ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) – A ranking from the U.S. News & World Report gave high praise to Onalaska High School.
The report ranked the school 50th best high school in over 500 public schools in the state, which put them higher than all other high schools in the area.
The report looked at a number of factors like college readiness, proficiency in math and reading as well as graduation rate. Onalaska High School principal Jared Schaffner says while the ranking gives them affirmation what they do is working, they just aim to give students options after graduation.
“That’s what we’re all about, is making sure that when life at Onalaska High School is over for a student that those next steps are in place and students are able to access the opportunities that they want after graduation,” Schaffner said.
Spanish and economic teacher Andy Beckstrom says it starts with building a close relationship with the students.
“You shoot to win everyday with the kids,” Beckstrom explained. “They enjoy it. They have fun. They find some way to push themselves to get better and I think that’s what all the teachers here at the building do.”
Despite the high ranking, Beckstrom doesn’t think this means the school will get complacent.
“I look at it as I’ve been here for eight years and it’s great to see the numbers and what we’re doing right now and I think we’re getting better,” he added.
Schaffner says that doesn’t mean all students will go to a university. Some may prefer a two year degree or a trade. It’s just important the school makes whatever the decision is, a successful one.
“This last February our entire staff went to Western Technical College for a tour of the campus because we need to make sure we understand what it is we’re preparing students for,” he explained.
Schaffner hopes this reassures parents of their students education and strengthens their desire to get more involved.
“The more engaged the parents are, the more likely the students will feel that there’s that relationship between school and home, which will always benefit a student in a positive manner,” he finished.
He also went on to say he believes the Coulee Region benefits from having a great education atmosphere which gives parents a multitude of options to choose where they’d want to grow their family.