Once again, the Poolesville Falcons ace Newsweek’s and The Washington Post’s Best School Rankings!
In the 2013 Best American High Schools rankings conducted by NEWSWEEK*, Poolesville High School is ranked first in the state and 96th overall among the top 1000 high schools across the country. One of the oldest high schools in Montgomery County, it is also the only “whole school magnet”, a program which was created in 2006.
And when The Washington Post released its ranking of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools 2013” in April 2013, Poolesville High School was ranked first in the state, and 50th overall in the United States.
This close-knit, western Montgomery County educational community offers diverse global perspectives, while challenging its students through real-world and tangible learning experience. With four areas of concentration, Poolesville High School is similar to a college curriculum; students take general classes the first two years and focus on areas of interest the second two years. They have the option to choose between Global Ecology, Humanities, Independent Studies, or Science, Math and Computer Science. The whole school model engages and challenges students selected through an application process, as well as local school students interested in a magnet focus area. One student notes, “It’s not a competitive environment. People are competitive with themselves, not each other.”
“The difference here from other schools in the County and State is a sense of belonging for all students. The bottom line is we set out to make sure that there are opportunities for all students” says Billie Bradshaw, Magnet Coordinator for Poolesville High School.
Principal Deena Levine explains that the programs and coursework are challenging, authentic and rigorous at every grade level. Using real world examples and problems, students are constantly engaged and stimulated. Whether it’s setting the crime scene for a forensics class or developing a new product and sales pitch for a technical education class, teachers at Poolesville H.S. work with students to demonstrate how to be creative, while enjoying the challenges of problem-solving through these real world assignments. Levine explains, “It’s very welcoming, very open and encouraging for new students. Building relationships and building friendships are key components of what we offer at Poolesville.”
Since it is one of the smaller schools in Montgomery County, Poolesville’s teachers are able to focus on helping each student succeed in whatever area of study they are passionate about. The unique types of course work and programs help students prepare for entry-level college classes.
“There is a very contagious enthusiastic energy that these students exhibit for the school,” says Emily Sigman, head of the Humanities magnet program at Poolesville H.S. “They love it here.”
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