Good schools are not always denoted on a list
The lists are out again, the list of the best elementary, middle and high schools in Western New York. The schools, districts and teachers that accomplished the illustrious lofty top 10 ranking celebrate the news. Parents buzz about their school’s place on the list. School administrators wonder how to move up in the ranks, to get the standardized test scores up.
There is so much more to a school than its ranking. My son attends St. Joseph University School. You won’t find this school in the top 10 on “the list.” This could be because the school serves a diverse population of students from many different backgrounds.
We have city, suburban and even one student from an hour away in a rural area. It could also be due to the fact that the gifted and talented program celebrates the students’ strengths in all subject areas, not just those in the standardized tests.
I am sure that the same sorts of things affect the other schools on the list. It doesn’t diminish the importance of these schools to the population that they serve. When I picked the school for my son to attend eight years ago, I didn’t look at rankings. I looked at the community of the school. I wanted him to learn in a color-blind tolerant atmosphere. An old-fashioned family feeling that teaches what you need to know in the 21st century. I made the right choice.
My son will graduate from St. Joseph School with the intellectual and moral background to succeed in anything he tries. He will get into the high school of his choice, as have all of the graduates this year. He will share in the more than $350,000 in scholarships the students are awarded each year.
Those are statistics that don’t go into the list.