Trips to the Galapagos, handyman skills, and noveling: Maeser Prep uses Winterim to shake things up in January 01

Ashley Fosse, a teacher at Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, leads a book binding and paper engineering winterim course at the school on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Lindon.

A Lindon public charter school is the top high school in the Provo area, according to a new ranking from the U.S. News & World Report.

Topping the list for the ranking’s inaugural year is Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, followed by Timpview High School in Provo. Mountain View High School in Orem, Timpanogos High School in Orem and Lone Peak High School in Highland round out the Provo metro area’s top five schools.

The metro rankings are new for the U.S. News & World Report, which annually releases rankings identifying the best schools in the nation and state. This year, Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy ranked as the fifth-best school in the state, after InTech Collegiate High School in North Logan, Beehive Science and Technology Academy in Sandy, the Academy for Math Engineering and Science in Salt Lake City and Davis High School in Kaysville.

It was ranked this year as the 928th best high school in the nation, with Timpview High School coming in at 1,754th.

The metro rankings are created using a formula that includes college readiness; the breadth of a school’s college curriculum; math and reading proficiency and performance; how well a school’s underserved student population performs and a school’s graduation rate.

Maeser Preparatory Academy has ranked near the top of the U.S. News & World Report’s state rankings over the last few years. Robyn Ellis, the school’s director, attributes the school’s placements on the rankings to the school’s model.

“We’ve held very closely to our mission, knowing that if the mission and the philosophy really resonated with the students, then they would engage more,” Ellis said.

The school, which teaches about 600 students in the seventh through 12th grades, uses the Socratic method, teaches students Latin and has students take an in-depth Winterim course every January.

Ellis said the model prepares students for college and for life. She said the faculty also heavily buys into the school’s classical concept.

“We feel that teachers are mentors,” Ellis said. “They are more than just standing in front of the room being the sage on stage, they are truly mentors and have a passion for the subject.”

The school sees an influx of inquiries about how to get on its waiting list after the rankings come out. Ellis said the school has a waiting list of between 400 to 500 students. Its enrollment is capped at 640 students.

Ellis said that small size means that the school’s employees have connections with every student.

“I can look at them and have an individual of each and every one of them,” Ellis said.

The Provo City School District is proud of Timpview High School’s ranking, according to Caleb Price, spokesman for the district.

“This ranking is a testament to the hard work of the teachers, staff and students at Timpview High School,” Price said in an email. “Being ranked as one of the top schools in the area is great accomplishment. Any time a national organization is able to see and recognize the success of your work, that is something to be proud of.”