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Whitefish and Glacier rank in Montana’s top three high schools in US News rankings

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 2, 2024 12:00 AM

Whitefish High School ranks second in the state and Glacier High School third, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best High Schools list.

The schools consistently rank in the state’s top 10.

In Montana, 171 public high schools were evaluated by U.S. News and the nonprofit research institute, RTI International, and 38 were eligible to be ranked. That’s down from 2023 when 87 Montana high schools earned rankings.

Other area high schools were ranked as follows: Flathead High School came in at No. 17 followed by Libby High School at No. 18. Polson High School ranked No. 21 and Columbia Falls High School came in at No. 27. Bigfork High School was listed as No. 31-38. A range is used for schools listed in the bottom 25% of the nationwide rankings.

Nationally, nearly 25,000 schools were evaluated and about 17,660 ranked in the 2024 Best High Schools list.

In the national rankings, Whitefish came in at No. 1,567; Glacier at No. 1,920 and Flathead at No. 5,748. Libby ranked No. 6,338; Polson, 7,301 and Columbia Falls, 10,538. 

Bozeman took the No. 1 spot in Montana. Nationally, Bozeman came in at 213.

The rankings highlight schools whose strengths lie in college readiness and high graduation rates. College readiness was measured by participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. 

Top-ranking public high schools also demonstrated exceptional student scores on state assessments in math, reading and science. This includes proficiency and performance among underserved student populations including Black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

“The 2024 Best High Schools rankings offer a starting point for parents to understand

a school’s academic performance, whether it’s a prospective school or one that their

child is already attending,” LaMont Jones, U.S. News managing editor of education, said

in a statement. “Accessible data on our high schools can empower families across the

country as they navigate today’s educational environment and plan for the future.”

In its methodology, schools were evaluated on six factors that were weighted as follows: college readiness, 30%; state assessment proficiency, 20%; state assessment performance, 20%; underserved student performance, 10%; college curriculum breadth, 10%; and graduation, 10%.

View the full rankings at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.