Norway-Vulcan Area School District earns top ranking from Newsweek, Daily Beast


Staff Writer

NORWAY – Norway-Vulcan Area Schools has been ranked as one of America’s Best High Schools by the Daily Beast and Newsweek.

The ranking is for high schools that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads.

Based on six components, the district received a 96 percent graduation rate, zero in AP/IB tests, 82 percent college acceptance rate, 20 for average ACT score, 32 percent received subsidized lunch, and a 2.4 average AP score for a 2.75 out of Newsweek’s highest score of five.

According to, Norway Schools ranked 1,791 out of 2,000.

Superintendent Lou Steigerwald said the district was sent a questionnaire and then received correspondence on the ranking by Newsweek.

The ranking is for the 2011-12 school year.

“I am really proud of all the staff and students, he said. “We’re thrilled. This was the result of lot of work by staff and students.”

Steigerwald also noted that interaction of staff with students correlates to the graduation success rate and the college bound success rate. Teachers and staff care enough about students to make sure they are attending school, completing assignments and passing tests to graduate.

Steigerwald also said the district’s SAT/ACT score is higher than the national average. Michigan is a state where all high school students must take the ACT.

The AP/IB test result was zero because there were none of those tests given.

Norway Schools was one of two schools in the U.P. to receive this ranking.

The other school was Calumet High School.

Steigerwald also commented on the school bond and professional development days.

He said a professional development day next Wednesday will focus on teachers analyzing test data and then taking the tools they learn back to the classroom.

“All of these efforts, technology and training, help find out where kids are at,” Steigerwald said. “With technology, we get the data as kids are taking the test. Teachers can know which questions students are struggling with and are wrong. They can watch it as it’s happening.”

The district is in the process of utilizing bond monies and upgrading the school gymnasium, entry doors, lights, and bathrooms and will be providing iPads to K-12 students next school year.

Other rankings the district has received include one of Michigan’s Best Value Schools by Bridge magazine, one of America’s Best Music communities by the National Association for Music Education, and a silver medal for one of America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News and World Report in 2012.

Lisa M. Reed’s e-mail address is