DARIEN — Darien High School is the ninth best high school in the state and the and the 410th in the nation, according to 2018 rankings by the U.S. News & World Report.

“As we craft our work, we are not focused on independent ratings but, it is always gratifying when the efforts and achievements of the district, staff and students are recognized,” said Darien Board of Education Chairman Tara Ochmann. “As a board and a district, we are continually focused on the best ways to educate our children, as a means of providing a solid foundation for their future.”

Darien was the fourth highest ranked high school in Fairfield County, behind Ridgefield (5) Greenwich (7) and Staples (8) high schools. But ahead of many other in the county.

U.S. News & World Report’s looked at more than 20,500 public high schools to determine how they serve their students and to what degree students were prepared for college-level coursework.

The rankings are based primarily on state proficiency test results and graduation rates.

“We are committed to providing strong educational opportunities to the children of Darien,” Ochmann said.

Rival New Canaan High School was close behind at number 15 in the state and 472 nationally.

“While it is a nice recognition, New Canaan Public Schools typically do not place too much stock in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of high schools as they have historically been generated by one narrow measure of performance,” said Board of Education Chairman Dionna Carlson, adding that too much stock in the rankings is placed on the number of seniors enrolled in Advanced Placement classes.

According to the results, the Advanced Placement participation rate at New Canaan High School was 62 percent and the passing rate was 93 percent.

Westport Board of Education Chairman Michael said similarly that the rankings were in no way definitive.

“A good ranking helps encourage move-ins and is exciting for all of our stakeholders. With that said, there are many more aspects to a successful school district than a given ranking,” Gordon said.

Larger Fairfield County towns and cities also ranked highly on the Connecticut list.

The Academy of Information Technology in Stamford ranked 31 in the state, Brian McMahon in Norwalk was listed at 37, and both Fairfield’s public high schools cracked the top 25, with Ludlowe at 17 and Warde at 21.

“We are pleased that US News has recognized the fine work from our students and staff at Fairfield Warde High School. The work at our school is to increase student achievement for all students in a supportive and productive environment,” Fairfield Warde Headmaster David Ebling said. “It is always nice to know that others appreciate the fine work of the Fairfield Public Schools.”

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1; 203-842-2586