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Old 04-20-2021, 08:00 PM
3 posts, read 2,926 times
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What are the best public high schools (and overall school districts) in the Denver metro area? We are looking to buy a house in the best school district possible. I get conflicting information online about which programs are the best. I've been focused on Cherry Creek HS & Thunderridge High Schools - which both seem to be great schools.

I know that this question is very general and subjective, but my kids are very young and I have nothing to go on in terms of their interests/talents. I just want to get them into the best school possible to give them the best opportunities. We want to stay in the same school district if possible from K-12 so we need to make that decision now.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:17 AM
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Cherry Creek School District is generally considered to be the best in the metro. Thunder Ridge, I'm sure is great but Douglas County doesn't have the best reputation anymore.

With that being said if your kids are young you should look at elementaries. A lot can change in a decade (just ask Douglas County).
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:15 AM
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
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Cherry Creek is great, but there is some disparity at the elementary school level. Be sure to hone in on that.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:28 AM
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Boulder Valley School District is highly rated, use our search tool with BVSD as the search term.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:23 AM
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Is there a reason you're looking at south metro schools? Is there a work location? Almost every district will have excellent schools.

With regards to the schools you've mentioned, are you looking at anything beyond test scores? Is diversity important to you? Cherry Creek schools will have more of that than Douglas County schools. Douglas County has had issues in the past with funding of its schools, with taxpayers not wanting to spend the money, with teacher dissatisfaction, but there are signs that might be changing. CC has not had that same problem. Douglas County also relies heavily on charter schools for K-8 instruction. CC is more of a neighborhood school district. The high schools in the CC district tend to be very large with CCHS currently having 3,500+ students. Its other high schools are nearing 3,000. There's not really any newer home construction in the CCHS area. The neighborhoods districted to the high school tend to be either super expensive mansion-types or overpriced 50+ year-old modest homes. Some people are turned off by that and will go south or east for new.

I would also look at the Littleton district.

Last edited by Gorges; 04-21-2021 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:31 PM
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Default Some Jeffco schools are excellent

I've written here before about my daughter's excellent experiences in the Jefferson County system at Lakewood High. They have a very well-rounded IB program along with a robust, acclaimed music and theater program that, five years ago, involved a fifth of the 2500 students. Lakewood and, I imagine, Green Mountain and Golden high schools have a hidden advantage- location. Spread between them is a large, well-educated workforce at the Federal Center, National Renewable Energy Labs and the Colorado School of Mines. These kids naturally go these schools, and most are motivated and well-prepared for STEM subjects in particular.

Our family never felt the school was lacking, regardless of the long-standing reputation of Cherry Cheek schools. Lats time I researched it, the difference between student performance in the districts was very small.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:27 AM
Location: Littleton, CO
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It all depends on what you want.

Great high schools in Jeffco include D'Evelyn and Lakewood. D"Evelyn is a college-prep magnet school focussed on classical education and a lot of homework, and Lakewood HS has a great magnet (IB) program. If the student is not in the IB program, the school isn't top notch. Because they are magnet schools, they will attract students from all over which gives it a different vibe than a school whose students come from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Douglas County runs from good to very good. I would argue that Rock Canyon and Mountain Vista are the best of the Highlands Ranch schools academically. The district is still recovering from a disastrous school board from a few years back, but could be fully functional again by the time your kids get to high school. Many HR families open enroll their children in Littleton Public Schools.

Speaking of LPS, both Heritage and Arapahoe are excellent schools that are on par with the best schools in the south metro area. They have excellent academics, and very good athletic programs.

Cherry Creek probably offers the best education for both the high-end student and the average student. It also offers some of the most competitive sports teams in the state with the school winning state titles in various sports every year. The theater and music programs are top notch as the school was recognized as a Grammy signature school a few years back.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:49 PM
Location: Denver CO
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I live in Denver itself, and while some individual schools within DPS can have problems, there are also many excellent schools in the district, especially at the high school level.

East High School, Denver School of the Arts, and the high schools in the DSST Public Schools network (a STEM focused public charter network of middle and high schools) are all among the best in the state.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:01 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
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davidv has a good summation of the variability that can be found throughout CO. Within any district in the state, you can have schools that perform well and schools with exceptional individual performers. The Honors and AP curriculums all public schools have access to make it possible to to meet the needs of very high performing students while still having the overall school rating appear lower on any online report.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:12 AM
Location: Centennial, CO
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I agree with the above. Not a lot of disparity among the better districts, and many have great schools. That said, if you go on Schooldigger it shows the Top 3 districts as Cheyenne Mountain (Co Springs), Telluride, and Littleton. Obviously Littleton is the only one of those in the Denver Metro. Next best in the metro would be Douglas County schools and Cherry Creek district.

If we're talking individual normal public high schools within the Denver Metro, then D'Evelyn in JeffCo district is very highly ranked, as well as Cherry Creek HS, Rock Canyon in Highlands Ranch (DougCo schools), and Arapahoe in Centennial (Littleton schools).
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