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Holt Named to U.S. News Best High Schools List

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Holt High School has been named one of the nation’s top high schools by U.S. News & World Report which released its fourth annual Best High School Rankings on May 8th. Wentzville’s Emil E. Holt Sr. High received its first ever Bronze medal rating, and is one of only 124 Missouri High Schools to be named to the prestigious list. Nearly 22,000 high schools were reviewed for the rankings in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Locally, Holt was the only high school in St. Charles County to receive a medal rating.
To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of student performance on state assessments.  In 2010, Holt had the highest percentage of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on the English II exam when compared to all other high schools in the state that had 150 or more students taking the test. The overall English II scores that year placed Holt first in the county and 17th in the state. Last year, Holt’s English I scores placed the school 16th, or in the top 4% of all high schools in Missouri.
After the initial state analysis, high schools were then eligible to be ranked nationally as determined by student/teacher ratios and college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  The Wentzville School District was recognized as an AP Achievement District in 2011-12 by the College Board for increasing the number of AP courses offered in high school while simultaneously improving student performance on the AP tests. In fact, the WSD is the only school district in Missouri to win the AP Achievement Award for the past two years.
“This award should make all of us proud,” Holt Principal John Waters said in a message to his staff. “I am thankful for your work with our students as we receive this recognition. Our goals will continue to be increasing academic rigor, making sure the curriculum is relevant, and preparing students for success after high school.”