Imprecision Exists in School Rankings
U.S. News & World Report recently released their rankings of the top high schools in America. I have received some inquiries from members of our community expressing concern about Fremd’s absence on this list. Fear not, fellow Vikings! Fremd is still a great school. Nothing dramatic has happened to our educational programs since this fall, when Newsweek ranked us #11 in the state of Illinois. Instead, we need to look at how U.S. News arrived at their ranking:
- To determine the top schools in 2017, U.S. News used 2014-2015 test data for each school’s state test. The state test that year (and the next) were the PARCC exams, a series of tests that were flawed from the beginning and scrapped after just two years in favor of the SAT.
- PARCC exams were developed for specific courses students would take throughout their high school career. In English, schools chose to test all of their students in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade English. In Math, schools chose to test students enrolled in Algebra, Geometry, or Algebra II. All District 211 schools tested freshmen in English, and students enrolled in Algebra. Other districts, including nearby District 214, tested students in different courses than what we chose. Apples to oranges.
- Because we tested our Algebra students, only about one-third of our freshman class was tested, since the other two-thirds of the class were enrolled in either Geometry, Algebra II, and in some cases, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus. Other rankings use national exams like ACT or SAT, which include a wider range of our student population.
- How did other D211 schools get a ranking and not Fremd? That’s a great question. You will notice that other great high schools--New Trier, Deerfield, Prairie Ridge, to name a few--were also left off the list.
- Our AP course enrollment continues to climb, with record numbers of students taking AP tests each year. Remarkably, our scores continue to improve as well!
- The number of National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists remains impressive. This year, 10 students were selected as Finalists for this honor.
- Over the last three years, the number of perfect ACTs has ranged from three to seven--all impressive numbers.
- In my three years as principal, Fremd’s athletic teams and competitive activities have brought home 10 state trophies (and counting).
Highlights and Successes:
- Congratulations to Coach Tim Hamman and the Boys GymnasticsTeam on taking 2nd place at Hawk Invite. Awards were given to Eric Barnd: 2nd Place Pommel Horse, 2nd Place High Bar, 2nd Place All Around; Nick Oyasu: 3rd Place Pommel Horse and Ryan Roth: 1st Place Vault.
Upcoming Home Activities and Varsity Events
Boys Tennis Invitational @ Hersey H.S. - 3:00 p.m.
Boys Baseball vs. RMHS - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Softball vs. Prospect H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Badminton Conference @ Hersey H.S. -4:30 p.m.
Boys Gymnastics Conference Meet @ Schaumburg H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
Girls Soccer Invitational @ Naperville North H.S. = 7:00 p.m.
Girls Lacrosse @ Schaumburg H.S. - 7:15 p.m.
Prom Ticket Sales : 8:00 a.m. Seniors
9:30 a.m. - Juniors
Girls Soccer Invitational @ Naperville North H.S.
Boys Tennis Invitational @ Hersey H.S. - 8:00 a.m.
Girls Water Polo Invitational @ St. Charles East H.S. - 8:30 a.m.
Boys Tennis Invitational @ Crystal Lake South H.S. - 8:30 a.m.
Girls/Boys Track & Field Relays @ Palatine H.S. - 8:30 a.m.
Boys Lacrosse @ Maine South H.S> - 12:30 p.m.
Girls Softball @ South Elgin H.S - 1:30 p.m.
Girls Badminton Conference Meet @ Hersey H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Softball @ Wheeling H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Water Polo Crossover vs. RMHS - 4;30 p.m.
Boys Baseball vs. Conant H.S. - 4:45 p.m.
Boys Volleyball @ Stevenson H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
Girls Soccer @ Prospect H.S. -6:30 p.m.
Girls Lacrosse vs. Glenvard West H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
Boys Tennis vs. Schaumburg H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Boys Volleyball @ Schaumburg H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
Girls Lacrosse vs. Huntley H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
Boys Baseball @ Conant H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Softball vs. Elk Grove H.S. - 4:45 p.m.
Girls Soccer @ Barrington H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
Boys Tennis @ Barrington H.S. - 4:30 p.m.
Girls Badminton Sectional @ FHS - 4:30 p.m.
Boys Volleyball @ Barrington H.S. - 6:00 p.m.
Boys Lacrosse @ Palatine H.S. - 6:30 p.m.
Girls Lacrosse vs. Palatine H.S. - 7:00 p.m.
For a more complete list, please visit our Athletics Page.
Social Studies Teacher
Head Boys Gymnastics Coach
Years at Fremd:
Life Before Fremd:
Taught for 3 years at Proviso West High School and coached gymnastics at Hinsdale Central.
Graduated from UIC with a degree in Teaching of History
Family Time with my wife and young daughter
Hunting and trap shooting
In a previous life I played drums in a band that played many shows in the city.
Insider Tip for Parents:
Take a look at your students textbook and ask them questions about what they are learning. Do this periodically throughout the year, not just in August. This is a great way to subtly and easily let your students know that you are engaged in what they are doing on a more regular basis.
Ask the Principal
Q: Why is prom held on the weekend before finals? Can we avoid cutting into study time before these exams?
A: Several years ago, prom was moved to the weekend of graduation in an effort to curb misbehavior from students. When the decision was made, parents noted that the proximity on the calendar to the graduation ceremony and the presence of visiting family members for that event would discourage students from misbehaving on prom night or turning prom night into prom weekend. With limited venues to host a prom of our size, as well as schools securing venues a year in advance, it is difficult to change weekends.