Pride in USC: District Awards & Recognitions
Upper St. Clair School District is proud to have earned numerous national and regional awards and recognitions, as outlined below:
Pittsburgh Business Times ranks USC #1 in Pa.
Upper St. Clair School District ranks as the No. 1 school district in Pennsylvania, according to the 2023 School Guide published by the Pittsburgh Business Times. This marks the second year in a row that Upper St. Clair has reached No. 1 in the statewide rankings, which began in 2017.
For each of the last five years, Upper St. Clair has ascended in the state rankings. Debuting at No. 10 in 2017, the district climbed to No. 5 in 2018, No. 3 in 2019, and No. 2 in 2020, before reaching No. 1 in 2022. There were no rankings in 2021 due to the pandemic.
USCHS named a 2023-24 Best High SchoolUpper St. Clair High School ranks among the top three percent of high schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. Released on Aug. 29, 2023, the news outlet ranked 17,680 out of nearly 25,000 reviewed public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Ranked 642nd in the nation and 17th in Pennsylvania, Upper St. Clair is one of only six high schools in the region to rank among the top 25 in the commonwealth.
The methodology takes a holistic approach to evaluating schools – focusing on six factors: college readiness (30%), state assessment proficiency (20%), state assessment performance (20%), underserved student performance (10%), college curriculum breadth (10%), and graduation rate (10%).
All elementary and middle schools named “Best”Upper St. Clair School District’s elementary and middle schools have been named Best Elementary Schools and Best Middle Schools by U.S. News & World Report. To earn a spot on the “Best” lists, a school must rank in the top 30% of public schools in its respective state.
Boyce ranks fifth and Fort Couch ranks ninth among Pennsylvania’s 939 middle schools – both within the top 1% in Pennsylvania. Baker Elementary ranks 22nd; Eisenhower 44th; and Streams 61st among Pennsylvania’s 1,607 elementary schools. All three Upper St. Clair elementary schools rank among the top 4% in Pennsylvania.
USC named Best Community for Music EducationFor the eighth 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 15 school districts in Allegheny County and 123 in Pennsylvania to earn the distinction in 2023.
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.
USCHS recognized for sportsmanship
Upper St. Clair High School was selected as a WPIAL Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2020-2021 academic year. This marked the first year that Upper St. Clair has received this recognition since the award’s inception in 1996-1997. In its 25th year of existence, the purpose of the sportsmanship program is to promote sportsmanship in the schools and to reward those schools that best demonstrate the elements of good sportsmanship.
All USC schools named “No Place for Hate”All six Upper St. Clair schools have earned the Anti-Defamation League’s 2020-2021 No Place for Hate designation. 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 May 2021, Upper St. Clair High School was honored with the All-Around Award from the Anti-Defamation League. In particular, two of the high school’s activities – “Combating Bullying & Microaggressions” and “The Black Experience: Who Am I?” – drew praise from ADL officials.
In 2020, Boyce and Fort Couch Middle Schools received special Equity Awards from the Anti-Defamation League for their inclusion efforts.
Upper St. Clair earns WELL Health-Safety Rating
In February 2021, Upper St. Clair School District earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for each of its six schools – marking the first district to reach this achievement worldwide.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future.
“The health and safety of our students and staff members as well as others who use our school facilities remain our top priority,” Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools, said. “The WELL Health-Safety seal is further testament that we are sincere in our efforts to go above and beyond to provide the safest environment possible for teaching and learning.”
USCHS program earns national honorUpper St. Clair High School’s therapeutic emotional support program was named a first-place award winner in the 2020 Magna Awards, sponsored by the National School Boards Association's flagship magazine, American School Board Journal.
Known simply as the 409 Program – named after its room location – the program’s goal is to provide students with significant mental health needs the opportunity to fully participate in their high school.
SHOP@USC wins top national awardIn 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.
National Blue Ribbon AwardsUSC has earned a total of 13 National Blue Ribbon awards – three at USC High School, four at Fort Couch Middle School, two at Baker Elementary School, two at Boyce Middle School, and one each at Eisenhower and Streams elementary schools. The National 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.
2019 SAT scores rank No. 1 in regionUpper 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.
Newsweek ranks USC High School #113 in the nationUpper 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.
Middle Schools Re-Designated as Donald Eichhorn Schools to WatchBoyce and Fort Couch middle schools were named Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools to Watch 2023. This marks the sixth 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, 2020 and 2023.
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.