REDDING, Calif. -

Redding’s University Preparatory School or UPrep, has been ranked as one of the most challenging schools in the country by the Washington Post.

The paper uses a ration that compares the number of college level tests, such as AP exams, given at a school each year and divides that by the number of seniors that graduate each year.  UPrep was ranked number 237 out of 2,000 nationally and is the only Northstate high school that made the list.

School officials said that the curriculum is based on a drive to place students in colleges post graduation is what makes the school so tough.  They say that their students are more than up to the challenge.

“I think the discipline of the curriculum, sports, music and performing arts helps them manage their time,” said Superintendent/Principal Kathy Malain.  “They develop leadership skills and learn some study techniques so they can be very successful in school and out of school.”

Malain said the school is so challenging because students need to prepare for an increasingly challenging world.  And challenges now help prepare them for college level workloads and for the working world beyond.

The students seem to respond to the tough love well.  UPrep administration says that almost 95 percent of graduating seniors entered some form of college the autumn after graduation.  They say about 40 percent go to Shasta College and a further nearly 50 percent go on to four-year colleges around California and the country.

Things get even better if you follow those students through college, as nearly 75 percent of UPrep students in college graduate.