Photo by Sophia Becker
A new school ratings website, The School Review, has recently collected data on every school in Maryland and has recognized WJ as one of the top schools in the area. WJ was awarded an A+ grade based on various criteria. Only the top 5% of schools were awarded the distinction of being an A+ school.
The first category assessed was academic results. Standardized test results and SAT participation are used to calculate the academic score. Indicators of college readiness and likelihood of future college enrollment were also considered. For this measure, WJ earned a strong grade of A.
“I’m wondering if that includes our grade inflation because we don’t have final exams. Also, a lot of families at WJ are pretty affluent and can afford many teachers or tutors, but many families can’t afford that so it’s understandable that students in other schools might have lower scores,” senior Victoria Pannullo said.
The second category was learning environment, in which WJ earned a grade of B+. A variety of factors such as teacher certifications, experience and chronic absenteeism were evaluated for this category. The site provides additional data which includes the ratio of students to teachers and the percent of teachers who are novice, uncertified and chronically absent. WJ ranks high with 0% of teachers who are uncertified, compared to the Maryland average of 17%.
“I’m surprised by how well WJ ranked because there are also so many good schools in Montgomery County,” sophomore Michael Baumel said.
WJ earned an A+ grade in the third and final category of safety. This was calculated by inspecting data such as the percent of students receiving in-school and out-of-school suspensions and the reported incidents of physical altercations per 100 students.
Additionally, the site displays various demographics of our student body. This includes the percentage of students who identify as either male or female and the percentage of students in each racial/ethnic category. The percentage students with disabilities, students who obtain free lunch, and students who are economically disadvantaged are also noted.
“I’m not surprised by the amazing results. WJ is a great school and anyone who comes in and can definitely tell. The teachers are cool also,” junior Gillian Birdsong said.