Ocean City High School makes Newsweek’s “Best High Schools” list Ocean City High School makes Newsweek’s “Best High Schools” list

OCEAN CITY — For the second consecutive year, Ocean City High School ranked among Newsweek’s “America’s Best High Schools.” Each year the news magazine selects 1,000 public high schools that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates. This year, that list expanded to 2,000.

There are more than 25,000 high schools across the nation, and Ocean City High School Principal Matthew Jamison said it was a “great accomplishment” to make the list.

“It’s really a feat just to be selected,” he said. “I’m very proud of our students, our faculty and staff, our parents and the school community.

“It’s an affirmation, we’re doing good things here at OCHS,” he said.

Ocean City High School finished 872nd in the rankings, ahead of neighboring Mainland Regional High School at 1,266th place and Egg Harbor Township High School at 1,563rd. Mainland and Egg Harbor Township were the only other area high schools to make the cut. There were 93 New Jersey high schools on the list.   

“It is a national ranking, all schools have been considered,” Jamison said. “We are an open enrollment school and the ranking includes magnet and charter schools. The top schools are always magnet and charter schools, which have selected enrollment.”

Last year, Ocean City came in at 780th, but Jamison said he was not concerned that that the high school slipped a bit.

“There were a few factors,” he said, noting that there is a minuscule difference between each of the schools on the list.

A slight improvement in any of the criteria could move a district up on the list, which is based on six components provided by school administrators: graduation rate at 25 percent, college matriculation rate at 25 percent, AP tests taken per student at 25 percent, average SAT/ACT score at 10 percent, average AP score at 10 percent, and AP courses offered per student at 5 percent. Demographics were also included.

“Our graduation rate is 94.4 percent, that’s very high,” Jamison said. “The average AP score increased from 2.8 to 3.1. The percentage of our students that go on to college is 90 to 91 percent. We improved since last year, so we can’t be disappointed.”

He said that for some reason Ocean City High School’s ACT scores were not reported and therefore not factored in.

Jamison said magnet and charter schools include programs such as International Baccalaureate and AICE tests.

“We only have the AP program,” he said. “The reason we embraced the AP tests is that they are closely associated with current college offerings. The others are more expanded.

“Most open enrollment public schools offer only the AP test,” he said.

The community’s support, Jamison said, is part of the reason the high school is so successful.

“Just making the list is an accomplishment that we are very proud of,” he said. “The fact that we are getting recognized is very good.

“I really feel good about it. I’m very proud of our program,” Jamison said. “The community really supports our high school and this reflects that strong support.”

RELATED STORY: Egg Harbor Township High School named to 'America's Best High Schools' list

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