Best public high schools in South Dakota

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April 5, 2022
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Best public high schools in South Dakota

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 South Dakota 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. Wagner High School
- School district: Wagner Community School District
- Enrollment: 178 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B

#24. Platte-Geddes High School
- School district: Platte-Geddes School District
- Enrollment: 122 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B

#23. Douglas High School
- School district: Douglas School District
- Enrollment: 784 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B

#22. Sioux Valley High School
- School district: Sioux Valley School District
- Enrollment: 206 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B

#21. New Technology High School
- School district: Sioux Falls School District
- Enrollment: 307 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#20. Deubrook High School
- School district: Deubrook Area Schools
- Enrollment: 115 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#19. Belle Fourche High School
- School district: Belle Fourche School District
- Enrollment: 400 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#18. Britton-Hecla High School
- School district: Britton-Hecla School District
- Enrollment: 92 (10:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#17. Central High School
- School district: Aberdeen School District
- Enrollment: 1,349 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#16. Mobridge High School
- School district: Mobridge-Pollock School District
- Enrollment: 188 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#15. T.F. Riggs High School
- School district: Pierre School District
- Enrollment: 799 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#14. Harrisburg High School
- School district: Harrisburg School District
- Enrollment: 1,123 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#13. Spearfish High School
- School district: Spearfish School District
- Enrollment: 682 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#12. Elk Point-Jefferson High School
- School district: Elk Point-Jefferson School District
- Enrollment: 202 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#11. Watertown High School
- School district: Watertown School District
- Enrollment: 1,179 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#10. Stevens High School
- School district: Rapid City Area School District
- Enrollment: 1,716 (21:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#9. Mitchell High School
- School district: Mitchell School District
- Enrollment: 803 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#8. Brookings High School
- School district: Brookings School District
- Enrollment: 957 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: B+

#7. Roosevelt High School
- School district: Sioux Falls School District
- Enrollment: 2,451 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A-

#6. Hamlin High School
- School district: Hamlin School District
- Enrollment: 230 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A-

#5. Lincoln High School
- School district: Sioux Falls School District
- Enrollment: 2,052 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A-

#4. Dakota Valley High School
- School district: Dakota Valley School District
- Enrollment: 388 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A-

#3. Hill City High School
- School district: Hill City School District
- Enrollment: 154 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A-

#2. Brandon Valley High School
- School district: Brandon Valley School District
- Enrollment: 1,217 (22:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A

#1. Washington High School
- School district: Sioux Falls School District
- Enrollment: 1,950 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A

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