Fort Mill Times

Magazine ranks Nation Ford High No. 5 in the state, No. 946 in U.S.

Students at Nation Fort High School are among the best in the state and also rank highly nationwide, according to a new report.

According to US News & World Report, Nation Ford High School is ranked No. 5 in South Carolina. The magazine said it uses student performance on state and national tests to rank schools across the nation. For a school to score well, it must pass three thresholds: students at the school must perform better, statistically, than all other students in the state; low income and minority students must perform better in math and reading than other low income and minority students in the state; and schools that scored well in the first two steps are ranked based on students’ college readiness. That standard is determined by using Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test scores.

It’s a scientific method used to determine what Nation Ford Principal Beverley Bowman said she already knows – her students are ready and able to perform well on a national level.

“It takes all the staff,” she said. “Working on literacy skills, critical thinking skills. It’s all of us working together,” Bowman said.

According to US News & World Report, a great high school must serve all students well, not just those who are college-bound. It must also be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating the student body.

Bowman said one thing that took the school, which opened in 2007, to the next level is participation in AP and IB tests. She said it’s not just about the scores, and by pushing teachers of advanced classes to recognize a student’s potential, more students are achieving what they may not have thought possible.

“(We are) making sure the students who are more capable of taking the class are enrolled,” Bowman said. “We feel they are eligible to be successful.”

Nation Ford High School scored well nationally as well. The school ranked 946 out of more than 6,500 schools that were analyzed, which earned it a silver ranking.

The full list of the best high schools in South Carolina, and a breakdown of information on Nation Ford High School can be accessed via