Walpole High School Ranked 49th Best School in Massachusetts

Walpole High School Ranked 49th Best School in Massachusetts

Christina Freiberger

Walpole High School has been ranked the 49th best school in Massachusetts by the Boston Magazine. Nearby towns such as Sharon, Medfield, and Natick are listed at 14, 31, and 50 respectively. Last year, Walpole was ranked 52nd in Massachusetts—just short of the cut-off for magazine recognition. Hence, this year represents an improvement; however, it is essential for Walpole High School to better its statistics in order to pull ahead of neigboring towns in future years.

Many factors were taken in account when ranking the many schools, including enrollment number, student-to-teacher ratio, per-pupil spending, and SAT scores. Some of these statistics show off Walpole’s success, while others show its need for improvement. Walpole has a high enrollment number of 1,084 students. This number is close to neighboring towns, such as Sharon with 1,155 students and Medfield with 921 students. Natick, however, has an even greater number of 1,281 students.

More components, including the student-to-teacher ratio (14:1) and per-pupil spending ($14. 334) for Walpole, on the other hand, do not compare well with many top towns. Sharon’s ratios are better with a 13.5:1 and $14, 334, while Medfield’s are not as good with a 14.6:1, and $10, 542. Completely blowing away all of these towns is the number one school, Weston, with per-pupil spending of $18,023, and a student-teacher ratio of 10.8:1.

Average SAT scores for Walpole High are mainly in the low 500s—reading is at 535, writing is at 533, and math is at 528. Both Sharon’s and Medfield’s average scores are significantly higher, in the upper 500s. And the deserving winner,  Weston, once again outscores the other towns with average scores in the low 600s.

WHS received a special regonition for its Foreign Language department. WHS Foreign Language Department Head Mr. George Watson was named 2008-2009 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. His continuous dedication toward the language program has helped it become as strong as it is today. About 20 percent of students at WHS take multiple languages, among the many languages offered.  The school also provides trips annually to each language’s country of origin, along with successful exchange programs that have helped Walpole students apply the language they have been learning in the classroom. Boston Magazine found all of these factors to be key reasons for the department’s acknowledgement.

The recognition from Boston Magazine is the latest achievement in the long history of Walpole High School. The school community hopes to improve their rankings next year and constantly strive for greater excellence.

More information on the rankings can be found in Boston Magazine, or on their website: www.bostonmagazine.com.