Stivers School for the Arts ranks among America’s best public high schools for the second year in a row and has moved up from bronze to silver, according to U.S. News & World Report in a study released Dec. 9. “It’s wonderful news,” Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Kurt Stanic said. “Principal Erin Dooley, her staff, students, parents and the seedling Foundation are to be commended for their work.” Dooley, who heard the news from a parent as the school day began, was taken by surprise, but cited arts integration as one of the many factors she believes contributes to effective teaching and learning at Stivers. “Our arts program provides opportunities for students to be creative, to be expressive, to pursue their passion, and to develop the whole person. That has a major impact on learning,” Dooley said. The Dayton high school, located at 1313 E. Fifth St., is the only school in Montgomery County to receive the national honor this year and is one of only six schools in Ohio to be named a 2010 Silver Medal School. Nationally, Silver Medal Schools comprise 2.5 percent of the 18,743 schools analyzed in the study. Criteria used to judge schools include the degree to which they serve all students across different ability levels, academic performance as measured by state achievement tests, and the degree to which students are prepared for college as measured through Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. The report was produced by U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business. This is the third year the study has been conducted. Read more about it online at www.usnews.com.