NISKAYUNA — Niskayuna High School has been named as the third-best high school in the Capital Region, according to the annual ranking of the top high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Niskayuna High School placed third on the publication’s list of top schools in the Albany, Schenectady and Troy area, with Bethlehem Central Senior High School and Clayton A. Bouton High School of the Voorheesville Central School District claiming the top two spots on the list of top schools in the region.
The report cited Niskayuna High School’s proficiency in state Regents exams between 2019 and 2021, with students recording rates of 97% proficiency in math, 96% in reading and 93% in science.
“I think external recognition is always a welcome acknowledgement of the work of our faculty and our students,” Niskayuna Superintendent Carl Mummenthey said of the ranking on Tuesday. “I know that we have a team here at Niskayuna that is 100% committed to student success.”
The local high school is ranked 134th in the publication’s state ranking, with the school recording a 95% graduation rate.
“Anytime that we’re recognized by an organization that has credentials and is respected like U.S. News & World Report, it’s a nice honor,” Niskayuna High School Principal John Rickert said on Tuesday. “It’s one measure and one organization’s criteria of success and there are multiple metrics that exist for measuring high school success.”
Mummenthey noted that 45% of Niskayuna High School students take at least one advanced placement (AP) exam per year, with 41% passing at least one AP exam.
“I think we have some competitive advantages here,” he said. “I think on the college readiness front, we have a very rigorous and broad curriculum. We have a broad offerings in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] courses and we have a fabulous fine arts and performing arts department.”
Shenendehowa High School placed fifth in the Capital Region rankings, with Saratoga Springs High School claiming the sixth spot on the local list.
Niskayuna High School has 32.5% minority enrollment, more than doubling the rates of the local high schools that placed above them in the U.S. News & World Report list.
“We have over 60 languages represented in our hallways, which is great,” Rickert said. “I think that our quality and focus on the whole curricular success that the students have makes us unique. I think the support that we have from our community, faculty and our administration really helps make us what we are.”
The high school, which has an enrollment of approximately 1,400 students, has a 14-1 student to teacher ratio.
“It’s an average ratio, so we have classes that are larger and smaller than that,” Mummenthey said. “But I think with lower teacher-student ratios that the likelihood of smaller class sizes increases and also teacher availability for extra help and enrichment.”
Classes for the 2023-24 school begin in the Niskayuna Central School District on Sept. 6 for grades 1-8, with high school students returning on the following day.
Mummenthey said that 25 new teachers have been hired in the district, with a two-day teacher orientation held for the new hires in August.
“We are full steam ahead,” Mummenthey said. “We had faculty and staff in for a few days last week and we’re super excited for the new school year.”
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on X at @TedRemsnyder.