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Spring Early College Academy Named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News and World Report

Spring Early College Academy is a school of choice in Spring ISD, located on the campus of Lone Star College-North Harris
Spring Early College Academy is a school of choice in Spring ISD, located on the campus of Lone Star College-North Harris.

HOUSTON - May 12, 2020 - Spring Early College Academy has been named a 2020 Best High School, according to rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its spot at number 305 in the nationwide rankings, the school also made it into the top 50 high schools in Texas and the top 15 high schools in the Houston Region, where it ranked 14th. This is the school’s fifth year making the Best High Schools list since opening less than a decade ago.

“It just shows what can be accomplished when teams come together and everybody has the same vision and is working toward the same goals,” said Principal Kristine Guidry. “You can do some amazing things.”

The 2020 Best High Schools list incorporates data on more than 24,000 public high schools across the country, and includes ranked listings for nearly 18,000 of those schools. Schools are ranked on a number of criteria, including measures of college readiness and curriculum breadth, such as access to AP coursework and AP exam testing rates; math and reading proficiency and performance, as measured by state assessments; underserved student performance; and graduation rates.

“A great high school educates all students from different social and economic backgrounds, exposing them to challenging coursework on the path to graduation,” according to a message on the publication’s website describing its methodology. “The highest ranked U.S. public schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2020 Best High Schools rankings are those whose attendees demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in math and reading state assessments, passed a diverse array of college-level exams and graduated in high proportions.”

The rankings are produced by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with independent nonprofit research institute RTI International, using data collected from official third-party sources, including states, the U.S. Department of Education, the College Board and International Baccalaureate. Those schools earning a national ranking in the top 40 percent secure a spot on the Best High Schools list.

“If you look at the historical planning process for Early College, our program was built to give students – who might not otherwise have an opportunity to go to college – a chance, and to give them the support they need,” Guidry said. “A big part of our goal is to target the population of students who want to go to college, but who might not think it’s a possibility for them. That’s the whole premise, to help break through some of those barriers.”

In addition to its strong college preparatory curriculum, Spring Early College Academy’s location is another bonus for students. The school is now housed on the campus of Lone Star College-North Harris, where the high school’s upperclassmen take college courses and work toward earning their associate degree while also completing requirements for their diploma.

As reflected in the U.S. News & World Report data and rankings, Spring Early College Academy students are graduating well prepared. The school boasts campuswide participation in AP coursework, excellent math and reading proficiency scores, and top-tier graduation rates. For Guidry and her team, preparing students for the future is what drives them.

“We really do have an opportunity at Early College to make a difference for our students,” she said, “and we really try our best to keep true to that mission. It’s why we go to work every day.”