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best denver high schools

Best High Schools in Denver CO | 🏫Best High Schools in Denver

Moving to Denver or changing neighborhoods? If you have a teenager or plan to have children growing up in the area, the quality of education is likely a top priority. You’ll be pleased to know that there are many highly-rated high schools in Denver that support your teenager’s educational and social growth!

There are several factors to look for when choosing a high school for your teenager. Unfortunately, many “informative” sites pick out the best high schools based on a limited set of factors such as affluence and test scores. Our guide, on the other hand, considers all possible elements that make a school truly great. This includes student improvement, AP participation rate, extracurricular programs, awards, diversity, and more. All of these aspects play a crucial role in your child’s overall experience and growth.

Best High Schools in Denver

Before we dig into Denver’s top high schools, let’s cover some questions you may have regarding sending your teenager to the school that will guide them from childhood to adulthood.

What is the Denver CO school district? Families living in Denver, Colorado are served by Denver Public Schools (DPS)– less commonly known as Denver County School District No. 1. This school district is one of the largest in the state with around 90,250 students and a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. This highly diverse and award-winning district has 207 schools whereas 43 are high schools. This guide takes into account traditional, charter, and magnet high schools in the city of Denver and not the entire Denver County and metropolitan area.

Several of Denver’s highschool fall under DSST and KIPP– here’s what they stand for:

  • DSST: Denver School of Science and Technology; a public charterSTEM network
  • KIPP: The Knowledge is Power Program; a network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools in lower-income areas

You can navigate through the DPS school choice process and Denver schools admission process online. Here’s a news article regarding overhauls to Denver’s magnet admission process. If you’re wondering about how to enroll your teenager into high school, check out the Denver schools enrollment guide.

Denver School of the Arts | Award-Winning Magnet Middle & High School in Denver with High Test Scores & Graduation Rate

Located at Mosaic Community Campus in east Denver, Denver School of the Arts is a sophisticated secondary arts magnet school that has boasted an intensive academic program and rigorous studies in the arts since 1991. Regarding graduation rates, state-required tests, and preparations for college, this high school ranks as the third-best high school in Colorado and the #1 best in the entire district.

The AP participation rate at Denver School of the Arts is 92% and the graduation rate is a soaring 98%– far above the state median. On top of having some of the highest test scores in the district and state, this creative Denver high school has earned the Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards due to its outstanding academic achievement over time.

DSST Montview High School | Very Diverse Public High School in Denver has a Diverse Mix of Student Backgrounds

Formerly known as Stapleton High School, Montview Middle & High School is in one of the best Denver neighborhoods for families. Since its opening in 2004, this high school has been recognized for its strong student and teacher community, caring staff, and very high cultural diversity. In fact, this Denver high school has one of the city’s most diverse student enrollments whereas Hispanics make up 40.8% of the student population, blacks make up 31.5%, and whites 17%.

Montview High School ranks as Denver’s 2nd best public high school and maintains an AP participation rate of 93%. The graduation rate here is 94% which is slightly above the state median. Regarding higher-education prep, Montview High School ranks #4 on the College Readiness Index.

DSST: College View High School | One of the Best Denver High Schools with Great Math Scores & High Hispanic Enrollment

College View High School is situated just south of Colorado Heights University and is especially popular among Hispanic and Latino families who seek world-class education for their young adults. The minority enrollment is 97% with the majority of students being of Hispanic or Latino descent– 87.3% to be exact.

College View High School has an excellent AP participation rate of 88% and ranks #7 for the best high schools in the Denver Public Schools district. The graduation rate here is 86% which is similar to the state median. Mathematics is this school’s strong suit with the subject’s test scores ranking above both the district and state levels.

DSST: Cole High School | High School in Denver with the Outstanding AP Participation Rate

This excellent school in North Denver is accredited with an outstanding 100% AP participation rate where all students have taken a minimum of one AP class and exam. The graduation rate here is 86% which is nearly equivalent to the Colorado median, and the minority enrollment is a high 96.3%. Considering AP participation is a gateway to college success, this school is an excellent option for parents and students who prioritize college preparation and success.

Northfield High School | Public Denver High School that Offers High-Quality IB Courses

Located just a few blocks south of the acclaimed Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Northfield High School is easily one of Denver’s best high schools. Opened in 2015, this new comprehensive high school offers a rural fringe setting where the graduation rate is 94%.

Along with an extensive selection of quality sports and extracurricular opportunities, Northfield High School offers International Baccalaureate (IB) courses whereas 97% of students participate in the IB exams. While both AP and IB courses offer engaging and challenging work, IB is less content-based and focuses more on the skills needed throughout college and beyond.

East High School | The Most Historical & Traditional High School in Denver

East High School is a great option if you’re looking for a highly-rated traditional high school in Denver. Located on the east side of Denver, this great excellent high school sits just south of the acclaimed Denver Zoo and is one of the city’s four original high schools. Founded in 1875, the historical East High School is one of the best public Denver high schools due to its high diversity and AP participation. 96% of students go on to receive their high school diploma at East High School.

KIPP Denver Collegiate High School | Denver Public Charter High School Ranking #2 for the State’s Top College Readiness

Denver Collegiate High School is a highly-rated public charter high school tucked away in the safe residential neighborhood of Athmar Park, Denver. This school is acknowledged for ranking #2 on the College Readiness Index in Colorado. It’s no surprise that the AP participation rate here is 100%. This means that of the 87% of students graduating, nearly all of them will be a step ahead of their classmates when entering the world of higher education.

Denver Collegiate High School has a normal graduation rate of 87% and a very high minority rate of 99%. Denver Collegiate High School ranks #3 in Denver Public Schools High Schools.

Thomas Jefferson High School | Denver High School with Award-Winning Communications and Technology Program

Thomas Jefferson High School is situated in a lovely area in Southwest Denver. Founded in 1960, this high school has a graduation rate of 89% and has an award-winning communications and technology program known as the Center for Communication Technology Magnet.

Thomas Jefferson High School is recognized for having a strong school community, fun school traditions, and many AP, ACT, and concurrent enrollment courses. The AP enrollment at
Thomas Jefferson High School is 73%. This high school further offers a notable selection of athletics and other extracurricular activities.

Denver Center for International Studies | Denver Magnet High School with Several Faculty Awards

Denver Center for International Studies is a remarkable Denver high school that has earned several notable awards. These awards include Colorado Teacher of the Year, Colorado Thespians Teacher of the Year, and Succeeds Prize for transformational impact in a high school. This school has also been deemed World Affairs Challenge Champion and has winning teams for the 5280 Challenge.

The AP participation rate for International Studies is 79% at this high school. 99% of students get their diplomas and 95% of seniors are accepted into college.

DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School | Charter High School in Denver with Academic Growth Award

Green Valley Ranch High School is nestled in Green Valley Ranch– one of the safest neighborhoods in Denver for families. This high school has been recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools for demonstrating top-tier academic growth among its students over the years. The school is crowned with the High School Academic Growth Award in the category for Exemplary High Performing Schools.

The minority rate is 95.3% which is primarily made up of students of Hispanic and African American descent. 72% of students participate in AP courses and 86% go on to graduate.

Denver High Schools FAQ

Does Denver have good high schools?

Absolutely. On top of winning several awards, Denver has some of the most diverse schools in the nation.

What is the best high school in Denver?

Denver Schools of the Arts is among the best Denver high schools. Considering graduation rates, state-required tests, and preparations for college, this high school ranks as the state’s 3rd best high school and the district’s #1 best high school.

How many high schools are in Denver?

There are a total of 43 high schools in the city of Denver. This excludes private schools.

Are you and your family looking for the best Denver high schools because you plan on moving to the city? If so, Wasatch Moving is here to make sure your relocation is smooth and convenient. Give us a call at 801-335-5603 so our trusted Denver movers can get you started!


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