Three Douglas County high schools on ‘best’ list

Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon noted by 5280

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Three Douglas County School District high schools appear on 5280 magazine’s list of best Front Range public high schools. Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista and Rock Canyon high schools made The Dean’s List, which based the rankings on data included in the Colorado Growth Model.

Evaluations were based on each school’s proficiency in math, reading and writing, and how well it helps its students meet or exceed expected skill levels.

5280 didn’t rank the 23 schools, but listed them in alphabetical order with corresponding data in its September edition.

“I’m proud but not surprised,” said Dan McMinimee, DCSD’s assistant superintendent of secondary education. “It’s nice to be named on these lists, but we know all of our high schools do a great job. I’m proud of the performance at every one of our schools.”

5280 touted Highlands Ranch for its “award-winning yearbook and newspaper programs to robust performance and fine arts offerings to athletics” and a Post Graduate Center “dedicated to helping seniors through the college application process …”

Mountain Vista was singled out for the fact that “more than 60 percent of teachers boast a master’s degree or higher,” according to 5280. The magazine also noted its acclaimed theater program, and successful traditional and unified athletics programs.

Rock Canyon earned praise for the 85-percent-plus student participation rate in clubs and sports and challenging coursework. “The school sends nearly 90 percent of graduates on to college and has received recognition at the state and national level for community service projects,” according to 5280.

Some of the other Front Range high schools on 5280’s 2013 list include Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Conifer, East, Jefferson Charter Academy and Monarch.

Published as the 20 best high schools in the Front Range, 5280 edited the online version of the article to add the three Douglas County schools. They called the omission a regrettable oversight.

“Three DCSD schools more than met the criteria for inclusion on our list of Denver metro’s top public high schools and join the list here,” the online version reads.

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