BW earns high marks in latest rankings


SUNBURY — Big Walnut High School is ranked 2,588th out of 17,857 public high schools nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report high school rankings.

The high school received an overall score of 85.51 out of 100.

“Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college,” U.S. News & World Report said.

The scorecard includes the following data: Big Walnut has a graduation rate of 95% (somewhat above state median), reading proficiency score of 84%, mathematics proficiency score of 71%, with 55% of 12th grade students taking at least one Advanced Placement exam, and 34% of seniors passing at least one AP exam.

Ranking factors consisted of college readiness index (39.4 out of 100), college curriculum breadth index, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, and graduation rate.

In other test scores, Big Walnut students had an 83.9% percentile score on Ohio Graduations Tests. The percentage of non-underserved students who are proficient was 78%.

At the time of the rankings, Big Walnut High School had a total enrollment of 1,042, with the most in 9th grade and each successive grade slightly less. Of the students, 54% are male, 13% are economically disadvantaged, and 8% are minority. There are 52 full-time teachers.

Nationally, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia (Fairfax County Public Schools), was the top high school. The top 14 were all in separate states.

In addition to its national placement, Big Walnut is ranked 83rd among 683 Ohio high schools. Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati was the top-ranked high school in Ohio. It placed 112th in the national rankings.

Finally, Big Walnut is ranked 21st among 104 ranked Columbus, Ohio, metro area high schools. Bexley High School was the top-ranked high school in the area, fourth in the state, and 164th in the national rankings.

Olentangy High School in Lewis Center was ranked second in the Columbus area, 14th in the state, 527th nationally, and was the top-ranked of Delaware County’s high schools.

Here’s how other public high schools in Delaware County fared: Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell (fifth in the Columbus area, 21st in Ohio, 595th nationally), Orange High School in Lewis Center (ninth, 29th, 752nd), Westerville North High School in Westerville (14th, 64th, 1,921st), Westerville Central High School in Westerville (16th, 66th, 2,002nd), Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware (25th, 110th, 3,164th) and Buckeye Valley Local High School in Delaware (37th, 175th, 4,797th). Olentangy Berlin High School in Delaware was not yet eligible to be ranked.

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A sign located at the entrance to Big Walnut High School, 555 S. Old 3C Rd. in Sunbury, is pictured in this December 2020 file photo. sign located at the entrance to Big Walnut High School, 555 S. Old 3C Rd. in Sunbury, is pictured in this December 2020 file photo. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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