(WKTV) - A recent survey by the Washington Post that ranked how high schools nationwide are challenging average students gave top marks to one area school.
The New Hartford Central School District ranked No. 1 in Central New York, No. 21 in the state and No. 245 of about 2,100 schools surveyed nationwide.
One of the criteria used to measure how effective school districts are at challenging their students is the number of advanced placement, or AP tests given each year.
"Some of the things we do at the advanced placement levels, we have an open enrollment policy, which means we try to eliminate the barriers for kids to take those tests and they don't have to take any pre-test," said Vincent Condro, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at New Hartford Central School District. "They can sign up for them if they're ready to accept that challenge, and teachers work really hard to work with all students to be successful in those classes."
Condro adds that some New Hartford seniors have so many AP classes under their belts, they're able to completely bypass their freshman year of college, entering instead as sophomores.
Another way the district challenges students is by involving them in their education.
"Students are challenged all the time, whether it be what they're asked to do in class, reading, writing, debating, and discussions," Condro said. "It really is part of our bell-to-bell approach is to try to have students engaged in their lessons the whole time," says Condro.
Parents outside New Hartford High School at dismissal time Monday said the school district was a major factor in their decision to live in New Hartford.
Visit The Washington Post for the full list of the nation's most challenging schools.