SAN DIEGO–The Preuss School UCSD—a charter middle and high school for motivated, low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college—has been ranked the best high school in San Diego County by U.S. News & World Report, which released its annual list of “Best High Schools” today.
The school is also ranked the 4th best high school in California, the 7th best charter school in the nation and 30th overall in the nation. “Our school provides an environment of high expectations where students are continually encouraged to develop a greater sense of confidence and pride in themselves and their academic accomplishments,” said Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, staff and all those who believe in our mission.”
To compile the list, U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were evaluated on overall student performance on state-mandated assessments, as well as how effectively they educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. Performance on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate exams was then used to determine the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.
While Preuss was ranked 4th in California, it was the only school in the top 4 to have 100 percent of its students qualify as “economically disadvantaged” and, at 97 percent, also had the highest minority population. Jointly chartered by the University of California, San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District, Preuss is located on the UC San Diego campus.
More than 800 students come from throughout San Diego County to participate in a single-track college preparatory curriculum and take advantage of an array of academic supports including tutoring, mentoring and counseling. Each Preuss student takes at least six AP courses in high school with many students taking up to nine or 10 AP courses. Preuss graduates are consistently accepted to four-year colleges and universities at a rate of nearly 95 percent, and almost 100 percent are going on to some form of higher education.
This latest ranking comes on the heels of another recent ranking by The Washington Post, which named Preuss as one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.” Preuss was rated the 3rd most challenging high school in California and 29th in the nation.