CKS makes nation’s top high schools list

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U.S. News and World Reports studied more than 21,000 schools

By Kellie Parkin

For the second year in a row Cedar Key School was named one of the best high schools in the nation. The US News and World Report placed CKS in the bronze category for academic performance.

“Our faculty and staff work very hard to be conscientious about providing an excellent education covering the Sunshine State Standards, and beyond that, providing enrichment,” Principal Sue Ice said.

The award means that CKS ranks among the top 14 percent of schools in the nation. The study compared 21,069 public schools in 48 states and evaluated them on three criteria: standardized test scores, progress of economically challenged students, and college readiness. The bronze category ranked schools that were exempt from the latter.

Data collected from each school was for the 2006-07 year, when CKS did not offer AP or other college preparation courses. This year an AP English Language and Composition course is being offered, and plans to add English Literature are underway.

Principal Ice credits a unique sense of community as a contributor to student success. “This school has a unique family atmosphere that has a lot to do with their success. Because it’s small, teachers see students grow up.”

Many of the 22 teachers at CKS live on the island which leads to interaction outside of school. “Kids respect the teachers they’ve grown up around. Those relationships are important,” she said.