SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School has, once again been named to New Jersey Monthly’s list of Top 100 Public High Schools, coming in at number 50. 

The magazine publishes its top 100 public schools every two years using the New Jersey Department of Education statistics from 337 high schools, including seven charter schools. 

They looked at:

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  • School Environment – student: faculty ratio, number of AP or IB subjects offered, percentage of 11 and 12 grade students taking at least one AP or IB class, percentage of any student taking a visual or performing art class.    
  • Student Performance – sum of standardized rank scores for students scoring 1550 or higher on SATs, percentage of students achieving score of 3 or higher on AP tests
  • Student Outcomes – sum of standardized rank scores and percentage of students enrolled in a two – or four-year college 16 months after graduation

Sparta earned it’s ranking with student: faculty ration of 11.8, 26 AP courses offered, 43.6 percent of juniors and seniors taking AP classes, 57.8 percent of all students taking a visual or performing arts class, 56.7 percent earned 1550 or higher on SAT tests, 81 percent scored a 3 or higher on AP test, 97 percent graduation rate, 93 percent enrolled in college 16 months after graduation.

The magazine’s methodology was modified in a few ways this year.

In previous years the magazine included High School Proficiency Assessment or HSPA scores in their matrix.  They considered using PARCC scores but “after consulting with superintendents in several districts,” New Jersey Monthly decided not to use them because “the PARCC data is not yet a reliable metric, since student participant rates varied so wildly among district.”

Another change is the inclusion of “student participation in visual and performing arts classes,” according to New Jersey Monthly’s Ken Schlager.  They also counted all AP classes, while in the past only math, English, social studies or science were included. 

“This recognition is a credit to the work of our outstanding student body, excellent teaching staff, leadership of our administrative staff, and supportive school community,” said Sparta Superintendent Dennis Tobin.

“Once again it is a testament to our students, staff and families that we are recognized as a top performing school,” said Sparta High School Principal Janet Ferraro. “The award should be celebrated by all in the district, not just the high school.  We will continue to offer a quality education as we look to improve what we do for the students in the Sparta School District.”

The online version of the magazine will be available September 1.  The printed version is available on some newsstands now.