Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

MPCHS named #29 high school within Iowa

May 16, 2018

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Mt. Pleasant Community High School was ranked the 29th high school within Iowa in 2018, earning a bronze medal from U.S. News and World Report.

The ranking is scored by college readiness; students who take Advanced Placement (AP) tests; students who pass AP tests; and math and reading proficiency.

Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS) principal Todd Liechty told both teachers and students to keep up the hard work. Liechty believes it is the school’s high expectation of students and teachers’ focus on reading and math that has contributed to the school going from a ranking of 35 in 2017 to 29.

“It’s something we can brag about,” Liechty said. “Our friends in the area aren’t getting those (rankings).”

Mt. Pleasant Community School District Superintendent John Henriksen agreed with Liechty that it is exciting to be ranked this highly, saying he is excited about the number of AP classes offered that have contributed to the ranking.

AP classes are high school classes with college-level classwork. At the end of the year, students are able to take an AP test, which, if they pass, enables them to get college credit. Liechty said these classes further prepare MPCHS students for college and even help them excel in their current high school classrooms.

While AP courses are rigorous, Henriksen said MPCHS students rise to the occasion and the district is always thinking about how they can expand opportunities for the students.

“We haven’t talked about expanding the AP curriculum, but it’s a conversation we could have,” Henriksen said. “I would be open to it and would definitely take Mr. Liechty’s lead on that if we expanded the AP curriculum.”

One roadblock to pushing students to take these classes and subsequently the AP exam is the cost that goes into taking the test. Liechty said the cost per test of around $100 makes it hard to push students to sign up.

AP classes are taught by teachers certified to teach advanced level classes. Henriksen said most of this advanced training happens over the summer through the University of Iowa.

“We’re going to keep working hard,” Liechty said. “We have a high expectation of students.”

MPCHS has an enrollment of 651 students, with 15 students for every one teacher.

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