Watchung Hills Regional High School received some good news Monday: the annual ranking of the nation's best high schools compiled by Newsweek magazine placed the school at No. 154 this year.
"We were edged out by some very selective schools," Superintendent Frances Stromsland said at Monday night's Board of Education meeting. "The magazine will come out next week, but we're very excited about the preliminary information."
Watchung Hills Regional was placed at No. 994 in the 2010 rankings, according to Newsweek's website, however, the previous ranking only considered the number of AP or college level tests given, divided by the number of students.
According to Newsweek's website, the rankings this year compiled scores based on schools' graduation rate, college matriculation rate, AP tests taken per graduate, average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/IB/AICE scores and AP courses offered to identify schools' "success turning out college-ready (and life-ready) students."
Ahead of Watchung Hills on the list are primarily magnet and specialty schools. Watchung Hills ranked 12th of New Jersey's 36 schools in the top-500. Non-specialty schools in the state ahead of Watchung Hills were Livingston High School, Ridgewood High School, Haddonfield Memorial High School and West Morris Mendham.
Other New Jersey schools ahead of Watchung Hills included Lincroft's High Technology High School, the Bergen Academies and Bergen Technical High School, Union County Magnet High School, Biotechnology High School in Freehold, the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School in Jersey City and the Academy for Allied Health Sciences in Scotch Plains.
Falling in behind Watchung Hills were Gov. Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, Kinnelon High School, Madison High School and Westfield High School.