FREEHOLD, NJ — Four of Monmouth County’s five career academies were ranked this year among the best 25 high schools in New Jersey, led by High Technology High School which topped the list for the second consecutive year.

In U.S. News & World Report's 2018 Best High Schools Rankings, High Tech High placed first among 103 public high schools in the state with award-ranking performances.

The Lincroft-based school, which ranked 22nd nationwide, also returned as the leader in the United States for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) — based on an evaluation of student participation and success in Advanced Placement science and math tests.

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Freehold-based Monmouth County Vocational School District’s other top-performing academies earning gold medals were: Biotechnology High School, Freehold, fourth statewide and 66th nationally; Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Highlands, 14th statewide and 349th nationally; and Academy of Allied Health and Science, Neptune, 22nd statewide and 452nd nationally.

MCVSD’s Communication High School in Wall placed 52nd  statewide and 1,702nd nationally, earning a silver medal.

Since Belmar and Lake Como do not have high schools, these five high schools are among nine in Monmouth County that accept enrollment of children living in either municipality.

High schools in both municipalities' other sending districts — Asbury Park, Manasquan and Red Bank Regional — were among 462 schools evaluated for the magazine’s listing, but did not make the national ranking. Additionally, Academy Charter High School in Lake Como was not ranked.

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 20,000 public schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 6,000 schools nationwide were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

In New Jersey, students are assessed in math and English language arts via the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. High school students are required to study a world language to graduate, according to the New Jersey Department of Education.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

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