Swampscott High Gains Top 50 Ranking From Annual Review

Boston Magazine placed Swampscott High School 49th out of 222 high schools in Boston and the Boston suburbs.


The September issue of Boston Magazine ranks as the 49th best high school out of 222 high schools in Boston and Boston's suburbs.

This makes for the second year in a row that Swampscott has been included on a Boston Magazine Top 50 education list.

Last year, the Swampscott School District earned the distinction of being ranked 40th among 135 school districts in the region.

This year's ranking trained its sights on high schools, incorporating 13 different data points, the article states. It gave the most weight to academics including performance on the MCAS, the SATs, and AP exams.

The ranking also factored in graduation rates, the percentage of students who go to college, student-teacher ratio and per-pupil spending and extracurricular activities, according to the magazine.  

Swampscott High, with its enrollment of 741 students, its student/teacher ratio of 12.8:1, its per pupil spending of $12,448, had 96.8 percent of its students graduate and 96 percent of its students attend college.

Swampscott High School Principal Layne Millington deflected a congratulations "to the teachers and students at the high school as this is reflection of their dedication and hard work; I've always been proud of and amazed at their accomplishments."

Swampscott's Superintendent of Schools Lynne Celli said she was ecstatic with the ranking just as she was ecstatic with last year's ranking.

In either instance the accomplishment was owing to a team effort, she said.

She said the district is narrowing its focus on data analysis and student needs and expansion so all students can learn.

The superintendent said the high school moved up 10 positions since Boston Magazine's last ranking of high schools in 2010 when Swampscott High was 59th.

The 2012 ranking places Swampscott just below Walpole High and just ahead of Millis High.

The top ranked high school was Weston and the lowest ranked high school was Lawrence.

Nearby schools to make the list were Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School at 19th and Marblehead High at 21st.

The magazine's research for the rankings was done by nine people and the rankings were computed by statistician George Recck, director of the Math Resources Center at Babson College.

"We gathered the most recent available data on area school districts by consulting school officials and websites, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. With this information, Recck calculated the mean scores for each category, then ranked the districts based on a weighted average of each school data point’s difference from the mean," the magzine states. "Only schools serving cities and towns within the Greater Boston I-495 boundary were included."

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Citizen Swamp September 03, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Terry, Could you find out if student transportation is included in "per pupil spending". Since the Swampscott district in essence doesn't provide bus service our PPS might be artificially low. Thanks, CS
Terry Date September 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM
We will email Boston magazine to see if the student transportation cost is included in the pupil spending category, CS.
Bridget Russo September 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Ecstatic isn't the word I would choose. I know we've improved but we used to be in line with Marblehead. This used to be one of the best school systems, i.e. top 25. I think we can do better.
Michael Harris September 04, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Heck, I don't care where the ranking is, when I went to school there, it was a joke. There was a teacher there who would read the paper instead of teach math class. Another who set up personal vendetta's against kids, there were a few teachers in the late 80's that were horrible. There were also some good ones, but man the bad outnumbered the good. I am glad to see that things have progressed from where it was when I last remember it. Coming back to the town after a 15 year hiatus, I can see a lot of things are done differently here than when I was younger, and all are remarked improvements. I don't know what was going on then, but I can say that it wasn't good, and it did show. If a 17 year old kid could see it, I can't imagine how the 40 somethings felt back then. Whoever reads this stuff keep up the good work in the town, it is noticed :)
AmyO September 04, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Seriously, can't you complainers just be pleased with good press? Take the good news and help move forward with more improvements. Do something other than gripe.


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