King Kekaulike Included in Ranking of Best High Schools
By Wendy Osher
Maui’s King Kekaulike High School in Pukalani was ranked among the top public high schools in the state by the US News and World Report as part of its Best High Schools list released this week.
The publication ranked King Kekaulike at third in the state (#1,860 in the nation) and awarded the school a silver medal for the honor.
It was behind first ranked Kalani High School, and second ranked President William McKinley HS, according to the publication. The three schools were ranked ahead of the remaining 46 public high schools in the state, according to the report.
In a phone interview with King Kekaulike Principal Susan Scofield today, she called the ranking an honor saying, ” I feel like the congratulations goes to the teachers and students, and the parents who support their learning.”
She also credited all of the educational factors that led up to high school saying the students’ success is dependent on previous educators. “We’re really working from K-12. Although it talks about high school, it’s really speaking to all of the educational experiences that lead up to that point.”
While it is likely that state and college assessments were used as a factor in the rankings, Scofield said the current rank probably reflects a bit of a lag.
In thinking back on what may have contributed to the strong ranking, Scofield said, “Refocusing on teaching literacy across all course areas,” including PE, the arts, reading, writing, thinking and speaking.” She also pointed towards the senior project as a factor saying students start preparing for the project from the 9th grade with coursework and planning.
She said all schools have been focused in recent years on improving student performance, and looking at multiple strategies to improve academic performance.
The Kīhei Public Charter School was not included in the rankings, but was awarded a bronze medal by the publication, with an 83% proficiency in reading, well above the state average of 69%, according to the ranking report.