The population of Denver is increasing rapidly, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The vibrant ‘Mile High City' has attracted hundreds of thousands, with an estimated 711,400 residents as of 2019. That makes it the 19th most populous city in America! It doesn't stop there, either. Boasting a thriving education system filled with highly-ranked schools, this Coloradoan hub continues to inspire those who call it home (or move here!).
Choosing the right school is often daunting for parents and students. What makes a good school? There’s no correct answer, with the ideal choice depending on individual needs and priorities.
However, most families generally focus on factors such as academic rigor, extracurricular opportunities, faculty quality, and diversity. We’ve compiled a list of the top-rated schools in Denver, taking into account the listed metrics and more. We also considered GreatSchools.org test scores and parent reviews.
Keep reading to discover more about the 10 top-rated schools in Denver.
Best Elementary Schools
Park Hill School
5050 East 19th Avenue, Denver, CO 80220
Park Hill School is a public school in the Denver County 1 School District. The school dates back to 1893, starting as a one-room schoolhouse on 18th Ave and Forest Parkway. It serves students in grades PK-5 and currently has 721 students.
Most students at Park Hill School are performing at or above grade level. Furthermore, test scores are far above the state average. 78% attain proficiency in English, 67% in math. GreatSchools.org gave the school a 9/10 overall rating.
Park Hill School offers a variety of courses and programs to its students. They include art courses such as drawing and painting, music courses like instrumental music lessons, and performance arts courses like dance.
With a student-teacher ratio of 18:1, the school is in line with the state average of 17:1. All of the school's full-time teachers are certified and have at least three years of experience. Park Hill School has a strong reputation among parents, with many noting the school's excellent teachers and supportive community.
Park Hill School is a vibrant educational institution and it's an excellent pick for families in the Park Hill neighborhood.
Lincoln Elementary School
710 South Pennsylvania Street, Denver, CO 80209
Lincoln Elementary School is an outstanding public school in the Denver County 1 School District. It boasts an impressive student-teacher ratio of 19:1. Further, it has a 9/10 rating from GreatSchools.org. That score is due to its commitment to providing exemplary education that nurtures every aspect of its students' growth. From pre-K through sixth grade, 349 proud scholars chose this fine institution for advanced learning opportunities.
Lincoln Elementary School offers both Montessori and traditional programs, with an emphasis on developing the whole child. The Montessori program is one of only four public Montessori programs in Denver. Moreover, the staff at Lincoln Elementary has an average tenure of 10 years.
Lincoln Elementary School offers a range of courses and programs. These include art courses such as drawing, sketching, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles; music courses such as choir/chorus, instrumental music lessons, theory, and vocal lessons/coaching; and performance arts courses such as dance and drama. The school also has a variety of student clubs, including art club, arts and crafts, cooking club, drama club, gardening, Girls on the Run, and robotics club.
Parents have praised the school's emphasis on emotional growth, with one parent commenting that the school's academics as rigorous but not competitive. With its commitment to developing the whole child, its range of courses and programs, and its supportive community, Lincoln is one of the best elementary schools in Denver.
Swigert International School
3480 Syracuse Street, Denver, CO 80238
Swigert International School is a public school in Central Park offering classes from PK-5th grade to over 575 students. The school has an above-average rating in standardized test scores. The GreatSchools.org review gives it a 9/10 overall rating.
Swigert International School follows an inquiry-based approach to education through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP). Students are taught six interdisciplinary themes each year, three focused on science and three on social studies, building on previous knowledge and skills acquired. The school also offers weekly Spanish and technology classes and electives through its Explorations program, which enables children to pursue their interests.
The school has a student-teacher ratio of 19:1, slightly higher than the state average of 17:1. However, 100% of teachers have at least three years of experience, and 92% of full-time teachers are certified. The school also has a full-time psychologist and a part-time nurse, and a social worker.
Parents who have reviewed Swigert International School are impressed with the school's programs and the emphasis on creating a well-rounded student. They appreciate the inquiry-based approach to learning and the exceptional programs, such as weekly Spanish and technology classes and the Explorations program.
The school’s unique academic approach, qualified teachers, and caring support staff make it an ideal choice for parents looking for quality education for their children.
William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School
2100 North Akron Way, Denver, CO 80238
William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School is a public school in the Central Park neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. The school serves students from PK to 8th grade, with a total enrollment of 924. The school has a 10/10 overall rating from GreatSchools.org.
Standardized test scores for English and Math are above average, with 81% of students attaining proficiency in English and 76% achieving proficiency in Math.
The school offers a range of courses and programs to students, including art courses such as drawing, sketching, and painting, music lessons, dance, drama, and Spanish language classes. Additionally, the school offers a variety of student clubs and sports programs, including baseball, basketball, cross country, flag football, soccer, softball, and volleyball.
The school has a student-teacher ratio of 19:1, slightly higher than the state average of 17:1. However, all full-time teachers are certified and have at least three years of experience. The school also employs a full-time social worker and a part-time nurse and psychologist.
According to a parent review on GreatSchools.org, the school has a dedicated and caring faculty and administration and a connected and involved parent community. The school is an excellent choice for families in Central Park.
Best Middle Schools
9659 East Mississippi Avenue, Denver, CO 80247
The Challenge School is a public magnet school that caters to motivated and gifted students. The school is part of the Cherry Creek 5 School District in Denver, CO., With a total student population of 527. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1, similar to the state average.
The school has a GreatSchools.org rating of 9/10, with test scores far above the state average. Students at the Challenge School did better in math and English than students across the state, with 87% of students attaining proficiency in English and 83% in math.
The school offers several learning opportunities beyond the traditional teaching of school subjects. Its immersion program, mini-course, academic pursuits, multi-age classes, and after-school activities provide a well-rounded education. The Challenge School employs a full-time nurse, psychologist, and security guard.
Parents rave about the Challenge School, with one parent commenting that the curriculum is advanced and challenging, the teachers are amazing, and the opportunities are plentiful. Another parent praised the immersion program as their favorite thing about the school.
Overall, the Challenge School is a top-performing school with a rigorous academic program, a supportive learning environment, and a focus on character development. It is an excellent choice for motivated and gifted students seeking a well-rounded education.
D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School
10359 West Nassau Avenue, Denver, CO 80235
D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School is a public school that caters to grades 7-12 and is a part of the Jefferson County R-1 School District. With a total of 1,022 students, this school provides a great learning environment to its students. It received a 9/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
The school offers a total of 18 AP courses, providing students with an opportunity to challenge themselves and prepare for college-level coursework. The school has a student-teacher ratio of 21:1, slightly higher than the state average of 17:1. However, the school has a high percentage of certified full-time teachers, with 83% of teachers having at least three years of experience.
The school aims to provide a solid liberal arts education through the D’Everlyn Program. The D'Evelyn Program is based on the belief that all students, not just an elite group, should be held to rigorous academic and behavioral standards.
The school has a full-time social worker and security guard. Additionally, the school has a part-time psychologist and law enforcement officer, providing students with additional support when needed.
D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School provides its students with a challenging yet rewarding learning environment, making it one of the most sought-out schools in Denver.
Morey Middle School
840 East 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218
Morey Middle School is a public school in Denver County 1 School District, serving grades 6-8. It has a student body of 321 students and a student-teacher ratio of 20:1. The school received an overall 9/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
Students at Morey Middle School do better in math and English than students across the state. Precisely, 68% of students attain proficiency in math, while 79% attain proficiency in English.
Morey Middle School offers a variety of courses and programs, including art courses such as drawing and painting, music courses like band, performance arts courses like drama, and world language courses like Spanish. It also provides a comprehensive Success Seminar program featuring meditation and an anti-racism curriculum.
The school has a full-time social worker, a part-time nurse, and a psychologist. The faculty is highly experienced, with all teachers having three years of experience and are certified. Parents have praised the school's commitment to understanding the complexity of high-ability and gifted students and the personal connections students make with teachers and administrators.
Morey Middle School prioritizes its students' academic, social, and emotional well-being, making it one of the best middle schools to enroll in Colorado.
Best High Schools
Denver School of Science and Technology( DSST): Green Valley Ranch High School
4800 Telluride St building 2, Denver, CO 80249
Denver School of Science and Technology( DSST): Green Valley Ranch High School is a public charter school in Denver County 1 School District that serves students in grades 9-12. The school has an enrollment of 550 students and a student-teacher ratio of 13:1, which is lower than the state average of 17:1. It earned a 9/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
The school prides itself on a 92% four-year high school graduation rate. The school's SAT participation rate is 96%, and the average SAT score is 995. DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School offers AP courses to its students, with a participation rate of 31%. AP courses available at the school include English, Biology, U.S. History, Calculus, and Computer Science.
Other academic programs available at the school include music courses, such as instrumental music lessons, performance arts courses like Dance and Drama, and world language courses like Spanish.
Parents have praised the school for its amazing teachers, strong academics, and good communication with families. DSST: Grand Valley Ranch High School is an excellent option for students searching for a challenging and supportive high school environment.
DSST: Byers High School
150 South Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80209
DSST: Byers High School is a public charter school in the Denver County 1 School District, serving grades 9-12. The school has a great academic reputation, with students performing above average on standardized tests and having an impressive 4-year high school graduation rate of 96%.
DSST: Byers High School offers a rigorous curriculum with various advanced placement courses to challenge students and help prepare them for college. With 13 AP courses available, students can explore a wide range of subjects and prepare for the rigors of college coursework.
The school has received an overall rating of 8/10 from GreatSchools.org and has a highly experienced faculty. All teachers have at least three years of experience, and 92% of full-time teachers are certified. The school also has a part-time nurse, psychologist, and social worker.
Parents are pleased with DSST: Byers High School’s safe and welcoming environment, terming it as structured, not strict. The school is an excellent choice for students interested in a liberal arts program approach.
Denver School Of The Arts
7111 Montview Boulevard, Denver, CO 80220
Denver School of the Arts is a public arts magnet school in the Denver County 1 School District. With a student body of 1,097, the school serves students in grades 6-12 who are passionate about the arts.
The school's curriculum focuses on intensive studies in creative writing, dance, band, orchestra, vocal music, stagecraft and design, theater, video cinema, and visual arts while offering a rigorous academic program. This unique combination of arts education and academics has earned the school a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org.
The school's standardized test scores are above average, with an SAT participation rate of 93% and an average score of 1,155. Furthermore, 55% of students participate in Advanced Placement courses, with 4 AP courses available. The school has a 98% four-year graduation rate, reflecting the success of its programs in preparing students for graduation and beyond.
The student-teacher ratio of 23:1. However, all teachers have three years of experience and are certified. Additionally, the school has a full-time nurse and psychologist.
Parents widely regard Denver School of The Arts as one of the leading schools in Lincoln Park due to its renowned academic excellence and diverse arts program. One reviewer proudly notes that their daughter had an incredibly positive experience within the vocal department – a testament to DSA's dedication to providing students with quality education beyond expectations.
Finding The Right School For Your Child
Denver is home to a diverse and vibrant education scene, with many excellent public schools available to students. The ten schools we have highlighted each offer unique programs and approaches to education, but they all share a commitment to academic excellence and student success.
Whether you are interested in STEM fields, the arts, or a well-rounded liberal arts education, there is a school in Denver that can meet your needs. Remember that the right school should cater to your child’s unique interests.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com.