Niche: Woodlands Academy gets an A+ for educating girls
For yet another year, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart gets top grades when it comes to a faith-based education for young women. According to recently released 2020 rankings by Niche, an independent research company, the Lake Forest school repeats as the #1 Best All-girls High School in Illinois. In addition, Woodlands Academy is ranked the #1 Best Catholic High School in Illinois along with the overall grade of A+ it received in this year's report.
Niche, a website for researching K-12 schools, scored Woodlands Academy highly on a variety of factors. These include SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratios, the quality of colleges students consider, and reviews from students and parents.
"I am so proud to once again be ranked the best all-girls high school in Illinois," Head of School Meg Steele said. "Preparing young women to tackle the world beyond high school is Woodlands' sole focus. Our belief that empowered girls can change the world is an integral part of who we are and how we educate our students."
Graduates of all-girls schools, such as Woodlands, have a definitive edge over their coeducated peers, according to recently released research data. Commissioned by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools, the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) conducted a study that shows statistically significant advantages for girls' school graduates as they enter a college or university.
The findings identified several key areas in which all-girls schools are better preparing their students for success in university and beyond. Based on the reported data, the researchers concluded that when compared to their female peers at coed schools, girls' school graduates:
• Have stronger academic skills
• Are more academically engaged
• Demonstrate higher science self-confidence
• Display higher levels of cultural competency
• Express stronger community involvement
• Exhibit increased political engagement
Steele believes the benefits of an all-girls' school do not come simply from separating girls from the boys, but from the ability of a girls' school to focus entirely on the education, development and well-being of girls.
The focus on educating young women to become well-rounded global citizens traces back to the original vision of Sacred Heart education formulated more than 200 years ago by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat in post-revolutionary France. Today, at #18, Woodlands joins three fellow Sacred Heart Network schools in the United States in the nation's top 20 Best Catholic Schools according to Niche -- Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami (#6), Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City (#7), and Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, California, (#19). The local Sacred Heart network is comprised of 24 schools in the U.S. and Canada joining more than 130 additional schools around the world.
Woodlands Academy, Lake County's only single-gender school, is an independent Catholic day-and-boarding, college-preparatory school for young women of all faiths grades nine through 12 founded in Chicago in 1858. Today located in Lake Forest, Woodlands empowers girls to change the world.
Statistical data used in the 2020 Niche rankings was obtained from a variety of sources including the U.S. Department of Education and then analyzed by Niche. For the complete rankings, methodologies and data sources, visit https://<URL destination="http://k12.niche.com/rankings ">k12.niche.com/rankings