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The 10 Best Schools in Colorado Today

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The 10 Best Schools in Colorado Today

Colorado, nicknamed the Centennial State, was the 38th state to join the union in 1876. The state's public education system was established a little earlier, in 1859, when Owen J. Hendricks founded the Union School in Auraria. 

Today, Colorado is home to numerous prestigious public and charter schools that have received national accolades and honors. The state has 178 school districts managing 1867 public schools and 264 charter schools that serve roughly 891,084 K-12 Kids. 

As parents, one of our biggest concerns is ensuring that our kids receive quality instruction and education that sets them up for success in life. However, finding the right school that matches our kid's interests and learning needs can be daunting, especially in a state like Colorado which has many great options to choose from. 

Fortunately, we've carried out deep research and come up with a list of the ten best schools in the state. Our ranking takes into account factors such as academic performance, graduation rates, extracurricular opportunities, and student experiences, among many more. 

Keep reading to learn the 10 top K-12 public schools in Colorado today, ranked in ascending order. 

Best Elementary Schools

Cherry Hills Village Elementary School

2400 E Quincy Ave, Englewood, CO 80110

Cherry Hills Village Elementary School is a highly-rated public school under the Cherry Creek 5 School District. The school began in 1886, serving a handful of kids from the surrounding farms. Today, Cherry Hills Village Elementary serves roughly 534 pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. 

GreatSchools.org gives a 10/10 on student academic progress and a 10/10 overall. The school uses an enriched curriculum that meets the needs of all learners. This is reflected in the student's performance on state standardized tests, with 74% and 72% of students attaining proficiency in English and math, respectively. 

The school's curriculum is enriched with special programs such as art, music, STEM, and physical education. Cherry Hills Village Elementary also encourages its students to participate in various after-school extracurricular activities, such as the CLAW club, chess club, dolphin club, All Pro Dads, and Spanish club. 

Cherry Hills Village Elementary has one teacher for every seventeen students. It also has a full-time nurse, psychologist, and law-enforcement officer. A parent at the school highly recommends it, noting the small class sizes, engaged teachers, and wonderful school community as some of the positives. Cherry Hills Village Elementary is an excellent pick for families moving to Cherry Hills. 

High Peaks Elementary School

3995 Aurora Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

High Peaks Elementary School is a distinguished public school within the Boulder Valley Re 2 School District. It serves approximately 291 kids in prekindergarten through fifth grade. The school has been designated as a National Blue Ribbon School thrice; in 2009, 2015, and 2021. 

Teachers at the school use the Core Knowledge Sequence curriculum model for instruction. The model seems highly effective, with most students performing at or above their grade level. 88% attain proficiency in English and 85% in math. 

The school offers enrichment programs such as music, art, physical education, and technology. Your child can also participate in extracurricular activities, including Science Fair, Robotics, Math Olympiad, Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Lego League, and High Peaks Literary Magazine. 

The school has 17 full-time teachers, translating to a student-teacher ratio of 16:1. The teachers are highly qualified, with all having over three years of teaching experience and being certified. 

Parents at the school speak highly of it. Here's what one said on GreatSchools.org, “This is a fantastic school with super engaged teachers and parents, as well as a wonderfully diverse set of kids. I wasn't expecting to attend a public school with such a great parent community, but it has been fantastic. The teachers really care about the kids and meet each child where they are. Highly recommended!”

A group of small school children with teacher on field trip in nature, learning science.
It's never too early for kids to start exploring the wonders of STEM!


Creekside Elementary School

3740 Martin Dr, Boulder, CO 80305

Creekside Elementary School is a top-rated public school in the Boulder Valley Re 2 School District. The school is proud of its diversity, with students from over 45 nationalities. It serves approximately 346 kids in grades PK-5. 

Creekside Elementary aims to foster a culture of curiosity and risk-taking among the students through its enriched curriculum. 70% of the students attain proficiency in English and 64% in math. The school also runs a Gifted & Talented Program that provides the necessary support to academically gifted kids. Other enrichment programs include yoga, chess, knitting, karate, and coding. 

The school also offers other educational services, including literacy support, English language development, positive behavior support, and special education services. Students at Creekside Elementary can participate in various extracurricular activities, such as student council, National Geography, musical performances, talent show, and spelling bee competition. 

The school enjoys relatively small classes, with one teacher for every thirteen kids. Additionally, all full-time faculty members are certified and have over three years of experience. The school also has a part-time psychologist and law enforcement officer on staff. 

Reviews for Creekside Elementary are overwhelmingly positive, with almost all reviewers on GreatSchools.org giving it 5/5 stars. One parent appreciated the welcoming atmosphere, loving and passionate teachers, and outstanding leadership. 

Marshdale Elementary School

26663 N Turkey Creek Rd, Evergreen, CO 80439

Marshdale Elementary School is a top-performing public school within the Jefferson County R-1 School District. The school serves roughly 305 kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. The school prides itself on having a tight-knit community that provides a positive and welcoming environment for the kids to thrive. 

Marshdale Elementary earned a 10/10 rating on test scores and student academic progress from GreatSchools.org. 74% of the students attain proficiency in English and 68% in math. Overall, the school receives a perfect 10/10 GreatSchoosl.org rating. 

The curriculum has enrichment programs like art, music, and physical education. Marshdale also has nearly a dozen paraprofessionals running the special education department. 

Students can participate in various before and after-school programs that can help develop their interests and talents. Your child can enlist in one of the school's 18 different clubs and organizations. 

A parent at Marshdale Elementary described their experience at the school as great. They also commended the great leadership and excellent communication with the parents. The school is an ideal pick for families in Evergreen. 

Best Middle Schools

Summit Middle Charter School

4655 Hanover Avenue, Boulder, CO 80305

Founded in 1996, Summit Middle Charter School was the first charter school within the Boulder Valley Re 2 School District. It provides a rigorous academic curriculum to roughly 356 students in sixth through eighth grade. 

The school is a three-time recipient of the National Blue Ribbon designation; in 2004, 2012, and 2019. The kids' performance on standardized tests testifies to the quality of education offered at the school, with 90% attaining proficiency in English and 81% in math. 

The school also runs a gifted and talented program that provides the necessary support and guidance to kids who require more than regular class instruction. All students complete middle school with a ‘Pinnacle Project,' which they present to parents during the spring Pinnacle Conference Night.

Teachers at the school are highly qualified, with all holding active certifications and having more than three years of teaching experience. Besides, Summit Middle Charter School maintains relatively small classes, with one teacher for every fifteen kids. 

Kids have multiple opportunities to make learning exciting outside the classroom through the numerous clubs, organizations, and athletic teams. The school has over 22 sports teams and 15 different organizations your child can enroll in.

The Connect Charter School

104 E 7th St, Pueblo, CO 81003

The Connect Charter School is a top-rated, award-winning public charter school in Pueblo County School District 70. Opened in 1993, it was the first charter school in Colorado, with the first classes having 67 kids. Currently, the school serves about 258 students in grades 6-8. Connect Charter School received a 10/10 overall rating from GreatSchools.org.

The school has received numerous state and national awards for its academic achievements. Connect Charter School has received the John Irwin Schools of Excellence award 16 times and was designated a National Blue Ribbon School in 2017. The school's performance on standardized tests is exemplary, with 83% of students gaining proficiency in English and 63% in math. 

Connect Charter School's curriculum includes Socratic seminars, exhibition projects, writer's workshops, and capstone projects that prepare the students for college life and beyond. The school has over 30 clubs and organizations, allowing kids to develop leadership and social skills. 

Education is an invaluable opportunity – let's make sure to give our youth every chance they need to succeed.

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Denver School of The Arts

7111 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO 80220

Denver School of The Arts is a public arts magnet school within the Denver County 1 School District. It serves roughly 1,097 students in sixth through eighth grade. Students can major in eleven arts programs at the school. GreatSchools.org gives the school an overall 10/10 rating.

The school provides a rigorous curriculum enriched with art programs such as creative writing, band, piano, guitar, orchestra, vocal music, theatre, video cinema arts, visual arts, stagecraft, and design, among others. 88% of students attain proficiency grades in English and 66% in math. Students can also take world language courses in Spanish and French.

The school has relatively large classes, with one teacher for every twenty-three students. Nevertheless, Denver School of The Arts employs highly qualified faculty, with all full-time teachers with more than three years of teaching experience and professional certifications. The school also has a school nurse and psychologist on staff. 

According to a recent parent review, their son has had a fantastic experience at DSA. The review specifically praised the band department and its leaders, noting their excellence. Additionally, the parents spoke highly of the quality of the academic teachers. The school is an excellent pick for families whose kids wish to major in arts. 

Best High Schools

Evergreen High School

29300 Buffalo Park Rd, Evergreen, CO 80439

Evergreen High School is a top-rated public school under the Jefferson County R-1 School District. The school received the National Blue Ribbon award in two different years, in 2007 and 2015. Evergreen High currently serves roughly 975 students in ninth through twelfth grade. 

The school has a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, with most students proceeding to college or vocational training. The school enjoys a 99% high school graduation rate, with 72% of these graduates pursuing a college program. 88% of the students sit for the SATs, with the school having an average score of 1,175. 

Students at Evergreen High have numerous opportunities to earn college credits. The school has 16 advanced placement courses, with 48% of the students participating. Additionally, 12% of the students enroll in dual enrollment classes. 

Your child may have multiple opportunities to express themselves and build leadership skills through extracurricular activities. The school has over 32 clubs and organizations. Moreover, the school also fields over 26 athletic teams in the varsity league. 

Evergreen is a perfect school for families searching for an all-rounded education for their kids. 

Stargate Charter School

14530 Washington St, Thornton, CO 80023

Stargate Charter School is a public charter school that serves gifted and talented students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Founded in 1994, the school currently serves roughly 1,393 kids. It provides a differentiated program tailored to the needs of identified intellectually-gifted kids. 

The school has a 96% high school graduation rate, with 84% of the graduates enrolling in a college program. 90% return to college for a second year, speaking highly of the school's college preparation programs. 

Moreover, Stargate Charter School students excel in college entrance examinations. 96% sit for the SATs, with the school recording an average score of 1,262. 55% of the students participate in the 24 advanced placement courses available, which may earn them college credits while still in high school. 

In addition to the AP programs, the school has eight art courses, six music courses, two performance art courses, and two world language programs. Outside the classroom, students can participate in various extracurricular activities through the 53 clubs and organizations. They may also choose to join one of the 15 school athletic teams. 

Here's what one parent on GreatSchools.org had to say about the school, “Absolutely phenomenal in all regards. This is the ONLY place my gifted students have thrived!”

D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School

10359 W Nassau Ave, Denver, CO 80235

D'Everlyn Junior/Senior High is a high-performing school in Jefferson County R-1 School District. It serves roughly 1,119 students in seventh through twelfth grade. D'Everlyn Junior/Senior High has been named a National Blue Ribbon School twice, in 2020 and more recently in 2020. 

The school boasts a 100% graduation rate. Additionally, 74% of these graduates attend college, with 97% returning for their second year. These excellent statistics speak highly of the students' college preparedness. 

98% of D'Evelyn Junior Senior High students ended up sitting for the SAT, having an average score of 1,269. The school offers 18 advanced placement courses, showing the students an opportunity to earn college credits. Approximately 46% of the students enroll in AP programs. 

The school has 41 clubs and organizations divided into seven major categories. It also has 17 athletic teams students are encouraged to participate in. One parent in a review on GreatSchools.org called it “the most academically rigorous school in Colorado.” The parent notes that they’re happy with their experience at the school and recommend it. 

Graduating with pride! These happy students have achieved their educational goals and are now ready to take on the world.


Finding the Right School for Your Kid

Colorado has many top-rated public K-12 schools that offer quality education to the over 880,000 kids in the state. Parents have innumerable options for their children, from high-performing magnet schools to charter schools with unique pedagogies. 

This guide is an excellent starting point in your search for the right school for your child. Keep in mind that the right school should match their unique talents, interests, and learning abilities. 

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