Two Palm Beach County schools squeaked into Top 100 in national rankings. See the full list

Two Palm Beach County schools squeaked into Top 100 in national rankings. See the full list

Nine local schools ranked in the top 2,000 schools nationwide, and another 10 were listed in the top 5,000 schools.

Two Palm Beach County high schools are once again among the top 100 public high schools in the nation, according to the annual rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.

Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts was ranked 91st and Suncoast High School squeaked into the top 100 at 98th place — both coveted spots in the top 17,000 high schools across the country. Private schools are not included in the rankings.

Both schools’ rankings fell from last year, when Suncoast came in at 70th place and Dreyfoos ranked 90th.

Both schools routinely landed near the top of U.S. News’ controversial list before the magazine changed its system in 2019, adding more schools to the review and more considerations of how schools help underserved students succeed to the ranking process.

In many states, schools that rank near the top of the list are in wealthier, whiter communities or serve smaller populations of students by requiring applications.

In Palm Beach County, both that topped the list are magnet schools that require students to prove academic rigor and achievement before being admitted. Just 31% of Suncoast students and 23% of Dreyfoos students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches compared to the district-wide average of 54%, according to school district data.

U.S. News & World Report came up with its rankings by analyzing six weighted categories: college readiness (30%), state assessment proficiency (20%), state assessment performance (20%), college curriculum breadth (10%), underserved student performance (10%) and graduation rate (10%). This is the same formula used to calculate the rankings in 2023.

The magazine worked with North Carolina-based RTI International, a nonprofit social science research firm, and ranked more than 17,600 public high schools out of about 25,000 reviewed. To qualify for ranking, the public high schools had to have a senior class of at least 15 students.

For more on how schools were ranked, see the U.S. News & World Report website.

Suncoast is a magnet school that pulls students from all over Palm Beach County and requires an application to attend. Dreyfoos also pulls students from the whole county, requires an application and an audition for its arts programs.

Best Palm Beach County high schools in 2024

Palm Beach County was once again well-represented in the top 100 schools in the U.S. and heavily present further down the list.

Nine local schools ranked in the top 2,000 schools nationwide, and another 10 were listed in the top 5,000 schools.

Here are the high schools that made the top 5,000 spots:

See the full list of national rankings and an explanation of the methodology on the U.S. News & World Report website.

Reached Tuesday, Dreyfoos principal Blake Bennett said the school community was extremely excited to receive the honor.

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our students and staff,” she wrote in an emailed statement. “This result is the culmination of rigorous academic and art instruction, effective systems, and our deep rooted culture of tradition and excellence.”

Best high schools in Florida 2024

South Florida once again dominated the magazine’s statewide rankings of best high schools this year — 13 of the top 20 schools are in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties.

Here are the top 20 high schools in Florida:

  1. Pine View School, Osprey
  2. Millennium 6-12 Collegiate Academy, Tamarac
  3. Westshore Junior/Senior High School, Melbourne
  4. Archimedean Upper Conservatory Charter School, Miami
  5. Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville
  6. Edgewood Jr/Sr High School, Merritt Island
  7. Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST@FIU), North Miami
  8. Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy, Hialeah
  9. Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami
  10. Alexander W. Dreyfoos Junior School of the Arts, West Palm Beach
  11. Neocity Academy, Kissimmee
  12. Suncoast High School, Riviera Beach
  13. Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, Miami
  14. Terra Environmental Research Institute, Miami
  15. International Studies Charter High School, Miami
  16. Doral Performing Arts and Entertainment Academy, Doral
  17. MAST Academy, Key Biscayne
  18. iPrep Academy, Miami
  19. Paxon School/Advanced Studies, Jacksonville
  20. Darnell Cookman Middle/High School, Jacksonville

Katherine Kokal is a journalist covering education at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach her at Help support our work, subscribe today!

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