Congratulations to Principal Jim Becker and his High School staff for achieving national ranking in U.S. News and World Report's Best High School's report. Nationwide, 19,411 schools were eligible to be included in the 2014 Best High schools rankings. As a result of a three-step rankings process, 4,707 or 24.2% of the eligible public high schools were awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal.  Southern Columbia Area High School is one of 2,688 high schools (13.8% of the eligible schools) to be awarded a bronze medal. 1,519 high schools or 7.8 percent,  were awarded silver medals and 500 high schools or 2.6 percent, were awarded gold medals.


The following is the three-step process used to determine the Best High Schools:

  • Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. This was based on reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests.
  • Step 2: For those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
  • Step 3: Schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success, depending on which program was largest at the school. This third step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students. This was done by computing the number of 12th-grade students in the 2011-2012, academic year who took and passed (received an AP score of 3 or higher or an IB score of 4 or higher) at least one of the tests before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th-graders at that school.

While Southern Columbia Area High School has a vibrant AP program, an increasing number of students are also electing to enroll in college courses. In 2011-2012, for example, the high school's student enrollment in college-level courses stood at 43. Unfortunately, this was not factored into the "college readiness" formula used in Step 3. Enrollment in college courses continues to be a popular curriculum option for many of Southern Columbia's students. Through a process known as "dual enrollment"  students who successful complete a pre-approved, college course can receive high school credit and college credit. This year, enrollment in college courses has risen to 121.

Special Features

An anonymous way for you to submit a tip to your school is now available. You do not need to share your name, phone number or anything unless you want to.  You can submit a tip three ways: online, by making a phone call, or by using the Safe2Say Something App. What types of things should you report? If it makes you uncomfortable, submit a tip.Learn More

Parents and other school community members are encouraged to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly those concerning digital learning and the use of technology to support future ready schools, by participating in the Speak Up Project for Digital Learning, facilitated by Project Tomorrow.  The annual national research project gives education stakeholders the opportunity to ensure their voice is heard not only at Southern Columbia, but at the state and national level as findings are summarized aLearn More