CJ Named Again to America's Most Challenging High Schools List

Catholic faith, excellent academics, enriched community. These pillars tell just part of the story at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. This month, another part of the story was told when the Washington Post named CJ to their America's Most Challenging High Schools list for a sixth consecutive year. Additionally, the school went up in the overall rankings and was ranked 29th in the state.

"I'm very excited about the results," shared Brett Chmiel '02, Director of Admissions. "Even in years where we continue to build our enrollment and grow, our index score continues to go up."

Schools listed on the America's Most Challenging High Schools list were ranked by the number of AP tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Additional tests such as the International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education are also factored into the ranking, however, those tests are not offered at CJ.

"Schools that are higher and have a high index score may have lower graduating classes," Chmiel noted.  "When we can build enrollment and build on that index, that's a great sign that we are on mission and on point to drive student success."

Principal John Marshall '86 added that at CJ, students are also presented with additional in-school college credit options through the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses and more recently the College Credit Plus (CCP) program.

"Through College Credit Plus, students can compete for a final score that obtains college credit while they're sitting in a class at CJ and take an end of course exam, as opposed to taking a single test in an AP course," Marshall said. "As more students take CCP classes and earn college credit, less of them may take AP tests.

"We have competitive programs through AP, CCP, and PLTW," Marshall continued. "If our score on the Washington Post Most Challenging High Schools list were to go down in the coming years, it's an indication to me that students are choosing to challenge themselves in other college level courses."

You can learn more about how the rankings were compiled here.

Posted May 12, 2017