Area high schools found themselves sweating out test results, and the scores are in.

U.S. News & World Report released its annual findings of how high schools performed by region, their respective states and nationally. Locally, the magazine compared how high schools compared within Mercer, Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

It was a tight race in Mercer County. Out of the 39 schools reviewed in the tri-county area, Reynolds was ranked fifth, Wilmington sixth, Grove City seventh and Sharpsville eighth.

The rankings were based on the 2018-2019 school year. 

Some high schools weren’t reviewed, such as Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage. Schools without a 12th grade or with very small enrollment, such as Joseph Badger School District in Ohio, were given an unranked status.

A number of factors were used in determining the rankings. The percentage of students who graduated from a high school was among them. Reynold High School had 100 percent of its students graduating.

“That’s impressive,’’ said Dr. Jeffrey A. Finch, superintendent of Grove City Area School District.

Grove City High School and its overall school district moved up the national ranks. Finch closely follows how his district performs in the report. 

A couple of years ago, he enacted changes in the district to get students better prepared for life after graduation.

“I’m really excited,’’ Finch said. “This report is an early confirmation of our efforts in targeting programs to get students ready for their education after high school.’’ 

One upgrade he made was forming a relationship with Grove City College.

“Right now we’re really driving towards a partnership with dual enrollment with the college and high school programs,’’ Finch said. 

In all, the report nationally reviewed nearly 24,000 schools and ranked about 17,860 high schools. High schools that scored below 31st place weren’t ranked individually and were placed as a group in 32nd to 39th place.

More detailed coverage of U.S. News’ findings of how area school districts ranked in their state and the nation will be explored next week in The Herald.

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