• Pride in USC: District Awards & Recognitions

    The 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: 

    Pittsburgh Business Times ranks USC #1 

    Pittsburgh Business Times For the second year in a row, the Upper St. Clair School District ranks No. 1 in the annual rankings of regional school districts published by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Released on May 12, 2020, the 2020 Guide to Southwestern Pennsylvania Schools analyzes school performance data for 102 school districts throughout the seven-county region. The rankings are based on PSSA and Keystone Exam scores – three years of data are used, with the current year given the most weight.

    The Pittsburgh Business Times released its first school rankings in 2005. Upper St. Clair debuted at number two before spending eight consecutive years, from 2006-2013, in the number one spot. For the last five years, Upper St. Clair ranked within the top five each year before regaining the top spot in 2019. 

    USC named among the 2020 Best High Schools

    Best High Schools Upper St. Clair High School ranks among the top three percent of high schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The newspaper released its list of 2020 Best High Schools on April 21, 2020.

    Ranked 15th in Pennsylvania, Upper St. Clair is the third highest-ranking high school in Allegheny County. Nationally, Upper St. Clair ranks 709th out of more than 17,700 public high schools in the nation.

    According to the U.S. News & World Report’s website, “rankings include data on more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.”


    Upper St. Clair nationally recognized for music education

    Best Communities for Music Education For the fifth consecutive year, Upper St. Clair School District has been named among the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Upper St. Clair is one of only 18 school districts in Allegheny County, 115 in Pennsylvania and 754 from across the country to earn the distinction in 2020.

    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.

    2019 SAT scores rank No. 1 in region

    Upper St. Clair High School students who took the SAT college entrance exam in 2019 earned the highest composite score in Allegheny County and the ninth highest in Pennsylvania. Upper St. Clair's average composite SAT score was 1,225 (Evidence-Based Reading & Writing 608, Math 617). 

    The SAT is a college readiness exam taken by approximately 1.4 million students each year in the United States. The SAT Benchmark scores of 480 in Evidence-Based Reading and Reading and 530 in Math indicate a 75 percent likelihood of achieving a C average or higher during the first year of college. Upper St. Clair students far exceeded the SAT college readiness benchmark in both subject areas.

    All USC schools named “No Place for Hate”

    No Place for Hate Each of Upper St. Clair’s six schools earned the designation as a “No Place for Hate” school from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) during the 2019-20 school year. Implemented within the Upper St. Clair School District beginning in the fall of 2019, No Place for Hate helps incorporate anti-bias and bullying prevention resources into the district’s existing programs in order to have one consistent message of inclusivity.

    In addition, Boyce and Fort Couch Middle Schools received special Equity Awards from the Anti-Defamation League for their inclusion efforts.

    SHOP@USC wins top national award

    Magna Award In 2017, Upper St. Clair School District was selected as one of three national Grand Prize Winners in the 23rd annual Magna Awards program sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s magazine, American School Board Journal. Specifically, Upper St. Clair was recognized for its SHOP@USC program. The Magna Awards recognize school districts and their leaders for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of their students and their communities.

    SHOP@USC is a pioneering, student-run business, which operates fully through the collaboration between students with significant disabilities and their same age peers without disabilities. Within SHOP, students produce and sell greeting cards, business cards, signs/banners, laser-engraved items and USC spirit wear merchandise.
    As the Grand Prize Winner in the under 5,000 students category, Upper St. Clair School District’s SHOP@USC program was highlighted in the April 2017 issue of the American School Board Journal magazine and received a $5,000 contribution. All 33 award-winning school districts were formally recognized during a special presentation at NSBA’s 77th Annual Conference, March 25-27, 2017, in Denver.

    Including the SHOP@USC program, Upper St. Clair has earned a total of three Magna Awards. The High School’s therapeutic emotional support program was recognized in 2020 and the District's Student Leadership Academy, which helps students understand how they can change the world through their leadership, received the honor in 2013.

    Blue Ribbon

    National 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.

    Newsweek ranks USC High School #113 in the nation

    America's Top High Schools 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.

    #3 STEM HS 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.


    Middle Schools Re-Designated as Donald Eichhorn Schools to Watch

    Schools to Watch

    Boyce and Fort Couch middle schools were named Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools to Watch 2020. This marks the fifth time that the two Upper St. Clair schools have earned this honor – an accomplishment reached by only two other schools in Pennsylvania. Boyce and Fort Couch first earned Schools to Watch honors in 2008. The schools were re-designated as Schools To Watch in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020. 

    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 nation

    The Best Schools Banner In 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.