Curious about how your high school compares with others when it comes to preparing you for the next step? No matter your plans after high school — college degree or entering the workforce — an adequate foundation for life after high school is necessary. However, some public high schools are more effective than others at helping students prepare for successful transitions.
A great high school provides a highly developed curriculum, and a wide range of extracurricular activities that address the needs of all students. College preparatory and vocational courses are made available so that students can earn college credits or certifications during their high school experience, easing their entry into both college and career.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the United States has more than 24,000 public secondary schools; that number includes many noteworthy public high schools including the 100 Best Public High Schools on this list.
We have included at the end of this article two answers to frequently asked questions, the first detailing the various types of public high schools that exist in the United States, the second describing the different courses of study offered by America’s public high schools:
Ranking of the 100 Best Public High schools includes the following factors:
- Strength of high school curriculum
- School Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) participation rate
- When applicable, percent of students AP tested and passed and percent IB tested and passed
- Reading and math results on each state’s proficiency tests
- SAT/ACT scores
- Student graduation rate
- Performance of disadvantaged students
- Student-teacher ratio
- Student reviews (from notable sources)
- Percentage of college bound students
- Facilities,clubs and activities
Points for consideration:
- Geographical diversity was taken into consideration while creating the list, thus some deserving high schools from states with numerous notable high schools are not included.
- Where possible schools from each state were included.
- The list does not include public high schools with a very small student population; the optimum enrollment for learning was taken into account.
- The list focuses on schools that offer a traditional high school experience and atmosphere, and so the list does not include public high schools located on college campuses or schools with students in 7th grade or below.
The 100 Best Public High Schools in the U.S. 2018
1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was created in partnership between Fairfax County Public Schools and the business community to improve student education in mathematics, science and technology. The high school serves as the regional magnet Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia. The curriculum’s core skills and values emphasize problem solving skills, critical inquiry and research, intellectual curiosity and social responsibility. The high school teaches all the courses at the Honors, Gifted, AP, or Post-AP level. Students must participate in AP classes. AP participation and pass rate are 100 percent. Students may also earn college credits during high school.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology offers an extensive STEM-based curriculum including artificial intelligence, DNA science, neurobiology, linear algebra, organic chemistry, quantum mechanics, and marine biology. The curriculum also emphasizes the humanities and foreign languages. The heart of the school’s curriculum includes biology, English, and technology.
Student research has an essential role in learning at the high school. Students must complete an original engineering or experimental research project.
Students participating in the mentorship program are involved in research and/or project development at mentoring agencies including universities, government institutions, and corporations throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.
Students must participate in an activities period included in the instructional day. Students can obtain academic support and participate in any of 150+ clubs and activities.
The school is one of the founding members of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has very stringent entry requirements, including an entrance exam, a personal essay, recommendations from others, and a history of high academic achievement. Students’ demonstrated aptitude and passion for studies in the mathematical, scientific and technological fields are very important factors in the admissions process.
2. Carnegie Vanguard High School
Carnegie Vanguard High School, a community-centered magnet school, has a curriculum which consists of AP courses, pre-AP courses, and Honors electives. All students at the school are identified as gifted and talented in academics. In addition, 100 percent of students take the AP exam and pass. 98 percent of students matriculated to four year colleges or universities.
Graduation requirements include performing 100 hours of community service and taking ten Advanced Placement courses. Carnegie Vanguard High School offers a variety of clubs focusing on community service and academics.
Admission requirements require universal assessment scores, teacher recommendation, transcript, and/or a gifted and talented identification.
3. Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School
Liberal Arts and Science Academy, an advanced academic magnet high school, recruits the most academically advanced students from public and private middle schools in Austin, TX. 95 percent of the students take Advanced Placement classes. AP courses offered include everything from statistics to music theory, offering plenty of variety. All students take the AP exam with a pass rate of 96 percent. The matriculation rate to four-year colleges and universities is 95.5 percent.
Liberal Arts and Science Academy provides project-based courses, which rely heavily on discussion and seminar style delivery of course information as well as the use, interpretation, and delivery of research. Signature Courses, collaborative in nature, are one of the cornerstones of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy. Student groups research, design, implement, and present projects in the sciences and humanities.
Outside the classroom, Liberal Arts and Science Academy offers a plethora of sports teams and clubs for students to participate in. Available clubs include chess, debate, Future Teachers of America, and philosophy. Foreign language clubs include French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish and Chinese.
The high school has competitive admissions, based on previous accomplishments, test scores, and teacher recommendations.
4. Gilbert Classical Academy
Gilbert Classical Academy features an integrated, rigorous curriculum with a focus on the Socratic method of instruction. The school prepares students for college-level study by only offering Honors and Advanced Placement courses. All students participate in AP courses. All students take the AP exam with a pass rate of 98 percent.
Gilbert Classical Academy enhances its curriculum with a number of fine arts, clubs, and athletics.
Students must complete 80 hours of community service and defend a Senior Thesis Project.
Enrollment at Gilbert Classical Academy requires that students meet prerequisite course completion.
5. Design and Architecture Senior High School
Design and Architecture Senior High School, a magnet school, provides students with a solid foundation in fashion, visual communications, fine art, entertainment, industrial design, and architecture. Students also enroll in traditional science, math, and language arts courses.
Design and Architecture Senior High School offers courses at the AP and Honors levels as well as dual enrollment courses with local colleges. 98 percent of students enroll in AP courses.
Students can gain real-world experience through internships with local design firms.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 40 percent of the Design and Architecture Senior High School student body.
Design and Architecture Senior High School received Blue Ribbon School of Excellence recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.
Regardless of desired program, all applicants must submit sketchbooks and portfolios as well as complete an audition.
6. University High School
University High School, a college preparatory school, provides curriculum in mathematics, science, social studies, English, fine arts and modern languages. The high school serves academically-focused and intellectually-gifted students through the curriculum and social support. All academic courses are Honors or Advanced Placement courses. All students are required to take the AP exam. The school offers a variety of foreign languages, including Chinese, French, and German.
University High School has a partnership with the University of Arizona to provide concurrent enrollment in an engineering course.
The school shares a campus with Rincon High School, and University High School students have access to the classes offered by Rincon High School in addition to the classes at University High School. The schools share most of their clubs, except the University High School chess team, Science Olympiad, Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial and a handful of other clubs. Students compete in regional, state, and national academic competitions.
The school bases admissions on qualifying scores on the Cognitive Abilities entrance exam and grade point average for the two semesters prior to enrollment.
7. Stanton College Preparatory School
Stanton College Preparatory School, a magnet school, emphasizes teaching cultural understanding and responsible citizenship. The school offers Honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Stanton College Preparatory School provides all the core courses at either the Honors or Advanced Placement level. 99 percent of students participate in the IB program with a completion rate of 100 percent.
Students can obtain college credit during their time at Stanton College Preparatory School through partnerships with two local universities: The University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville.
The school has more than 50 clubs and organizations including honor societies, special interest groups, academic teams, service clubs, and music.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Stanton College Preparatory School as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
8. International Academy
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
International Academy devotes its curriculum to International Baccalaureate studies. Due to a school mandate, students attend all IB courses and exams. Students can obtain up to a year of college credit before they attend college. The academy provides a blend of rigorous academic standards and practical, career-related learning.
The curriculum focuses on eight main subjects: English, the arts, a second language, humanities, science, education, technology, and mathematics. The school also offers Honors classes in almost every course as part of its Middle Years Program.
International Academy is a large school with three campuses: the Okma Campus, the East Campus, and the West Campus.
International Academy mandates students complete 150 hours of community service or co-curricular activities in order to graduate. Some of the co-curricular clubs available include chess, dance, film, and robotics.
International Academy selects students for admission through a lottery.
9. Downingtown STEM Academy
Downingtown STEM Academy is a top rated, public, magnet school located in Downingtown, PA. The school is an International Baccalaureate World School offering every student the opportunity to earn an IB Diploma. The curriculum offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Pathways. Students are engaged in rigorous, challenging academic work that requires a mindset of growth and effort. 99 percent of students participate in the IB program and the same percentage complete.
A minimum of 75 percent of a student’s credit requirement in each category must come from traditional means of credit acquisition but the grades are not calculated into a student’s GPA with the exception of the Dual Enrollment courses.
A wide variety of clubs are offered in addition to those offered in the student’s home school within the school district. Athletic opportunities are offered at the home schools as well.
Admission requirements include prerequisite courses, a written essay, teacher recommendation, and an interview.
10. Staten Island Technical High School
Staten Island, New York
Staten Island Technical High School is part of a group of schools with Specialized High School status from the NYC Department of Education. These schools serve the needs of gifted New York City students. Although the school emphasizes engineering and technology, the arts have a strong presence at this high school. Many of the students participate in band and the high school offers drama classes.The school is known for combining the rigors of a specialized school with a friendly atmosphere.
The high school provides a challenging college preparatory curriculum that emphasizes mathematics, science, engineering, computers, and the humanities. The high school also emphasizes health, fitness, and the performing arts. Students have access to science, engineering, and computer laboratories. The high school teaches all the courses at the Honors level. Every student takes introductory courses in robotics, TV/movie production, research and technical writing, and electronics. Students also study computer-aided design (CAD).
Advanced Placement classes at Staten Island Technical High School include a wide variety of subjects such as chemistry, Russian language and studio art.
The school has a 100 percent student AP participation rate with 94 percent of students passing. Staten Island Technical High School also offers an Early College Initiative and a College Dual-Enrollment program.
Students with exceptional performances in the sciences at Staten Island Technical High School can join the school’s Science Engineering Research Program.
Students have a variety of career training and learning exploration opportunities such as job shadowing, work site visits, internships, and visits from guest speakers to help them discover their career and life goals.
Staten Island Technical High School reports that 100 percent of its students are accepted to a college or university.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 31 percent of the Staten Island Technical High School student body.
Staten Island Technical High School is highly competitive. Students gain admission through the challenging Specialized High School Admissions Test.
11. Brooklyn Latin School
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn Latin School provides a classical liberal arts curriculum. Students obtain a strong background in science, math, history, English, Latin, a modern world language, and art history. The school is part of a group of schools with Specialized High School status from the NYC Department of Education. The schools serve the needs of gifted NYC Students. Brooklyn Latin High School provides the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and the opportunity for students to earn college credits via dual enrollment courses.
All the classes have an emphasis on structured writing and public speaking.
Students participate in Socratic seminars and learn through communicating based on formal rules of discussion. Students also divide learning tasks then teach each other in small groups. Every student takes four years of Latin and laboratory sciences. Every student also creates an extended research essay.
The school expects students to try to make a better world through volunteering in their communities and helping the less fortunate.
Brooklyn Latin School offers a variety of clubs and activities.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 67 percent of the student body at Brooklyn Latin School.
Students gain admission through the challenging Specialized High School Admissions Test.
12. Bergen County Academies
Hackensack, New Jersey
Bergen County Academies (BCA), is a free, public, magnet high school of choice for Bergen County residents. The school offers seven specialized programs in the areas of mathematics and science, engineering and design, medical science, business and finance, culinary arts and hospitality administration, visual and performing arts, and technology and computer science.
The school is tuition-free and serves ninth through twelfth grade students.
Bergen County Academies’ strengths are its academics, extracurricular activities, and notable faculty, many of whom hold doctorates in their respective fields. While offering some 16 AP courses, BCA does not focus on them. Led by a faculty of which 20 percent hold PhDs, students at BCA enjoy courses that often surpass AP courses in technical rigor and creativity. An early start to earning college credits is available through dual enrollment courses.
Admission to Bergen County Academies is highly competitive, as the school typically accepts about 270 of the 1,600+ applicants every year through a process that includes letters of recommendation, exams, and interviews. The school has a 16 percent acceptance rate.
BCA is a Blue Ribbon School; a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology; admitted to the Coalition of Essential Schools; home to five Intel Science Talent Search finalists in the past five years; and a Model School in the Arts as named by the New Jersey Department of Education.
13. Academic Magnet High School
North Charleston, South Carolina
Academic Magnet High School serves academically-gifted and motivated students. The high school encourages students to cultivate a sense of global responsibility, to contribute to members of the community, and to cultivate and uphold respect for cultural diversity.
All courses offered at Academic Magnet High School are at the Honors or Advanced Placement level with 97 percent of students taking the AP exam and 99 percent of those passing. Students also have opportunities for publication in professional and academic journals.
Alongside the rigorous academic requirements, students must also complete 90 hours of community service, take and pass at least four Advanced Placement courses while attending high school, complete a summer reading list, and complete a senior thesis (a year-long independent research project). Even with these intense requirements, 95 percent of all students at Academic Magnet High School graduate.
Academic Magnet High School boasts a large variety of sports teams and over 50 student clubs including chess, debate, robotics, and physics.
The high school selects students through rigorous criteria, including a written essay, middle school grades, test scores, and teacher recommendations.
14. Townsend Harris High School
Flushing, New York
Townsend Harris High School is a public magnet high school for the humanities in the borough of Queens in New York City. The school strives to promote learning and an awareness of beauty. Students are exposed to multiple perspectives in order to foster appreciation of all points of view. Encouraging the students to strive for excellence and to develop a commitment to serving the community are an integral part of the school’s mission.
Townsend Harris High School boasts a rigorous curriculum that includes a majority of Advanced Placement courses. Ninety seven percent of students take the AP exam and 99 percent of those students pass. In addition, Townsend Harris students have the opportunity to earn college credits while taking high school courses for dual credit.
Students may also participate in Queens College language courses with approval of the department supervisor.
Enrollment at Townsend Harris High School is 78 percent minority students and 55 percent economically disadvantaged students.
Clubs and activities are numerous and are mainly centered on academics and community service.
Students applying for Townsend Harris High School must have a minimum overall average of 90 percent, excellent standardized test scores, and excellent attendance and punctuality.
15. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology
The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology emphasizes project-based STEM education. The school has a focus on technology. The campus includes specially-equipped classrooms, digital media production facilities for sound and video, science labs, and large project spaces for engineering, robotics, art, and design.
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology has a 100 percent AP participation rate and 96 percent pass rate for AP exams. Some of the offerings include chemistry, physics, engineering and language arts. Opportunities for dual enrollment programs for earning early college credits are also available to qualified students.
Within 12 months of graduation, 70 percent of students enroll in college.
The school has a wide variety of student clubs to choose from, including architecture, debate, robotics, and Science Olympiad.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 36 percent of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology student body.
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology is a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology uses a lottery for admissions. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements.
16. Walter Payton College Preparatory High School
Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, a selective-enrollment magnet school, focuses its curriculum on Honors and Advanced Placement courses in science, math, humanities, language, and other subjects.
The high school also offers an extensive variety of foreign languages, including French, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, and Spanish. Students can participate in global exchange and study programs in countries such as China, France, Brazil and South Africa. As the norm, students take four years of a World Language. Students can participate in videoconferencing with one of the many sister schools located throughout the world. Hundreds of students participate in global exchange programs and international studies.
Walter Payton College Preparatory High School offers competitive sports programs and a variety of school clubs, including astronomy, chess, debate, and photography.
The school has a strong commitment to service and community engagement.
The Seminar program gives students the opportunity to enjoy seminars on topics such as horseback riding, pilates, bridge building, math modeling, Judo, exploring Harry Potter, beginning acoustic guitar, and much more.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 31 percent of the student body at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.
During the 12 months following graduation, 85 percent of students enroll in a college or university; within 16 months, 88 percent have enrolled.
Walter Payton College Preparatory High School is a National Blue Ribbon Award school and an Intel School of Distinction.
17. Bronx High School of Science
Bronx, New York
Bronx High School of Science is part of a group of schools with Specialized High School status from the NYC Department of Education. The schools serve the needs of gifted New York City Students. This selective public high school emphasizes a college preparatory curriculum with courses in foreign language, fine arts, math, English, social studies, and science. The school teaches eight foreign languages. Required classes include drama, health, and visual arts.
In addition to the fast-paced science and math curriculum offered by the Bronx High School of Science, every student takes a writing seminar and a research literacy course in the ninth grade. While the school is known for its math and science focus, the high school also gives a priority to social sciences and the humanities. Many of the classes include hands-on learning. Students perform independent research in social, physical, and biological sciences.
The Big Siblings program pairs four or five seniors with every freshman homeroom class.
Students can choose from more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses; 91 percent of its students participate in AP courses. The high school offers several post-AP courses as well, such as multivariable calculus, genetics, and organic chemistry. Qualified students may also participate in dual enrollment courses.
Bronx High School of Science has a nationally-renowned speech and debate team. Students can choose from a host of extracurricular activities including debate, sports teams, and robotics. The high school has more than 70 clubs.
Many of the faculty members are alumni of Bronx High School of Science and hold PhDs in their fields.
The high school has a tradition of training scientists as well as business executives, authors, and academic leaders. The school boasts eight Nobel laureates. The alumni includes eight winners of the National Medal of Science and six Pulitzer Prize winners.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 44 percent of the Bronx High School of Science student body.
Bronx High School of Science is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
The high school bases admission on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.
18. Bergen County Technical High School – Teterboro
Teterboro, New Jersey
Bergen County Technical High School-Teterboro provides students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement classes. 97 percent of the students take AP classes. Students can have a technical major and fulfill college preparatory classes. The high school provides a wide array of electives.
Students are also afforded the opportunity to take a number of college courses off-site at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Bergen Community College prior to graduating high school.
The high school provides a wide variety of clubs and extracurricular activities. Students participate in the SkillsUSA competition every year. Students have opportunities to participate in traditional fall, winter, and spring sports.
Bergen County Technical High School-Teterboro is a National Blue Ribbon school as well as a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and the Technology and the Coalition of Essential Schools.
19. Suncoast Community High School
Riviera Beach, Florida
Suncoast Community High School, a public college-preparatory high school, offers four magnet programs: Innovative Interactive Technology; Computer Science; International Baccalaureate (IB); and Math, Science, and Engineering.
The school offers a host of AP and IB courses. 100 percent of its students enroll in AP courses, while 52 percent participate in IB courses. Suncoast Community High School allows students to pursue three types of diplomas: standard, IB, or AP International.
Students can complete an executive internship to gain real-world experience. Through its software and hardware programs, students can earn industry certification, giving them a leg up at graduation.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 27 percent of the student body.
With more than 80 organizations and clubs and 44 athletic teams, students have myriad opportunities to get involved at Suncoast Community High School.
The high school mainly bases admissions on test scores, recommendations, and grades. The school also automatically admits students who complete the IB Middle Years Program at a local middle school.
20. Stuyvesant High School
New York, New York
Stuyvesant High School is part of a group of schools which received Specialized High School status from the NYC Department of Education. The schools serve the needs of gifted New York City Students. The high school focuses its educational program on math, science, and technology, but it has a variety of other offerings, including criminal law and journalism. The high school has a comprehensive humanities program. Students take three years of a single foreign language. Students can take Advanced Placement coursework.
The high school has five bands, a symphony orchestra, and a jazz combo. The school also puts on many theatrical productions. Stuyvesant High School provides a variety of sports teams, a robotics team, academic teams, and numerous clubs.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 43 percent of the student body at Stuyvesant High School. Minority enrollment is reported as 81 percent of students.
Four Stuyvesant High School alumni have received the Nobel Prize.
Students gain admission through the challenging Specialized High School Admissions Test.
21. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
Jersey City, New Jersey
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School offers curriculum through a variety of AP and Honors level courses. 100 percent of its students enroll in AP courses. The high school offers nearly two dozen AP courses. Opportunities to earn early college credits during high school are an option for qualified students.
Beyond traditional courses, the high school requires students to complete 50 hours of community service.
After receiving their diplomas, 89 percent of students enroll in a two- or four-year college within 16 months.
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School offers extracurricular activities such as an academic competition team, cross-country, and track and field. The high school also offers an internal visual and performing arts programs.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 47 percent of the student body.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School as a Blue Ribbon School.
The high school bases admission on a variety of factors, including PSAT scores, academic performance during middle school, teacher recommendations, and extracurricular activities.
22. Brooklyn Technical High School
Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn Technical High School is part of a group of schools with Specialized High School status from the NYC Department of Education. These schools serve the needs of gifted New York City Students. This public high school specializes in technology, science, mathematics, and engineering. Brooklyn Technical High School provides 18 majors. The school’s focus on applied science attracts students who like to design, build, and work with their hands.
Students begin together in two core technology classes: design and drafting as well as digital electronics. These core classes teach students to work together.
Brooklyn Technical features a college-style system of majors, including chemical engineering, media communications, social science research, and mathematics. The school has a notable robotics team. Law majors attend classes in the mock courtroom. The school has an aeronautics lab. They also provide music, dance, and drama electives.
The school offers a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses; 90 percent of its students participate in AP courses and exams.
Brooklyn Technical High School offers more than two dozen JV and varsity sports as well as 100+ organizations, allowing students to achieve a well-rounded high school experience. The theater venue, a multi-tier auditorium has more than 3,000 seats.
Students must complete 50 hours of community service and earn 32 service credits through school teams, clubs and other school-related events.
A robust alumni network actively supports Brooklyn Technical High School. The alumni include two Nobel Prize winners.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 64 percent of the student body at Brooklyn Technical High School.
Brooklyn Technical High School is a founding member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
Brooklyn Technical High School has a highly selective admissions process. All applicants must complete the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.
23. Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School
Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School is set up to support academically gifted students in their full development. The school offers more than 25 Advanced Placement courses and teaches all the courses at the AP or Honors level. All students complete pre-calculus and physics. The school also provides advanced study in Latin, German, French, and Spanish.
The school provides seniors an internship program. All students have community service opportunities.
The school has a nationally recognized arts program which includes orchestra, jazz, symphonic band, choir, theater, and visual arts.
Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School has a sports program with teams including basketball, baseball, wrestling and soccer. The school also has a number of extracurricular activities including a variety of clubs.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 21 percent of the student body at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School.
24. Northside College Preparatory High School
Northside College Preparatory High School, a magnet school, provides all core courses at the Honors or Advanced Placement level. The foundation of the academic programs includes Global Initiative, Integrated Math Program, Physics First, Colloquium, Constitutional Law, Senior Projects, seven languages, as well as a variety of experiences in literature and the arts. The courses use a block schedule, facilitating in-depth exploration and understanding of various subjects.
Students can also participate in study abroad programs.
This high school offers more than 50 clubs and activities and a full array of athletic teams.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 38 percent of the Northside College Preparatory High School student body.
Northside College Preparatory High School, a selective enrollment school, makes admissions decisions based on factors such as grades, standardized test scores, entrance exam scores, and socioeconomic status.
25. Mission San Jose High School
Mission San Jose High School is well-known for the talented and dynamic students who matriculate through the school. These students are aided in their success by a devoted staff and dedicated parents. Mission San Jose (the mission, not the high school) was founded by Spanish Missionaries and today is located on the edge of the ever growing Silicon Valley.
Students at Mission San Jose High are immersed in a challenging traditional curriculum with includes college preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Several elective programs are also offered. A subsidiary program involves health and wellness. The program “Challenge Success” is a key factor in addressing the academic and social stress of students.
The AP program recently had 972 students enrolled. 87 percent of students took the AP exam with a 95 percent pass rate. Students passing the AP exam may apply for college credit. Determination of dual credit for exam scores for are based solely on the colleges’ decisions.
Following graduation, 85 percent of students enroll in four-year colleges or universities and nine percent enroll in community colleges.
The student population at Mission San Jose includes a 94 percent minority enrollment.
26. Lowell High School
San Francisco, California
Lowell High School’s rigorous curriculum features Honors level and Advanced Placement courses, including chemistry, calculus and economics, as well as a variety of foreign languages. 94 percent of the students take AP exams.
Beyond classes, extracurricular offerings include more than 80 teams, organizations and student-interest clubs. The school’s speech and debate team is among the oldest in the nation.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 43 percent of the student body.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Lowell High School as a Blue Ribbon School.
Admissions requirements include standardized test scores, a writing sample, grade point average, and extracurricular activities.
27. Wyoming High School
Wyoming High School, a public high school, provides students with a well-rounded education needed to succeed in college or careers. The high school also focuses on teaching students social responsibility, critical-thinking skills, and independence.
The high school offers two dozen Advanced Placement courses, in which 90 percent of its students enroll.
Wyoming High School has a variety of course options, including English, engineering, math, science, and language, among others.
Wyoming High School features a strong fine arts curriculum with courses in computer graphics and photography, as well as music opportunities such as band, orchestra, and choirs.
The school offers a host of extracurricular activities ranging from chess club to service organizations to sports.
28. Columbus High School
Columbus High School provides students with a strong liberal arts education with courses in fine arts, languages, mathematics, sciences, and more. The liberal arts magnet school offers nearly two dozen Advanced Placement courses. 100 percent of the school’s students are enrolled in AP classes.
Columbus High School allows students to develop strong critical-thinking skills and explore life skills, technology, and athletics.
Beyond standard academics, students must complete 20 hours of volunteer work. Seniors must learn a new activity with the help of a mentor, spend 100 hours on the activity and document the process in a portfolio.
Students can choose from a number of athletic teams, clubs, and organizations.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 20 percent of the student body at Columbus High School.
Columbus High School bases admissions on a student’s eighth-grade report card, recommendations, entrance exams, and an essay.
29. Winston Churchill High School
Winston Churchill High School, a public secondary school, takes pride in preparing students for college or a career. New Jersey’s state average for student enrollment into community colleges is 36 percent and 48 percent for four-year universities.
Eighty-nine percent of students at Winston Churchill High School take Advanced Placement courses with a pass rate of 92 percent.
Winston Churchill High School offers several unique specialized programs, such as an Autism Program; the Signature Program, which features the Academy of Math, Science & Technology, the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, the Academy of International Studies; and the Bridge Program, designed for young adults with emotional or learning disabilities.
As part of its rigorous curriculum, the school offers courses at several levels, including honors, advanced-level, AP and International Baccalaureate. 89 percent of its students participate in AP courses.
Students gain career experience through the school’s internship program.
All students must complete 75 service-learning hours.
Beyond the classroom, Winston Churchill High School students choose from a host of athletic opportunities and extracurricular activities.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Winston Churchill High as a Blue Ribbon School.
30. Poolesville High School
Poolesville High School, a magnet school, provides students with rigorous learning experiences, while helping them hone their problem-solving skills. The high school allows students to target their education through enrollment in “houses” or specialized programs. Honors students can enroll in three programs: Humanities, Global Ecology and Science, and Math and Computer Science. The houses follow an interdisciplinary approach. Depending on the program, students focus on the human impact on the natural environment; inquiry through arts, English, and social studies; or laboratory investigations and analysis.
Students who attend the high school, but do not test into honors courses, enroll in the Independent Studies program. Students in this program can focus on technology and math studies; cultural and political studies; music, arts, and media studies; original studies; or biological and physical science.
Poolesville High School offers 18 Advanced Placement courses and exams as well as a number of courses “beyond AP,” such as analytical chemistry, computer modeling and simulation, and linear algebra. 87 percent of Poolesville High School students participate in AP courses.
Outside the classroom, Poolesville High School offers a variety of sports teams and extracurricular activities.
31. Advanced Technologies Academy
Las Vegas, Nevada
Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) is a magnet public high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. The focus of instruction is the integration of technology with academics for students in grades 9–12. This magnet school focuses on computer and technology related study fields. The population is ethnically diverse (75 percent) and students are transported to A-TECH from all areas of the valley.
An integrated academic and career computer-enhanced curriculum prepares students for entrance into post-secondary education and/or provides skills for a successful school-to-career transition. A-TECH opened as the first fully computer-networked technology school in the state of Nevada. It houses over 1,100 computers with full, unfiltered Internet access, and an upgraded Wi-Fi network. Students participate in product development, business partnerships, internships, and project-based learning.
Courses are provided in English, mathematics, science, social studies, health, physical education, humanities, and foreign language as well as courses in the students’ selected program areas of study. The use of technology in all classes amplifies the logic-based thinking activities of the A-TECH student. Creative thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, skill expansion, and project-based learning are utilized in all subject areas.
95 percent of A-TECH graduates attend four-year colleges and universities.
83 percent of students take AP courses and 93 percent pass exams.
Students participate in a wide variety of club, and students at Advanced Technologies Academy may participate in interscholastic sports at their zoned high schools.
Through an application process and a blind lottery, students are selected based on their academic records, attendance, and citizenship.
Advanced Technologies Academy has been named an Exemplary High School and a Five Star Reward School by the Nevada Department of Education, as well as recognized for its club participation rate.
32. Elizabeth High School
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth High School, a four-year, public, comprehensive high school, features rigorous academic standards with core courses in English, Latin, world language, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Elizabeth High School expects students to enroll in Honors and AP courses, and all students must take AP exams. The school boasts a 100 percent AP participation rate.
Students also must complete a senior project and perform at least 60 hours of community service during their high school career.
Extracurricular activities include sports programs and a marching band.
Economically disadvantaged students make up 76 percent of the student body at Elizabeth High School.
Elizabeth High School received a Blue Ribbon School recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.
33. duPont Manual High School
DuPont Manual High School, a public magnet school, features five magnet programs, including a traditional college preparatory curriculum as well as math and science, journalism and communication, and visual arts.
The school offers a number of AP courses and takes part in the Jefferson County School District’s rigorous Advanced Program. Eighty-nine percent of the students participate in AP courses and exams.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized DuPont Manual High School as a Blue Ribbon School.
34. East Chapel Hill High School
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
East Chapel Hill High School, a small city school, is a highly competitive academic institution in which students typically score above the national average on standardized tests. Minority enrollment is 49 percent.
The curriculum offered at East Chapel Hill High School includes a classic course of study. In addition to traditional courses leading to a diploma, graduation requirements include a Service Learning Project, CPR instruction, and electives in Art and Career Technical Education (CTE). Advanced Placement courses are offered for students seeking a college level experience. 81 percent of students pass AP exams.
The Career and College Promise program for dual enrollment is offered to qualified students with the intention to accelerate completion of college certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees that lead to college transfer and/or provide entry-level job skills.
Over 20 interscholastic programs and 100+ clubs and activities with a wide variety of interests are available to students at East Chapel Hill High School.
35. George Mason High School
Falls Church, Virginia
Students at George Mason High School can earn a Standard Diploma or an Advanced Studies Diploma. The school also offers an International Baccalaureate program and electives such as Mandarin Chinese and personal finance. 86 percent of students participate in the IB program. 80 percent take the Advanced Placement exam and 92 percent achieve a passing score. Following graduation, 88 percent of graduates enroll in a two- or four-year college within 16 months.
George Mason High School offers dual-enrollment courses in collaboration with Northern Virginia Community College. These classes are for students who wish to take college courses for high school and/or college credit.
Students who complete the requirements of the Advanced Studies diploma with an average grade of “B” or better and successfully complete at least nine credits of college-level coursework will earn the prestigious Governor’s Seal diploma.
56 clubs are available to students, including eight national clubs.
George Mason High School consistently has been ranked among the most challenging high schools in the nation (Newsweek Magazine). Additionally, the school is often cited among the most challenging high schools in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area (The Washington Post).
36. Langley High School
Langley High School is located in McLean, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It includes, according to Forbes Magazine, the 86th most expensive zip code (22066) in the nation. The campus is located less than a mile west of the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters. Student enrollment consists of only two percent economically disadvantaged and 35 percent minority from a culturally diverse community including many representatives of foreign countries.
In conjunction with a classical curriculum, Langley High School offers a comprehensive Advanced Placement program with more than twenty AP level classes in each of the academic disciplines. Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are also offered in six fields of study.
Students may earn the Fairfax County Public Schools AP Diploma.
Dual Enrollment courses are available for interested students through Northern Virginia Community College, James Madison University, George Mason University, and Shenandoah University. Along with college level courses in core academic areas, students may enroll in Career and Technical Education courses for dual credits. Annual availability of dual enrollment course offerings are based on teacher endorsement requirements, existing course offerings, and student interest.
Langley High School has over 50 clubs of varying interests, including Model United Nations, South Asian Student Association, Debate and Forensics, Key Club, UNICEF Club, Gay Straight Alliance, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Academic Team, Economics Club, and several sports and cultural appreciation clubs.
37. Indian Hill High School
Indian Hill High School is a public four-year school located in a predominantly upper-middle to high-income residential community outside Cincinnati, Ohio. The instructional emphasis is on intellectual development, personal growth, and the social responsibility of each student. The school community has a long tradition of supporting this mission.
In addition to traditional core courses, 27 Advanced Placement courses are offered at Indian Hill High School. These classes represent the highest level courses in each discipline. AP courses are open to all students and all enrolled students are required to take the corresponding AP test. 96 percent of students taking the exam receive passing scores; 27 percent receive a score of five with a mean score of 3.6 overall. Dual enrollment courses for early college credits are also available. Students at Indian Hill High School who took the ACT received an average score of 27.
A wide range of clubs are available for student participation. Topics including everything from academic team to vinyl club are open to serve a variety of interests. In addition, theater, marching band, and choir are available for students.
Indian Hill High School’s athletic program includes a roster of traditional high school sports.
38. Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Adlai E. Stevenson High School (AESHS), commonly called Stevenson High School, is a four-year public high school located in Lincolnshire, Illinois. AESHS is a large suburban school with a minority enrollment of 37 percent. Only five percent of students qualify for free lunch.
Students engage in a traditional curriculum of core subjects for graduation requirements of 22 credits. Students must also complete a Senior Project which demonstrates a senior’s ability to write, speak, apply knowledge, problem solve, and use the skills of time management, organization, and risk taking. 95 percent of students graduate from SHS.
In addition, 27 Advanced Placement courses are available. It is reported that 80 percent of students take AP courses and that 90 percent of those taking the exam receive a passing score.
College credits are possible through the College Credit Plus program, a statewide program aimed to promote rigorous academic pursuits and to provide a wide variety of options to college-ready students.
The Career Exploration Program provides opportunities such as professional career presentations, career and job shadowing, a career expo held every other year at the campus, a summer job fair, internships, career exploration summer school courses, general career advice and guidance, and email mentorship.
The Fine Arts Division at AESHS includes the departments of music, dance, Odyssey theater and visual arts. Some colleges, universities, and professional organizations recognize the school’s Fine Arts Division as one of the most exemplary high school arts programs in the nation.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School has received multiple Blue Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education.
39. Yarmouth High School
Yarmouth High School is a public high school, serving students grades 9–12, in Yarmouth, Maine. Yarmouth High School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), a private, nationally-recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary schools through graduate schools.
In addition to 20 core academic classes, students must also successfully complete two “Career Exploration Projects” through which they will demonstrate in-depth research, presentation, and technology application skills; successfully complete the “Power of One Project” through which they will demonstrate global awareness, civic engagement, and the ability to work collaboratively; and successfully complete 60 hours of community service.
All courses at Yarmouth High School are designated as either College Preparatory or as Honors/AP. Honors/AP classes have higher expectations in terms of the workload as well as the content learned in the class. 83 percent of students take the AP test and the success rate for passing the exam is 83 percent.
A student may participate in Early Study Aspirations, an enrichment program for high school students sponsored by the University of Southern Maine. It is an year-long program, available to students during both the fall and spring semesters. Early Study Aspirations is designed to offer qualified area high school students the opportunity to enroll in selected college courses.
Yarmouth High School has been awarded the Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.
40. Orono High School
Long Lake, Minnesota
Orono High School (OHS), in Long Lake, Minnesota, is a public high school located in a transition area between urban and rural landscapes. The student body consists of mostly middle class families and has a small minority population. Curriculum and programs at Orono address the post-secondary needs of students who may be considering college or work place entry.
The required curriculum at Orono High School consists of English, social studies, science, mathematics, physical education/health, and fine arts. Around 60 elective courses are offered at OHS, including fine arts, business/marketing education, technology education, and world languages (German, Chinese, and Spanish).
The school’s “Credit for Learning” option allows students at any level to test out of a course if they can demonstrate competence in the skills, concepts, and objectives of the course. The assessment of this competence may include written or oral examinations, product or performance exhibits, or teacher input.
Student who are interested in entering the workforce immediately upon graduation can choose to participate in a career-focused program. “Workplace Readiness” is a course that enables students to gain an appreciation and understanding of the skills necessary to be a successful, competent employee in today’s ever-changing workforce. Units in the class include: résumé writing, interviewing techniques and role plays, stock market investments, human relations, management, personal development, current events, and career exploration. Once accepted in the program, a student qualifies to participate in an on-the-job-training program, with an opportunity to apply the skills developed in the classroom to the job situation.
Students have the opportunity to take college level classes while attending OHS through Advanced Placement courses. Additionally, students can take dual-enrollment courses as 11th and 12th grade students. They can enroll as full or part-time students in courses or programs at some post-secondary institutions in Minnesota. Orono High School will grant academic credit to a student who successfully completes the course or program attended, and credits count toward OHS graduation and subject-area requirements of the school district. There is no charge to the student for the costs of tuition, textbooks, materials or fees.
41. Chapel Hill High School
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Chapel Hill High School is a public high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is located close to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Students are required to complete North Carolina’s Future Ready Core Curriculum. Chapel Hill High School requires students to complete and document 25 service learning hours and to earn additional credit in physical education, career & technical education, and arts education.
Chapel Hill HIgh School students are able to earn credit for a course without spending a set number of hours taking the course in a classroom. Under the state’s Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) option, uniquely qualified students may “test out” or bypass a course if they have mastered the content.
Advanced Placement students at Chapel Hill High School can take a wide variety of courses in multiple disciplines or concentrate on AP courses within a discipline. Students who perform well in AP courses may qualify for awards of distinction.
Chapel Hill High School offers around 20 fall, winter, and spring interscholastic athletic programs. In addition, a multitude of clubs are offered to appeal to the interests of a diverse student population.
The school has a marching band, jazz band, symphonic band, concert band, orchestra, percussion ensemble, and several choruses. The students also participate in a strong drama program, known for award-winning musicals. The program also houses an excellent pit orchestra.
42. Cambridge High School
Cambridge High School, located in Milton, Georgia, is a four-year public high school. Cambridge High School offers a multitude of programs that encourage students to pursue special interests. Students selected for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program have the opportunity to enroll in seminar courses, directed study courses, and internships. Over 40 percent of the student body participates in the TAG program.
Performing arts and visual arts are available to interested students, along with career technology pathways for those who wish to explore different career options: Business and Computer Science, Broadcast and Video Production, Law and Justice, Marketing, Engineering Technology, and the newly added Veterinary Sciences. Students also can choose to participate in the Work-Based Learning Program.
29 Advanced Placement courses are offered in a multitude of subjects. 80 percent of students take the AP exam with 83 percent scoring three or higher.
Dual enrollment opportunities exist for all students who wish to earn college credit. College Calculus two and three are taught on the Cambridge High School campus by Georgia Institute of Technology through a distance learning program. College English 1101, 1102, College Algebra, and College Statistics are offered on-campus through Georgia State University.
89 percent of Cambridge High School students enroll in college following gradation.
Cambridge High School is accredited through AdvancEd (previously known as Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).
43. Interlake Senior High School
Interlake High School (IHS) is a comprehensive four-year public high school, in Bellevue, Washington, enrolling students in grades nine through twelve. Interlake is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Located in a mid-sized city, Interlake High serves a student population that is 61 percent minority students, 27 percent economically disadvantaged students, and 41 percent ESL (English as a Second Language) students. IHS receives Title I funding.
Interlake Senior High School is known for its International Baccalaureate program and its Gifted and Talented program. In addition, Interlake Senior High School offers a wide range of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses that award college credit.
IHS offers the Eastside Native American Education Program, a federally funded initiative to assist Native American, Alaskan Native, and American Indian students through programs that offer them the opportunity to succeed academically while also enriching their cultural lives.
Graduation requirements are based on a set of traditional course requirements including core subjects and career and technical education courses. Advanced Placement courses are available to all students seeking college preparatory experience. 75 percent of students take the AP exam with 83 percent receiving scores of three or higher.
Interlake Senior High School offers a complete music program including band, jazz band, orchestra, choir and jazz choir. IHS musicians consistently receive recognition for their performances at festivals, parades, and competitions.
44. Bellevue High School
Bellevue High School (BHS) is a comprehensive four-year public high school in Bellevue, Washington, enrolling students in grades nine through twelve. Located in a mid-sized city setting, Bellevue serves a student population with 48 percent minority students, 12 percent economically disadvantaged students, and 27 percent ESL (English as a Second Language) students.
Bellevue High School offers the Eastside Native American Education Program, a federally funded initiative to assist Native American, Alaskan Native, and American Indian students through programs that offer them the opportunity to succeed academically while also enriching their cultural lives.
Graduation requirements are based on a set of traditional course requirements including core subjects and career and technical education courses. Advanced Placement courses are available to all students seeking college preparatory experiences. 77 percent of students take the AP exam with 85 percent receiving scores of three or higher.
Bellevue High School is a member of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).
Bellevue High School is proud to offer students the opportunity to participate in a number of clubs and activities.
45. Zionsville Community High School
Zionsville Community High School (ZCHS) is an academically competitive public high school located in a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The curriculum presents a rigorous challenge to the college bound student. Following graduation, 90 percent of ZCHS students go on to enroll in a four-year university and six percent enroll in two-year colleges.
ZCHS offers 25 AP courses. Approximately 78 percent of the student body enrolls in one or more AP courses. Last year, 49 percent of ZCHS students scored four or higher on AP exams, and 81 percent scored three or higher.
In conjunction with the J. Everett Light Career Center, ZCHS students may take courses directly connected with a vocational interest. A majority of these courses are college preparatory level and demand a high level of technological expertise.
Zionsville Community High School offers a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities for students to explore their talents and interests.
ZCHS has been named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School.
46. Classical High School
Providence, Rhode Island
Classical High School (CHS), a college preparatory school, is located in the Providence School District in Providence, Rhode Island. Classical High School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Student enrollment includes 77 percent minority students and 63 percent identified as economically disadvantaged.
In order to graduate from Classical High School, a student is required to have a minimum of 22 credits and meet or exceed expectations for the graduation exhibition. The CHS course diploma requires four years of Latin. Additionally, students must complete a Junior Research Technology Seminar that requires an argumentative research paper to exhibited during which the students present their findings and additional information via a form of technology.
Opportunities to expedite earning college credits may participate in both Dual and Concurrent Enrollment courses. 23 Advanced Placement courses are currently offered with 96 percent of CHS students taking the AP exam and 60 percent receiving a qualifying score.
More than 40 extracurricular activities are offered to interested students. The Olympiad, math team, dramatics, and literary magazine have received national acclaim.
Students wishing to attend Classical High School must fill out an application. Attendance, recommendation, and grades are taken into consideration. Approximately 1000 students apply each year with an estimated 300 being accepted. Application to Classical High School is open to all students.
Classical High School has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon of Excellence High Performing School.
47. Whitefish Bay High School
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Whitefish Bay High School, a comprehensive public secondary school, provides students with a well-rounded education with courses in art, business education, English, mathematics, science, language, social studies, and more.
Whitefish Bay High School allows student to enroll in AP courses and complete AP exams. 96 percent of Whitefish Bay High School students take AP courses.
The Early College Program allows students to take one or more college courses concurrent with high school diploma required courses. In addition, students interested in technical courses my engage in the Start College Now program and enroll at Wisconsin Technical College System.
The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, drama, student government, forensics, and debate.
48. Highlands High School
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Highlands High School, a large suburban public school, prepares graduates for college or a career. Enrollment includes a population of five percent minority students and 12 percent students identified as economically disadvantaged.
Highlands High School offers 26 Advanced Placement courses; 70 percent of its students enroll in AP classes. Students may also enroll in dual credit courses through Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky.
Students can join a multitude of interscholastic and intramural sports teams and clubs.
The Cum Laude Society honors students who excel in academics. Highlands is the only public high school in Kentucky to have a chapter of the Cum Laude Society.
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Highlands High School as a Blue Ribbon School.
Students who live outside the school district can apply and pay tuition to attend Highlands High School. Admissions criteria include grade point average, test scores, school-based behavior, school attendance and special talents, affiliations, awards and achievements.
49. Barrington High School
Barrington, Rhode Island
Barrington High School (BHS) is a public four-year high school located ten miles from Providence, Rhode Island. The school’s mission focuses on the development of students’ love for life-long learning, as well as their ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and take risks willingly to realize their potential.
In addition to meeting state graduation requirements, BHS students must complete a Senior Project with includes a research project comprised of fieldwork, and an oral presentation. Students participating in Advanced Placement courses qualify at a rate of 97 percent.
BHS offers a choice-filled curriculum tailored to a wide spectrum of instruction, ranging from English language learners to Honors and AP courses for highly qualified students. Students may earn college credits through participation in several partnership programs including: Concurrent courses, taught by university instructors; Dual Enrollment, taught by high school instructors; Early Enrollment through Rhode Island College; Running Start through Community College of Rhode Island; and other programs.
Students who perform at an exemplary level on state assessments qualify to receive the Commissioner’s Seal on their diploma.
An all-inclusive roster of interscholastic and intramural athletic opportunities exist at BHS along with numerous clubs and activities serving the varied interest of students.
50. Ladue Horton Watkins High School
St. Louis, Missouri
Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) has a long tradition of academic success and is widely recognized as one of the premier public school districts in the nation. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, LHWHS is a large suburban school.
Graduation requirements revolve around accumulation of Carnegie Credits in the major core subjects.
Ladue Horton Watkins High School students may earn college credit while still in high school. A student may supplement high school courses with courses taken at local colleges, universities, or the community colleges. Credit must be approved by the student’s counselor and principal.
Orchestra, speech and debate, band, choir, and dance team are among the multitude of activities and clubs available to students. In addition, several interscholastic and intramural activities are provided.
51. Ridgefield High School
Ridgefield High School, a four-year public high school, supports social, academic, and civic growth while promoting a respect for diversity. Ridgefield High School helps students become self-reflective and self-directed learners and understand their responsibilities and roles as citizens.
Students complete core courses in mathematics, language arts, social studies, and science. Ridgefield High School also offers courses in physical education, music, and art as well as several languages: Spanish, Mandarin, Latin, German, Italian, and French.
Ridgefield High School offers courses at the Advanced Placement level; 70 percent of students participate in AP exams.
Dual enrollment and concurrent courses are available to students seeking early college credits. The University of Rhode Island offers 16 concurrent courses and 45 dual enrollment courses for Ridgefield High School students; however, enrollment numbers determine if all of these courses are offered.
Students at Ridgefield High School receive a well-rounded high school experience through a number of extracurricular clubs and activities.
52. West Career and Technical Academy
Las Vegas, Nevada
West Career and Technical Academy (WCTA) is a magnet high school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Considered a “fringe rural” location, WCTA is located at the edge of the city. The student body is made up of 51 percent minority students and 20 percent economically disadvantaged students.
WCTA is a four-year comprehensive career and technical high school offering programs in construction technology, culinary arts, engineering and design, early childhood education, hospitality and marketing, media communications, medical professions, teacher education, and mechanical technology. Not only can students earn high school diplomas and be prepared for college, but they can also earn a variety of industry certifications. Students will take coursework unique to their program of study. Courses are rigorous and will prepare students for a variety of options after graduation.
Students at West Career and Technical Academy have the opportunity to earn credits through the CTE College Credit Program and through Advanced Placement and dual credit courses. Through hands-on projects, job shadowing, and internships, each student will gain first-hand experience in their selected program area.
Over 50 clubs are available to meet the interests of students.
WCTA received recognition as a Reward School by the Nevada Department of Education.
53. Radnor High School
Radnor High School (RHS), a large suburban school, is located 13 miles west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A classical public high school, RHS provides students with programs to accelerate their entry into the post-secondary world. The student population includes 23 percent minority students and 11 percent economically disadvantaged students.
Graduation requirements are comprised of a traditional slate of 22.5 Carnegie credits drawn from core courses. Additional opportunities are afforded through Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the potential to earn college credits during their high school years. Ninety percent of students across the district attend college after graduation.
72 percent of RHS students take the AP exam with 84 percent of students receiving qualifying scores.
At Radnor High School, through “Project Lead the Way” (PLTW) programs, students develop skills that will assist them in the career and technical field. PLTW prepares students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world. Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning. College credits are earned when students meet a set of criteria.
Varied and numerous interscholastic, intramural, and activities are available to students with varied interests.
RHS ranked #4 for “Most Challenging High School” in Pennsylvania by The Washington Post in 2017.
54. Greenwich High School
Greenwich High School is a large comprehensive public high school located in Greenwich, Connecticut, one hour away from New York City. A large percentage of the town’s residents are college graduates and professionals; therefore, Greenwich High has a strong college going culture. The student body comprises diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The Carnegie credit system is used for regular graduation requirements at Greenwich High School.
Greenwich High School offers 29 AP courses, seven courses approved for college credit through the UCONN Cooperative Program, 70 Honors courses, and an Honors option in other subjects. Of students that take the AP exam, 89 percent achieve a qualifying score.
Students may earn early college credits through the University of Connecticut Early College Experience program, UCONN ECE. This program provides academically motivated students with the opportunity to take university courses while still in high school. These challenging courses allow students to preview college work, build confidence in their readiness for college, and earn college credits that provide both an academic and a financial head-start on a college degree and other post-secondary opportunities. UCONN ECE instructors are high school teachers certified as adjunct professors by the University of Connecticut.
Greenwich High School offers more than 100 clubs and activities.
91 percent of graduating students attend a two or four-year college or university.
55. Elkhorn South High School
Elkhorn South High School, located in Elkhorn, Nebraska, is a rapidly growing suburban public high school located on the west edge of the Omaha Metro area. Elkhorn South High School students have an impressive record of test scores that place them among the top-scoring school, statewide and nationally.
General diploma requirements at Elkhorn South High School consist of 42 Carnegie credits. In addition to the traditional courses, the school offers 13 Advanced Placement courses. Of students taking the AP exam, 83 percent receive qualifying scores.
Elkhorn South High School offers a variety of courses in which a student has the option to earn college credits while taking high school courses that apply towards graduation. Dual enrollment course availability varies depending on the number of students enrolling. Taking the AP exam at the end of a course is also an option. Students must take the AP Exam and earn a qualifying score in order to earn college credit. They then can send the scores to their respective colleges.
Elkhorn South High School offers a long list of interscholastic and intramural activities to students with a wide variety of interests.
56. Rochester Adams High School
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Rochester Adams High School, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan is a four-year public school. Emphasis is placed on student success in all areas of education and students’ ability to transition to post-secondary vocations. Comparison of universal scoring reveals that Rochester Adams High School excels in college readiness, math, and reading compared to other schools within the district.
A classical plan of graduation requirements is utilized for general diplomas. In addition, Rochester Schools offer a myriad of Advanced Placement courses. By taking an AP class and scoring well on the AP exam, students can potentially earn college credits as early as their sophomore year of high school.
A notable alumni of Rochester Adams High School is the world-famous singer, Madonna.
57. Edina High School
Edina High School (EHS), located in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, is a four-year public high school providing a curriculum that adheres to academic standards set by the Minnesota Department of Education. Curriculum at Edina Senior High School is a blend of Common Core and state-developed standards. Traditional graduation requirements include 43 credits from the major core content courses and the following assessments: College and Career, ACT, MCA Math, and MCA reading.
Each year, nearly two-thirds of EHS students enroll in one or more AP courses. The AP exam in May is not part of the course grade, nor is it a requirement of the course.
Edina High School students interested in science, technology, engineering and math have the opportunity to earn college credit for their coursework. Students may earn up to earn up to 12 college credits before they graduate high school through the Project Lead the Way program.
Extra-curricular activities for students are available in the areas of athletics, clubs, and fine arts.
Edina High School was named the first Minnesota P21 Exemplar school in recognition of preparing students for post-secondary success. EHS also received the 2009 Siemens Award, a national recognition given to high schools with outstanding Advanced Placement Program.
58. Evergreen High School
Evergreen High School, a public, comprehensive, community high school, offers innovative, creative, and rigorous educational experiences which allow students to advance in the global community. The curriculum features courses at various levels, including 14 Advanced Placement courses, 11 honors-level courses and several college-level concurrent enrollment courses. 71 percent of students participate in AP courses.
Beyond the classroom, Evergreen High School offers more than 35 clubs and extracurricular activities.
Evergreen High School received Blue Ribbon School recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.
59. West Linn High School
West Linn, Oregon
West Linn High School is a four-year public high school located in West Linn, Oregon, a rural area of Clackamas County. 19 percent of students are minority and 11 percent are economically disadvantaged. The school places great emphasis on the premise that all students can lead and that academic excellence is expected.
More than 20 AP courses are offered with several that offer dual credits from Clackamas Community College. 74 percent of students at West Linn High School take the AP exam.
West Linn High School participates in the Advanced College Credit (ACC) program, a cooperative educational effort between high schools and colleges to offer college-level courses for students to receive pre-approved college credit for some classes currently taught in high schools. The courses are taught by approved, qualified high school teachers. Students are eligible for the college credit if they complete the course curriculum as approved by the college.
A wide variety of co-curricular activities and sports opportunities are offered at West Linn High School.
In the 2017–2018 school year, six students from West Linn High School were honored as Merit Semi-finalists.
60. Mountain Brook High School
Mountain Brook, Alabama
Mountain Brook High School (MBHS), a comprehensive public high school in Mountain Brook, Alabama, provides students with the needed direction to be college and career ready. Students at Mountain Brook High School have the opportunity to choose a diploma track based on their post-secondary needs. Diploma types include Standard, Advanced, and Advanced with Honors. Course options vary by type of degree.
Beyond the traditional curriculum, Mountain Brook High School offers 15 AP and two Dual Enrollment courses. Students taking the AP exam and receiving a qualifying score may be awarded college credit. Of those students taking the AP exam, 90 percent pass.
National Honor Society, Student Government, and Debate are just a few of the many activities students at Mountain Brook may choose for co-curricular activities.
MBHS was ranked 4th among the 12 Alabama schools included in The Washington Post’s 2015 list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools.
61. Homewood High School