The Elk River Area School District’s three traditional high schools — Elk River, Zimmerman and Rogers — each earned a spot on the US News and World Report’s Best U.S. High School Rankings list for 2021.

The U.S. News Best High Schools rankings include data on nearly 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools are ranked on six factors based on their performance, including state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

“This is outstanding news for our schools and our families,” said Superintendent Dan Bittman. “Our students in secondary schools are used to achieving at high levels and have maintained that top performance in these unprecedented times. When you think about our high school students, they, in particular, have been through a lot over the past year. It’s a testament to them, and to our staff, that they’ve earned this recognition through hard work and innovation.”

Rogers High School placed highest on the US News list and finished 29th in Minnesota and in the top 2,000 of all U.S. high schools. Elk River was in the top 50 in the state and ranked in the top 2,900 U.S. high schools. Zimmerman High was 94th in Minnesota and placed in the top 5,600 schools nationally.

That puts all three high schools in the top third of all ranked high schools in the country, according to US News’ criteria.

ISD 728 has created several areas of emphasis in high school curriculum over the past several years, including new Career and Technical Education opportunities, dedication to the arts and collaboration with local colleges and universities.

“Our high schools remain dedicated to getting all students career and college ready,” said Jana-Hennen Burr, assistant superintendent of Secondary Educational Services. “This past year, personal relationships and keeping students connected have also been important factors in our success as a district. That’s taken effort from everyone — staff, students and families.”

More information on ISD 728’s programs, academic achievement and curriculum can be found via the annual World’s Best Workforce report on the district’s website,

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