Hamilton High School is starting the new year with good news on several fronts. Latest results from various sources show the school attained some of its highest results in history for Advanced Placement participation, Challenge Index and ACT exam scores, and designation as one of America’s high-performing high schools.
Hamilton High School’s Advanced Placement pass rate remains high, but what has people taking notice is the significant increase of students taking the exam. In the past five years, the number of Hamilton students taking AP exams increased from 203 to 322 – an increase of nearly 59 percent and a historic high. During this time, the pass rate remained above 80 percent, the most recent being 82.3 percent.
AP pass rates and percentage of students taking the exams affect the school’s Challenge Index, a ratio that represents the availability of advanced coursework in the school’s curriculum. Because many more students are taking AP exams, the school’s Challenge Index score increased from 1.2 in 2013 to 1.53 in 2014. The 1.53 score represents the highest Challenge Index score in the school’s history.
With an average composite score of 24.1, Hamilton High School’s 2014 score was the highest in the school’s history. The last time the school reached this pinnacle was in 2010 when 229 students took the exam compared to 266 test-takers in 2014. Hamilton’s composite score increased from 23.6 in 2013 to 24.1 in 2014. Like AP exam participation, the number of students taking the ACT exam is the highest in the school’s history.
Daily Beast Top High Schools
Hamilton High School was ranked on The Daily Beast’s 2014 list of top high schools. The national comparison of high schools placed Hamilton in the top 10 high school in Wisconsin and among the top 700 high schools in the country. Criteria for the ranking rely heavily on graduation and college-acceptance rates. Other data used include college-level courses and exams, percentage of students with free or reduced lunch, and ACT and SAT scores.
Hamilton High School Principal Candis Mongan credited work of staff members and effective strategic planning for the school’s success.
“Teachers at Hamilton High School are committed to excellence,” Mongan said. “Their dedication to increased student achievement is evidenced in the classroom.”
While recognizing the Hamilton’s strong academic performance and accomplishments, Mongan said the school will continue to make progress in meeting the needs of students.
“The examination of standardized test results indicate growth, however, this is not our endpoint. We will continue to pursue our school improvement goals,” she said.