Best public high schools in Virginia

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April 5, 2022
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Best public high schools in Virginia

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 Virginia 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. Tabb High School
- School district: York County School Division
- Enrollment: 1,133 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#24. Grassfield High School
- School district: Chesapeake Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,329 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#23. Princess Anne High School
- School district: Virginia Beach City Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,759 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#22. Meridian High School
- School district: Falls Church City Public Schools
- Enrollment: 845 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#21. Stone Bridge High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,785 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#20. Broad Run High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,563 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#19. West Springfield High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,413 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#18. Lake Braddock Secondary School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 4,332 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#17. Washington Liberty High School
- School district: Arlington Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,493 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#16. Freedom High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,117 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#15. Blacksburg High School
- School district: Montgomery County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,284 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#14. Ocean Lakes High School
- School district: Virginia Beach City Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,034 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#13. Yorktown High School
- School district: Arlington Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,496 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#12. Deep Run High School
- School district: Henrico County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,848 (20:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#11. Rock Ridge High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,562 (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#10. Briar Woods High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,850 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#9. James Madison High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,289 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#8. Riverside High School
- School district: Loudoun County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,882 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#7. Oakton High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,743 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#6. W. T. Woodson High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,427 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#5. Chantilly High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,936 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#4. Langley High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,992 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#3. McLean High School
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 2,369 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#2. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
- School district: Fairfax County Public Schools
- Enrollment: 1,809 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

#1. Maggie Walker Governor's School
- Location: Richmond
- Enrollment: 746 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)
- Niche grade: A+

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