Las Vegas Sun

June 19, 2018

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Newsweek ranks 5 Clark County schools among nation’s best

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Paul Takahashi

West Career and Technical Academy began its inaugural school year on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010.

Five Clark County schools were named among the nation’s best in a recent Newsweek study.

In a ranking of 500 schools, the College of Southern Nevada High School West placed No. 133, Advanced Technologies Academy (ATech) placed No. 179, CSN High School East placed No. 300 and West Career and Technical Academy placed No. 494.

In a separate ranking of schools that do a good job preparing low-income students for college, ATech was No. 95, CSN West and East placed Nos. 229 and 265, respectively, Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy placed No. 447 and West CTA placed No. 498.

They were the only Nevada schools to make the rankings.

About 56 percent of students at Veterans Tribute are from low-income families, but the school has a 100 percent graduation rate. It has robust criminal justice and medical programs that train students for careers in law enforcement and emergency services.

The study looked at a number of factors but put an emphasis on college readiness.

CSN’s high school programs are for juniors and seniors who want to take high school classes in a college environment. Nearly all students in those programs are college bound, according to the study.

No traditional public schools in Nevada made the list. The schools that did all offer specialized programs.

ATech, West CTA and Veterans Tribute are part of the Clark County School District’s network of career and technical academies, which avoid lecture-based learning in favor of giving students hands-on experience in fields like engineering and medicine.

The approach, called project-based learning, has gained traction in recent years as educators have looked for new ways to teach challenging concepts included in the Common Core State Standards.