Louisiana has a rich cultural heritage heavily influenced by French, African, Spanish, and Native American traditions. The state is famous for being home to various unique music genres, such as jazz, zydeco, and blues. Its spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine is also popular with visitors to the state.
Louisiana boasts an equally vibrant public school system that serves roughly 637,434 K-12 students in 1,432 public schools and 72 school districts. Picking an ideal institution for your child from this bunch doesn’t have to be stressful.
We’ve come up with a comprehensive list of the ten best schools in the state today. The list has three categories, with schools ranked in ascending order in each bracket. Some ranking metrics we used include GreatSchools.org test scores, student and parent reviews, school environment, extracurricular opportunities, faculty experience, and many more.
Here are the ten top schools in Louisiana today.
Best Elementary Schools
Prien Lake Elementary School
3741 Nelson Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605
Prien Lake Elementary is a French-immersion public elementary school in Lake Charles within the Calcasieu Parish School District. It currently serves roughly 810 students in preschool through fifth grade. The school provides a unique experience, allowing students to enroll in a French immersion program where they receive grade-level instruction in French for 60% of their day.
Students at Prien Lake perform at or above grade level, with most excelling in standardized tests offered by the state. Specifically, 78% attain proficiency in English and 69% in math. Besides the common core subjects, Prien Lake scholars also enroll in curriculum enrichment programs such as art, music, physical education, and French.
Prien Lake encourages its students to participate in extracurricular activities to develop their social skills, interests, and talents. The school has numerous clubs and organizations that your child may join, including the art club, chorus, french club, knitting, 4-H, and running club.
The school has fifty-one faculty members, translating to a student-teacher ratio of roughly 15:1. 85% of the teachers have over three years of experience, and 87% of the full-time instructors are certified. Prien Lake also has a full-time law enforcement officer to provide security to the staff and kids.
T. S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School
2711 Common St, Lake Charles, LA 70601
T.S. Cooley Elementary is a top-rated magnet school in Lake Charles within the Calcasieu Parish School District. The award-winning school serves approximately 312 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The U.S. Department of Education awarded the school with the National Blue Ribbon award for “Exemplary High Performing Schools” on two separate occasions, in 2012 and 2018.
Furthermore, the Louisiana Department of Education has identified the school as a “Top Gains Honoree” and “Equity Honoree”. The student’s performance on standardized tests is exemplary, with 97% gaining proficiency in English, 94% in math, and 89% in science.
The school’s magnet program focuses on art integration. T.S. Cooley Elementary also offers specialized programs such as art, music, performance arts, and world language courses.
With 21 faculty members on staff, the school has a student-teacher ratio of 15:1. All instructors have over three years of teaching experience, and 75% of the full-time teachers are certified.
Parents at T.S. Cooley Elementary rate it highly, giving it a 5/5 star rating on GreatSchool.org. One satisfied parent indicated that high parent involvement is one of the things they love about the school. They also added that the school provides a wonderful foundation for the kids.
Dularge Elementary School
621 Bayou Dularge Rd, Houma, LA 70363
Dularge Elementary, ‘Home of the Bobcats,’ is a highly-rated public elementary school in Houma under the Terrebonne Parish School District. The school serves roughly 359 students in prekindergarten through sixth grade. The school takes pride in its modern facilities, which include an extensive library, computer lab, and spacious cafeteria.
GreatSchools.org gave the school a perfect 10/10 rating. The school offers numerous special programs to support its highly diverse student population. These programs include Title IX Program, computer lab programs, English as a Second Language (ESL), Migrant Education, and the Special Education Inclusion Program.
Most Dularge Elementary students perform at or above grade level in common core subjects. In standardized tests administered by the state, 72% gain proficiency in English and 58% in math.
The school also provides numerous extracurricular opportunities for the kids, with students joining clubs such as the BETA club and the band. The school also has an active parent club that allows willing parents to volunteer in various school activities and events. Dularge Elementary is an excellent pick for Houma families searching for top-quality education for their kids.
Ernest Gallet Elementary School
2901 E Milton Ave, Youngsville, LA 70592
Ernest Gallet Elementary is a top-rated public elementary school serving preschool through fifth-grade students. The school falls under the Lafayette Parish School District, one of the largest school districts in the state. GreatSchools.org gave the school an overall rating of 10/10.
The school’s mission is to provide a nurturing environment that supports students to excel academically and socially through self-discipline and motivation. Students’ performance on standardized tests reflects positively on Ernest Gallet’s commitment to this mission. 78% of the scholars gain proficiency in math and 67% in English.
Your child may join various extracurricular activities such as the job fair, 4-H club, or Tigers on the Run. The school has relatively large classes, with one teacher for every eighteen students. Nonetheless, the staff is highly experienced, with 92% having over three years of teaching experience and 87% holding certifications. Ernest Gallet also has a part-time social worker, nurse, and psychologist on its payroll.
Parent reviews point out positive experiences for most parents. One parent appreciated the caring and compassionate staff, noting that their son had tight bonds with the teachers. Another parent raves about the numerous extracurricular activities contributing to a well-rounded education.
Best Middle Schools
Lake Forest Charter School
11110 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70128
Lake Forest Charter School is a top-rated public charter school in New Orleans. It houses approximately 646 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Lake Forest has received numerous national and state awards for its academic accomplishments and push toward bridging the diversity gap.
The school is a recipient of the National Blue Ribbon award in two different years, 2013 and 2021. It was also named a National Title 1 Distinguished School in 2009 and 2016. Based on the state’s standardized test scores, the school has consistently received an A-rated performance from the Orleans Parish School Board.
Students undertake a rigorous curriculum enriched with numerous special programs, such as visual arts, music, technology, and foreign language. Lake Forest also provides various extracurricular activities, including band, chess club, dance team, drama club, orchestra ensemble, debate team, and junior BETA club.
Lake Forest opens its athletics teams to fifth to eighth-grade students who participate in basketball, flag football, volleyball, baseball, softball, cross-country, and cheerleading.
Former students at the school praise its impact in shaping the people they’ve become. One alumnus on Niche.com said the school was a “home away from home” that prepared them for high school and helped strengthen their people skills.
Bayou Community Academy Charter School
800 E 7th St, Thibodaux, LA 70301
Bayou Community Academy is a public charter school in Thibodaux. The school serves roughly 498 prekindergarten to eighth-grade students. It has a unique curriculum centered on virtuous character development. The school received a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
Students at Bayou Community Academy excel in Louisiana Educational Assessment Program(LEAP) standardized tests. 79% of the schools perform at or above mastery in common core subjects tested.
The students have numerous opportunities to grow their interests and talents outside the classroom. Your child can join clubs such as the 4-H club, BETA, art club, book club, chess club, choir, drama, STEM, and science club. Bayou Community Academy also has two main athletic programs, i.e., cross-country and soccer.
The school has one teacher for every eighteen students. 96% of these teachers have over three years of teaching experience and hold active certifications. Bayou Community Academy also has a full-time nurse on staff.
Parents at the school praise it for its high academic standards and highly-involving booster club. One parent raves about how the school has supported their autistic child, with the staff providing the necessary care to meet his unique needs.
Caddo Parish Middle Magnet School
7635 Cornelious Ln, Shreveport, LA 71106
Founded in 1980, Caddo Parish Middle is a public magnet school in Shreveport under the Caddo Parish School District. It has a population of roughly 1,216 students across sixth to eighth grade. This top-performing school has received the National Blue Ribbon award twice, in 1985 and 2008.
GreatSchools.org gave the school an impressive 10/10 rating, attesting to the quality of the education offered. 96% of students perform at or above grade level in English, 90% in math, and 81% in science.
Students can enroll in various sports teams such as football, softball, archery, track, cross-country, fencing, tennis, swimming, and golf. The school has relatively large classes, with one faculty member for every 21 students.
However, the faculty team is highly qualified. 97% have over three years of experience, and 98% are certified. Caddo Parrish Middle also has a full-time security guard that keeps the staff and kids safe while in school.
Parent and student reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with all giving the school a 5/5 star rating on GreatSchools.org. One current student describes it as a great school with a great environment and learning experience.
Best High Schools
Baton Rouge Magnet High School
2825 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Baton Rouge Magnet is an award-winning high school in Baton Rouge within the East Baton Rouge Parish School District. The school provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum to roughly 1,500 ninth to twelfth-grade students. Baton Rouge has been named a National Blue Ribbon School four times, the two most recent awards being in 2015 and 2021.
It’s also been named a 2022 Magnet Schools of America School of Excellence. The school prides itself in providing an academically-challenging learning environment that helps shape students into successful citizens in a global environment. GreatSchools.org gave the school a 10/10 rating.
Students at Baton Rouge excel in college entrance exams, with the school recording an average score of 26 on the ACT. The school offers 33 advanced placement courses with a 77% participation rate. It also has 20 honors courses, which allow students to earn college credits while in high school.
The school also offers 11 dual enrollment classes, 45 art, music, and theatre courses, and 30 robotics, computer science, technical, and business courses. Students can also enroll in the school’s athletics teams, which include golf, gymnastics, soccer, powerlifting, tennis, swimming, and bowling. The school is an excellent choice for families searching for a holistic education for their kids.
Wayne Kirkpatrick – Award-winning songwriter
Johnny Bookman – Former cornerback in both the NFL and AFL
Henson Moore – Former U.S. Representative
Jim Taylor – Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Dalton Jones – Former professional baseball player who played nine seasons with the MLB
Starr Long – Game developer, original director of Ultima Online
Karey Kirkpatrick – Screenwriter
Jimmy Clanton – Swamp pop and R&B musician in the '50s and '60s
Bobby Jindal – 55th Governor of Louisiana
Dr. Dave Chokshi – Former Health Commissioner of New York City
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
1601 Viking Dr, Shreveport, LA 71101
Caddo Parish Magnet is a top-rated magnet school in Shreveport under the Caddo Parish School District. The school serves approximately 1,025 students in grades 9-12. Caddo Parish Magnet High has received the National Blue Ribbon Award twice, in 2008 and 2018. It’s also a 2022 Green Ribbon Honoree.
The school provides an intensive college preparatory curriculum, with students sitting for the ACT achieving an average score of 27. The school also offers 30 advanced placement courses, which receive a 33% participation rate.
Caddo Parish Magnet provides its students with several opportunities to earn college credits. In addition to the AP courses, students can enroll in dual enrollment classes. These classes have a 13% participation rate.
Students at the school can grow their interests and talents outside the classroom by enrolling in the athletic teams or signing up for the over 60 clubs and organizations available. The school enjoys relatively large class sizes, with one teacher for every 19 students.
Parents and former students rate it highly, giving it 4.8/5 stars on GreatSchools.org. One parent says Caddo Parish offers students the best opportunity to prepare for college.
Brady Blade – Highly successful drummer who has been in a number of bands
Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Guitarist with a number of Grammy nominations
Henry Lin – Scientist who won an award for his work on galaxy cluster simulation
Dr. Alan Duncan – Nationally recognized physician from the Mayo Clinic
Brian Blade – Grammy Award-winning drummer
Cedric Glover – Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Ronny Cates – Bassist for the pioneering Christian rock group Petra
Tom Drummond – Bassist and backup vocalist for the band Better Than Ezra
Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy
701 Churchill Pkwy, Westwego, LA 70094
Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy is a public magnet high school in Avondale under the Jefferson Parish School District. It offers a comprehensive college preparatory education to roughly 721 sixth to twelfth-grade students.
The school received the National Blue Ribbon award in 2010 and 2019, a testament to its focus on academic excellence. Students at the school sit for the ACT for their college entrance exam, with the school recording an average score of 30.
The school also offers 18 advanced placement courses, attracting 62% of the students. Students also have another opportunity to earn college credits through dual enrollment classes with a 27% participation rate.
The school has over 37 clubs, organizations, and sports teams that give students a well-rounded education. Patrick F. Taylor Academy has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. Despite the relatively large classes, the school has a very qualified teaching staff, with 77% having over three years of experience and 97% holding certifications.
The school is an excellent choice for parents in Acondale searching for a rigorous academic program for their academically-gifted kids.
Finding The Right School For Your Child
Louisiana is famous for its cultural scene, which has a massive influence on American music and culinary scenes. The state is also home to highly-rated public schools. The schools on this list intensely focus on academic success, with most receiving the U.S. Department of Education’s recognition through the National Blue Ribbon Award.
These schools can provide an excellent starting point in your search for the ideal school for your child.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sharomka/Shutterstock.com.