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Four Federal Way high schools make Washington Post list

Federal Way Public Schools found cause for celebration: all four of the district's high schools made the Washington Post's list in the annual "High School Challenge" competition.

A recognition ceremony was held during the Federal Way School Board's Sept. 27 meeting.

"Each year, the Washington Post recognizes the top high schools in America," said Josh Garcia, assistant superintendent of teaching for learning. "They use a variable number of criteria, but in essence they look at the number of kids challenging themselves, being successful in their academic careers as well as the percentage that graduate."

Garcia said there are approximately 27,000 public high schools in the country. Those that make the Post's list comprise about 7 percent of those 27,000 schools.

"Just over 2,000 schools are recognized across the nation. Just over 40 were recognized in our state, and all four of our high schools made the list," Garcia said. Leading the way was Federal Way High School, which was 12th in Washington. Decatur High School followed at 14th, while Thomas Jefferson High School took the 16th spot. Todd Beamer High School made the list for the first time, and was ranked 38th in Washington.

"It's uncharacteristic for any school district to have multiple schools, let alone all their schools," Garcia said. "So we have quite a bit to be proud of."

Garcia noted there are a number of metrics with which one can view the list. Another highlight for Federal Way's high schools is their ranking based upon free and reduced lunch participation, Garcia said.

"If you reorganize and look at how our kids did based on free and reduced lunch percentages…our schools would go 2, 4, 5 and 6," he said. "It just proves that our staff, in all of our schools, the teachers, the administrators, can break stereotypical molds and that the kids can be successful when they have caring adults that want to make them successful."

To view the list in more detail, visit washingtonpost.com/highschoolchallenge.

 

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