Pride in USC: District Awards & RecognitionsThe tagline statement for Upper St. Clair School District, “Customizing Learning, Nurturing Potential…Delivering Excellence,” articulates our organization’s core functions, culture and mission.
Excelling in this commitment to excellence, USC is proud to have earned numerous national and regional awards and recognitions, as outlined below:
USC named among the 2017 Best High SchoolsUpper St. Clair High School ranks among the top high schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The newspaper released its list of 2017 Best High Schools on April 25, 2017.According to the U.S. News & World Report’s website, “the U.S. News rankings include data on more than 22,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.”Ranked 12th in Pennsylvania and third in Allegheny County, Upper St. Clair High School was recognized with a Silver Medal by U.S. News & World Report. Of the commonwealth’s 686 high schools, six earned Gold Medals, 78 were awarded Silver Medals, and 148 received Bronze Medals. Nationally, Upper St. Clair ranks 666 out of more than 22,000 high schools in the nation – among the top three percent.
Upper St. Clair nationally recognized for music educationFor the second year in a row, Upper St. Clair School District was named among the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Upper St. Clair is one of only 11 school districts in Allegheny County, 72 in Pennsylvania and 527 from across the country to earn the distinction in 2017.
According to the NAMM Foundation, the Best Communities for Music Education award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.2015 SAT scores rank No. 6 in PA and No. 1 in regionThe 245 Upper St. Clair High School students who took the SAT college entrance exam in 2015 ranked sixth in Pennsylvania among the commonwealth’s 678 public high schools and first in the Pittsburgh region with a composite SAT score of 1,741.
The SAT is a college readiness exam taken by approximately 1.4 million students each year in the United States. The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 (critical reading, mathematics and writing sections combined) indicates a 65 percent likelihood of achieving a B- average or higher during the first year of college. Upper St. Clair students exceeded the SAT college readiness benchmark by more than 12 percent.
Newsweek ranks USC High School #113 in the nation
Upper St. Clair High School has been named one of America’s Top High Schools by Newsweek magazine – ranking 113th in the nation. Ranked fifth in Pennsylvania, Upper St. Clair is one of only 28 high schools in the commonwealth and four in Allegheny County to earn this distinction in 2016. Newsweek released its rankings in August 2016.
Newsweek ranks the nation’s top 500 high schools based on criteria that includes proficiency rates on state standardized assessments, college enrollment rate, graduation rate, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation and scores, SAT and ACT scores, counselor/student ratio, and student enrollment retention from grade nine through 12.USCHS named a top STEM school in Pa.In recognition of the company’s large demand for a skilled workforce in Pennsylvania, Shell Oil Company released its ranking of the Top 10 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) high schools, and Upper St. Clair High School was ranked third in Pennsylvania.
Children at Risk, a non-profit that works to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy, conducted the research on behalf of Shell Oil Company.
High schools were measured on a set of math and science specific indicators that capture both performance and engagement, including performance on math and science standardized tests and college entrance exams, as well as offerings and enrollment in advanced math and science courses.
National Blue Ribbon AwardsBaker Elementary School is one of 335 schools nationally to earn a 2015 National Blue Ribbon Award. This is the second National Blue Ribbon Award received by Baker Elementary School, having earned this distinction in 1998-99.
Fort Couch Middle School is one of 286 schools nationally to earn a 2013 National Blue Ribbon Award and has been included on the list of Exemplary High Performing Schools. The 2013 National Blue Ribbon Award is the fourth received by Fort Couch Middle School, having earned this distinction in 1986-87, 1992-93 and 2001-02. Only seven other schools in the nation have earned four Blue Ribbon Awards.
USC has earned a total of 12 Blue Ribbon Awards – three at the High School, four at Fort Couch Middle School, two at Baker Elementary School, one at Boyce Middle School, and one each at Eisenhower and Streams elementary schools. The Blue Ribbon Program, established in 1982, focuses on excellence in leadership, curriculum, student achievement, and parent and community involvement. These awards validate our district’s continued and evolving commitment to education and our community’s involvement in that endeavor.Exceptional rankings by Pittsburgh Business Times Guide to Western PA Schools
Upper St. Clair School District ranks fifth among 103 school districts throughout the seven-county region and 11th among the commonwealth’s 500 school districts, according to the 2016 Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools, published by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Rankings are based upon PSSA scores and the Keystone exams – three years of data are used, with the current year given the most weight.Middle Schools Re-Designated as Donald Eichhorn Schools to WatchBoyce and Fort Couch middle schools were named Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools to Watch in January 2017. This marks the fourth time that the USC middle schools have earned this honor – a feat accomplished by only two other Pennsylvania schools. Boyce and Fort Couch first earned Schools to Watch honors in 2008. The schools were re-designated as Schools To Watch in 2011, 2014 and 2017.
Schools to Watch selection is based on a written application that requires schools to show how they meet criteria developed by the National Forum. Schools that appear to meet the criteria are then visited by state teams, which observe classrooms; interview administrators, teachers, students and parents; and look at achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons and student work.Fort Couch named among the Best Middle Schools in the nationIn 2014, TheBestSchools.org ranked Fort Couch Middle School as No. 14 among the 50 best middle schools in the country, the only Pennsylvania school receiving this designation.
Schools are evaluated based on several weighted factors, including academic excellence, NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores, state assessment scores, received awards and rankings, geographical diversity, and reputation. TheBestSchools.org is a leading resource for prospective students seeking a college or university degree.
Student Leadership Academies Receive National Award
Upper St. Clair was selected as a first place winner in the 2013 Magna Awards Program, sponsored by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) American School Board Journal (ASBJ).
The School District was honored in the under 5,000 enrollment category for its Student Leadership Academy, which helps students understand how they can change the world through their leadership. The academy develops the leadership skills of students in grades four through 12. Each student develops a personal leadership plan and writes goals. High school students also create an organizational plan, which identifies a globally focused, service-oriented project. Academy students have shown marked improvement in personal goals attainment, leadership development, and an increased sense of responsibility to the global society.
The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. USC was one of 15 schools to receive a first place award. ASBJ initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from nearly 300 submissions.