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The Dexter community has a lot to be proud of, including its high school, which ranks as one of the best in Michigan.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked Dexter High School as the 21st best high school in the state. This ranking comes in the annual look at the Best High Schools, which for 2024 ranked nearly 17,660 out of more than 24,000 reviewed public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

There are 1,163 high schools in Michigan, according to U.S. News and World Report. 673 Michigan schools made the rankings this year.

The Sun Times News followed up with DHS Principal Melanie Nowak to ask her about the ranking.

“Dexter High School has a lot to be proud of,” Nowak said. “Our caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff educates and guides our students to realize their full potential. Our community takes great pride in the quality education we have to offer.”

Enrollment for 9-12 at DHS is at 1,116 students. Chelsea and Saline are at 783 and 1,605 students.

Here’s a look at how U.S. News and World Report determines these rankings:
• College readiness, based on the proportion of 12th-grade students who took and earned a qualifying score on at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam (30% of ranking).
• State assessment proficiency, based on aggregated scores on state assessments that students may be required to pass for graduation (20%).
• State assessment performance, based on whether performance on state assessments exceeded expectations given the school’s proportion of underserved students (20%).
• Underserved student performance, based on how Black, Hispanic and low-income students performed on state assessments compared with those who are not underserved in the state (10%).
• College curriculum breadth, based on proportions of 12th-grade students who took and earned a qualifying score on AP and/or IB exams in multiple content areas (10%).
• Graduation rate, based on the proportion of students who entered ninth grade in 2018-2019 and graduated four years later (10%).

The ranking is a good thing for Dexter, but Nowak said there’s more to DHS than what appears in the rankings report.

“Although Dexter High School scores highly, we have more to offer than our ranking shows,” she said. “Our students continue to impress us with their ability to be creative and critical thinkers, collaborate with others, and show responsibility and resilience.”

A look at part of the U.S. News and World Report ranking of Dexter High School.

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