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Head of the class: 2 Palm Beach Co. schools ranked top 100 in America

U.S. News & World Report released its and two schools in Palm Beach County are in the top 100 in the country.

Alexander W. Dreyfoos Junior School of the Arts was ranked No. 91 on the list while Suncoast Community High School was No. 98.

According to its website, U.S. News and World Report stated that “the goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students — from the highest to lowest achieving — in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.”

“I think honestly it’s about time. We’ve been putting ourselves through so much work as students, and we’ve been performing very well as students,” student Gayatri Sathyanarayan said.

Gayatri Sathyanarayan speaks about her education at Suncoast High School and how it is...
Gayatri Sathyanarayan speaks about her education at Suncoast High School and how it is preparing her for college.

The 16-year-old junior at Suncoast said she’s currently taking seven courses, all of which are Advanced Placement (AP).

“My plan is to either go to Columbia University or NYU (New York University) because I want to become a neurosurgeon,” Sathyanarayan said.

Her father, a neuroscientist, and her mom, a chemist, said Suncoast is paving the way for their daughter to excel in medical school.

“She wanted to go to Suncoast from the elementary school. She was thinking of going there, and she worked very hard,” Vindu Raveendra, Sathyanarayan’s mother. “During the COVID time, she took all the online courses, virtual school to get there and finally go there, and I’m very proud of that and Suncoast is the best school.”

Here’s a breakdown of how the ranks were calculated:

  • College readiness (30% of the ranking)
  • College curriculum breadth (10%)
  • State assessment proficiency (20%)
  • State assessment performance (20%) 
  • Underserved student performance (10%)
  • Graduation rate (10%)

In the report’s rankings, Suncoast graded 99.45% on its scorecard:

  • Took at Least One AP® Exam: 100%
  • Passed at Least One AP® Exam: 83%
  • Mathematics Proficiency: 81%
  • Reading Proficiency: 93%
  • Science Proficiency 93%
  • Graduation Rate 99%

The Suncoast High School Foundation, which released a statement about the ranking, said in part:

“Being a 100% choice school within the School District of Palm Beach County, Suncoast offers each student a unique environment where every student wholeheartedly wants to be at school to pursue their dreams. Suncoast provides unparalleled opportunities and a lot of support for students to reach them! The outcomes follow suit with many success stories of graduates matriculating to great colleges, and alumni being life-long supporters of their high school.”

The foundation provides students with resources like SAT prep and college application help, as well as summer programs that prepare students for more challenging courses that some may otherwise not be able to afford.

“I mean yeah kids have been talking about it it’s pretty crazy,” Suncoast High School junior John Mueger said.

He feels the ranking will only help his chances to get into Florida State University or the University of Miami’s business schools.

“How prepared do you feel you are?” asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.

Suncoast High School junior John Mueger shares with WPTV reporter Joel Lopez how he hopes the...
Suncoast High School junior John Mueger shares with WPTV reporter Joel Lopez how he hopes the school’s ranking will help him get into a good college.

“I feel very prepared honestly, with all the different clubs we have my resume feels great,” Mueger said. “It’s pretty cool being able to say that we’re one of the top schools in the nation, and it’s a pretty cool flex on other students.”

The rankings also scored high schools by state in which Suncoast landed the No. 12 spot.

Dreyfoos ranked No. 10 in the state with a 99.49 scorecard.

Here’s the rankings on Dreyfoos:

  • Took at Least One AP® Exam: 98%
  • Passed at Least One AP® Exam: 88%
  • Mathematics Proficiency: 82%
  • Reading Proficiency: 93%
  • Science Proficiency 97%
  • Graduation Rate 99%

Dreyfoos principal Blake Bennett released the following statement regarding the ranking:

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our students and staff. This result is the culmination of rigorous academic and art instruction, effective systems, and our deep rooted culture of tradition and excellence.”

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