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‘Beating the Odds’

UNION – Hertford County Early College High School made Newsweek’s 2015 “Beating the Odds” list, which names the top 500 high schools with low-income students, according to the magazine.

The school was actually among the top 100 schools named, placing 90th on the list which was determined via a formula that compares graduation rates and ACT test scores while taking into consideration the number of students qualifying for free and reduced meals in the district.

This list ranks schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles presented by economically disadvantaged students, the magazine said.

The magazine noted Hertford County Early College High School with a graduation rate of 100 percent, a college-bound rate of 100 percent and a poverty rate of 72.3 percent — ranked No. 90 on Newsweek’s “Beating the Odds” list. Newsweek assigned the school a college readiness score of 87 percent, relative to other schools making the list.

“Newsweek’s High School Rankings are exceptional because of the many factors we take into consideration when selecting top schools as well as our look at inequality when it comes to education,” Newsweek editor-in-chief Jim Impoco said in a written statement. “Our analysis looks at a broad range of criteria and sheds light on schools that are setting the bar high for their students and helping them to succeed in the next chapter of their education.”

Hertford County Early College High School Principal Bryan Ruffin was happy to learn of the honor.

“Our students are excelling beyond state standards due to the hard work of our staff and supportive parents,. It has truly taken a concerted effort among everyone, but it is great to see that all of the hard work is paying off for our school. There truly are a lot of great things going on at Early College and it is time people know about it,” he said.

According to Roanoke-Chowan Community College president, Dr. Michael Elam, “I am delighted to have the Hertford County Early College High School as active educational partners on the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Campus. We work hard to provide excellent leadership that helps create a quality environment promoting high academic performance for these students. So far the students are responding well. I am expecting to expand this program in the years to come to afford more students the opportunity to collect college credit toward an Associate degree while still in high school.”