DENVER (Stacker) — As filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron said during a ’96 commencement address at Wellesley College, “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” If that’s the case, high school may be one of the greatest dress rehearsals of all.

It’s a place where students explore their interests, dive into extracurricular activities, finally get the freedom to choose their own classes, and prepare for college or the workplace. For many of these students and their families, public education is key: 48.1 million students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in 2020; and there are almost 24,000 public high schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

For many anxious parents, getting their kid into the best of these public high schools is of the utmost importance. Some families even move homes to get into better school districts. However, among all of these thousands of schools, a few stand out for their academic excellence, incredible track records, and the future success of their young students.

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in Colorado using rankings from Niche. Here’s how it breaks down: Niche uses eight factors for its rankings, with each factor given a different weight. A whopping 60% of the score is based on academics and grades, which is calculated using state assessment proficiency tests, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses. From there, culture and diversity, parent and student surveys on their overall experiences, and teachers each contribute to 10% of the score. Finally, scores for each school’s clubs and activities, health and safety, resources and facilities, and sports constitute 2.5% each.

Keep reading to find out which public high schools are the best in your state.

#25. Fossil Ridge High School
– School district: Poudre School District
– Enrollment: 2,118 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#24. Ralston Valley Senior High School
– School district: Jefferson County School District No. R-1
– Enrollment: 1,843 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#23. Pine Creek High School
– School district: Academy School District No. 20
– Enrollment: 1,631 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#22. Aspen High School
– School district: Aspen School District No. 1
– Enrollment: 554 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#21. Cherokee Trail High School
– School district: Cherry Creek School District
– Enrollment: 2,818 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#20. Niwot High School
– School district: St Vrain Valley School District
– Enrollment: 1,177 (22:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#19. Mountain Vista High School
– School district: Douglas County School District No. Re-1
– Enrollment: 2,381 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#18. Evergreen High School
– School district: Jefferson County School District No. R-1
– Enrollment: 1,096 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A

#17. Lakewood High School
– School district: Jefferson County School District No. R-1
– Enrollment: 2,046 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#16. The Vanguard School Senior High
– School district: Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12
– Enrollment: 271 (9:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#15. Monarch High School
– School district: Boulder Valley School District
– Enrollment: 1,664 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#14. Denver School of the Arts
– School district: Denver Public Schools
– Enrollment: 1,110 (22:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#13. DSST: Montview High School
– School district: Denver Public Schools
– Enrollment: 577 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#12. East High School
– School district: Denver Public Schools
– Enrollment: 2,556 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#11. Liberty Common Charter School
– School district: Poudre School District
– Enrollment: 1,148 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#10. Dsst: Byers High School
– School district: Denver Public Schools
– Enrollment: 529 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#9. Boulder High School
– School district: Boulder Valley School District
– Enrollment: 2,153 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#8. Rock Canyon High School
– School district: Douglas County School District No. Re-1
– Enrollment: 2,310 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#7. Grandview High School
– School district: Cherry Creek School District
– Enrollment: 2,947 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#6. Peak to Peak Charter School
– School district: Boulder Valley School District
– Enrollment: 1,450 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#5. Cheyenne Mountain High School
– School district: Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12
– Enrollment: 1,286 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#4. D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School
– School district: Jefferson County School District No. R-1
– Enrollment: 1,035 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#3. Fairview High School
– School district: Boulder Valley School District
– Enrollment: 2,131 (23:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#2. Stargate Charter School
– School district: Adams 12 Five Star Schools
– Enrollment: 1,582 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+

#1. Cherry Creek High School
– School district: Cherry Creek School District
– Enrollment: 3,806 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
– Niche grade: A+


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