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Bemidji High School included in Newsweek's top school rankings

BEMIDJI — For the second time two weeks, Bemidji High School has been named a top school by a national publication.

Newsweek on Monday released its report on the top 2,000 high schools in the country, considering six key factors in preparing college-ready graduates.

BHS was ranked No. 1,673 and was 36th of the 44 Minnesota schools included on the list.

“We believe we’re preparing our students for the world of work and post-secondary education,” said Brian Stefanich, BHS principal.

With more than 250 available courses in 14 departments at BHS, Stefanich said staff provides a comprehensive curriculum aimed to fit students’ strengths and interests in a supportive learning environment.

“I’m very impressed, happy and excited,” he said of the latest rankings.

Late last month, BHS was named the 30th best high school in Minnesota in the annual report by U.S. News and World Report. Local charter high school TrekNorth was ranked fourth in the state in that report and No. 396 in the country.

In developing its rankings the Newsweek report considered:

Graduation rates

College acceptance rates

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/Advanced International Certificate of Education tests taken per student

Average ACT/SAT scores

Average AP/IB/AICE scores

Percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course.

In 2012-2013, 212 BHS students took 336 AP exams, scoring an average of 3.47 (out of 5), according to district data.

“We do very, very well (with AP tests),” Stefanich said. “We’re one of the leaders in the state when it comes to AP testing.”

Stefanich said the performance of BHS students is indicative not just of his staff’s abilities, but the entire educational system throughout K-12. Also, he credited the support of parents and the community, which last fall voted to extend the $501-per-pupil operating levy for another seven years.

“It’s a process throughout (all grades),” he said. ‘To be in two different reports, that each measure different things yet focus on college-preparatory coursework, that’s excellent.”

To read more about the report or to see the rankings, go online to