Lynchburg City Schools continued its tradition of being recognized along with the nation’s top high schools for encouraging rigor in the classroom. E. C. Glass High School is listed at 551 and Heritage High is 1,934 in the Washington Post’s annual ranking of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Fewer than 3,000 of the 22,000 public high schools nationwide make the list each year.
According to the Post’s ranking website: America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates. With a few exceptions, public high schools with a ratio of 1.0 or higher, meaning the school had as many tests as graduates, were recognized on this list.
In Virginia, 104 schools made the list. E. C. Glass was 30th with an index of 3.196 and Heritage was 92nd with an index of 1.434.
Enrollment in AP courses continues to rise steadily in Lynchburg City Schools. Increased enrollment in advanced, dual enrollment, and AP courses is one of the goals in the school division’s comprehensive plan.
E. C. Glass principal Tracy Richardson contributes the improvement in her school’s index score in part to the addition of AP Human Geography two years ago. “The intent was to try to get some students who might not normally take an AP course enrolled. We started with one section of that class, and we will have four next year. The pass rate of a 3 or higher has been phenomenal,” she says. Dr. Richardson says she expects continued growth because E. C. Glass will be one of only two high schools in Virginia with the AP Capstone program next year. Glass will also bring back the AP Macro and Micro Economics class. “Our students and teachers work hard and the results are showing.”
Heritage High School will offer the AP Capstone program in the 2016-2017 school year. “Our staff does an outstanding job of pushing our students to take more advanced and AP course offerings,” says Heritage High School principal Tim Beatty. “We are adding more AP classes to our course selections such as AP Environmental Biology and AP Human Geography next year, and we will continue to communicate the rigor and expectations associated with our Advanced and AP course offerings to our school community.”