Best public high schools in New Jersey

Written by:
April 5, 2022
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Best public high schools in New Jersey

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 New Jersey 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. Ridge High School
- School district: Bernards Township School District
- Enrollment: 1,824 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#24. Ridgewood High School
- School district: Ridgewood Public School District
- Enrollment: 1,790 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#23. Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest
- School district: Northern Valley Regional High School District
- Enrollment: 959 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#22. Livingston Senior High School
- School district: Livingston Board Of Education School District
- Enrollment: 1,945 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#21. Academy of Allied Health & Science
- Location: Neptune
- Enrollment: 302 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#20. Communications High School
- Location: Wall
- Enrollment: 303 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#19. Northern Highlands Regional High School
- Location: Allendale
- Enrollment: 1,400 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#18. Marine Academy of Science & Technology
- Location: Highlands
- Enrollment: 281 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#17. Tenafly High School
- School district: Tenafly Public School District
- Enrollment: 1,246 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#16. Union County Vocational-Technical High School
- Location: Scotch Plains
- Enrollment: 14 (1:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#15. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North
- School district: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District
- Enrollment: 1,520 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#14. Millburn Senior High School
- School district: Millburn Township School District
- Enrollment: 1,380 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#13. Academy for Allied Health Science
- Location: Scotch Plains
- Enrollment: 308 (23:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#12. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
- School district: Jersey City School District
- Enrollment: 693 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#11. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
- School district: West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District
- Enrollment: 1,621 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#10. Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, & Engineering Technologies
- Location: Edison
- Enrollment: 167 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#9. Princeton High School
- School district: Princeton Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,582 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#8. Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro
- Location: Teterboro
- Enrollment: 668 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#7. Academy for Information Technology
- Location: Scotch Plains
- Enrollment: 284 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#6. Union County Magnet High School
- Location: Scotch Plains
- Enrollment: 299 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#5. The Academy for Mathematics, Science & Engineering
- Location: Rockaway
- Enrollment: 164 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#4. Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science
- Location: Manahawkin
- Enrollment: 274 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#3. Biotechnology High School
- Location: Freehold
- Enrollment: 314 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#2. Bergen County Academies
- Location: Hackensack
- Enrollment: 1,086 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#1. High Technology High School
- Location: Lincroft
- Enrollment: 293 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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