High school can be tough, especially when preparing for college with advanced classes. And, due to the number of students participating in advanced classes, Wesley Chapel’s two high schools have each earned themselves a spot on the Washington Post’s annual list of “Most Challenging (Traditional) High Schools.”

Wesley Chapel (WCH) and Wiregrass Ranch (WRH) High were both among the 10 Pasco County high schools that made the national list, which ranks the best of the more than 22,000 traditional high schools across the U.S.

The list is based on a formula that considers how many students graduate, as well as how many Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced International Certificate (AIC) tests are given over the course of a year. The number of tests taken is divided by the number of graduates, which produces a “Challenge Index” score. A score of 1.000 means that for as many students that graduated from a school, the same number of advanced tests were taken. The schools are then ranked by their index score, with the highest being the most challenging school.

WRH finished with an index score of 1.751, ranking the school 1,251st in the nation and 232nd in the State of Florida.

“It is great to see us on the list,” says WRH assistant principal Robyn White. “Each year, we strive to have more students taking AP courses and, ultimately, the AP exams. Given the size of the school and the ratio they use to name these schools, it is an honor to be listed.”

White says that the school currently has 19 AP classes for students to choose from, and that the school is planning on adding another AP class for the 2013-14 school year.

“This year, we are giving more exams than ever before,” White explains. “So next year, not only should we make the list, but we hope to move up several spots We will continue to strive to give our students a well-rounded education and provide AP courses in areas of student interest.”

Meanwhile, WCH finished with an index of 1.235, ranking the school 1,768th in the nation and 314th in the State.

“(Making the list) feels fantastic,” says WCH principal Carin Nettles. “It’s a nice list to be a part of.”

Nettles says that, since WCH doesn’t have an IB program, most of the advanced tests taken at her school were AP tests.

“We always try to push the kids to push their limits, academically,” she explains. “WCH is always trying to achieve and be the best that it can be. This definitely adds to that. Our goal will definitely be to make the list again next year.”

Congrats to our Wesley Chapel-area high schools and their students! Keep up the hard work!


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