Best High Schools In California

High Schools in California

Looking for one of the best high schools in California can be quite difficult. Thus most parents or guardians are cautious while preparing their children; they want their children to get the best education. There are several high schools in California, but do they all meet the necessary standards for every student? As a result, in this article, you will learn about the best high schools in California in order to provide your kids with the best education.

Top 5 Best High Schools In California

  • Whitney High School
  • California Academy of Mathematics and Science
  • Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy
  • Preuss School UCSD
  • Lowell High School
  • University High School (Fresno)
  • Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy
  • Lynbrook High School

Best High Schools In California

1. Whitney High School

Whitney High School is a public high school in Cerritos, California, that serves students in grades 7 through 12. It is located inside the ABC Unified School District. Whitney High School is rated first in the state of California and 14th overall by US News Report 2022.

Whitney High School’s curriculum offers 15 Advanced Placement classes and 35 Honors courses. However, students are automatically in honors courses except for math and physical education. Whitney High is a CIF Division IV school with the Wildcat as its mascot. WHS had no school athletics in its early years, and it gradually introduced modest sports teams in subsequent years.

Whitney High School is a member of the newly established 605 leagues, Division 3 of the CIF Southern Section. Whitney’s admission is chosen through required placement tests. Those in elementary school are automatically assessed. However, students in middle or high school must complete an extra written exam.

2. California Academy of Mathematics and Science

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) is a science and mathematics-focused public magnet high school in Carson, California, United States. It has the fourth-highest California API scores in the state and is recognized among the best high schools in California.

CAMS shares numerous facilities with California State University and Dominguez Hills, including the gymnasium, the student union, the tennis courts, the pool, the library, and parking lots. The California Academy of Mathematics and Science is rated second in the state. Advanced Placement courses and examinations are available to students.

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science has a 100% AP participation rate. The overall minority enrollment is 93%, with 44% economically challenged. Long Beach Unified School District has 15 high schools, including the California Academy of Mathematics and Science.

The school has a lot of extracurricular activities such as, Sports includes (volleyball, soccer, and tennis), a Dance Team, a Key Club, a PI (Pacific Islander) Club, a Chess Club, a Math Club, M.E.Ch.A., a Test Code (formerly Computer Science Club), Pinoy Club, Black Student Alliance (BSA), Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), National Honor Society (NHS), Future Medical Professionals, Associated Student Body (ASB), Rocket Team, MATE Underwater ROV Competition (ROV) Team, National Societies (Health Occupations Students of America).

3. Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy 

Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy is a middle college high school located on the Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) campus in Wilmington, California. It is now administered by the Los Angeles Unified School District and is a member of the Middle College National Consortium.

Students in the intermediate/dual enrollment program study college courses at LAHC alongside high school studies and may earn credits toward one or more associate degrees. First- and second-year students are automatically enrolled in “contract education” courses, which are college courses that are only available to VHTPA students.

Students in their junior year are permitted to self-enroll in college courses alongside LAHC first-year students. Advanced Placement courses and examinations are available to students. Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy has a 100% AP participation rate. The overall minority enrolment is 98%, with 65% of pupils coming from low-income families.

VHTPA is a California Distinguished School with full accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools, confirming that “an institution meets or exceeds specified requirements and is pursuing its stated goals.”

In 2008, the academy got the National Blue Ribbon, and in 2015, it received the California Gold Ribbon. According to US News & World Report, VHTPA is ranked first among 181 high schools in LAUSD, fourth in the Los Angeles Metro Area, and eighth among 1,675 high schools in California. The academy has a perfect graduation rate.

4. Preuss School UCSD

Preuss School UCSD  is a coeducational charter day school that prepares students for college. The Preuss School’s mission is to help low-income kids prepare for college. Many Preuss School graduates are the first in their families to enroll in a four-year institution.

The Preuss School depends on a solid support structure to encourage student progress. This system includes an academic advisor, student mentors, and free tutoring from UC—San Diego students. Students may engage in sports and community service initiatives in addition to academics.

Preuss offers an intense college preparation curriculum to teach low-income kids between the sixth and twelfth grades to improve their historical under-representation on University of California campuses. Admission requirements include the absence of a college education by the student’s principal guardian and eligibility for federal free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Act.

The tuition-free school has received six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School and a California Distinguished School, and has been named one of the top charter schools in America by The Center of Education Reform and the top charter school in California by the University of Southern California Center for Educational Governance.

Preuss was ranked among the top 50 American high schools by Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report between 2007 and 2012. Preuss is also known for sending a high proportion of its graduates (96%) to four-year colleges. Preuss is recognized among the best high schools in California.

5. Lowell High School

Lowell High School, the first co-ed high school in the United States, has played an important role in molding the dreams of its young citizens via a strong educational curriculum since 1831. Lowell High School is dedicated to ensuring its students’ success. It has bolstered its conventional educational curriculum with new offers such as the Latin Lyceum.

This exam school provides a classical education to intellectually outstanding pupils and other specialty schools. Lowell High School continues to hire the best instructors, incorporate cutting-edge technology into its classrooms, and improve its buildings and athletic facilities. There are also hundreds of clubs and championship sports teams at the institution.

Lowell High School has a tough curriculum focusing on honors and AP subjects such as chemistry, mathematics, and economics. Lowell High School also provides several foreign languages, and its sports teams have won more city titles than any other San Francisco public high school. Among the notable Lowell graduates are three Nobel laureates and noted gorilla researcher Dian Fossey.

6. University High School (Fresno)

University High School (Fresno) is a free public charter school on the Fresno State University campus. The school provides a college preparatory curriculum in a welcoming atmosphere with small class sizes and free tutoring. They enroll roughly 130 new freshmen who are chosen via a lottery system.

University High School is a liberal arts high school with a unique curriculum that includes biology, Latin, and musicianship classes. Juniors and seniors enroll in courses at the university, which is located on the campus of California State University-Fresno, and frequently gain college credit.

To be eligible, applicants must have at least two years of musical experience, and every UHS student is obliged to engage in the band, orchestra, or chorus for all four years. Extracurricular activities include chess and sailing clubs, as well as basketball, soccer, and cricket. University High School features teams that compete in competitions such as the Academic Decathlon and the Science Olympiad.

Academic decathlon, Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, and Speech and Debate are examples of academic teams. The school has won the Small School United States Academic Decathlon Online National Competition ten times.

7. Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy

Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA) is a prominent early college high school in unincorporated Santa Clara County, California, near Gilroy,[ on the southern border of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a California Distinguished School, GECA is routinely ranked among the top high schools in California and within the top 1% of the best high schools in the United States. 

GECA is an early college school founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that requires its students to receive their college-preparatory education through a combination of honors high school classes, Advanced Placement (AP), and college classes offered through a partnership with Gavilan College, allowing most GECA students to graduate high school with an associate’s degree. GECA students have been named National Merit Scholars and U.S. Presidential Scholars regularly.

8. Lynbrook High School

Lynbrook High School is a public, four-year co-educational high school in the West San Jose area of San Jose, California, USA. It was formed in 1965. Lynbrook, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino High School, Fremont High School, and Homestead High School are all part of the Fremont Union High School District. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has accredited it.

Lynbrook is rated as one of the best high schools in California. According to Newsweek, Lynbrook is the 29th best high school in the United States. According to another survey of public and private high schools by Business Insider and Niche, the students’ average SAT/ACT scores were placed seventh in the U.S.

Separately, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 17th in the U.S. for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). More of its alums are admitted into the University of California (U.C.) system than any other Fremont Union High School District school.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Whitney High School Known For?

The school is known for exceptional programs in counseling, alternative education, staff development, and labor relations.

Is Oxford Academy Hard To Get Into?

Students must take the Oxford Academy admission test, which is given to 6th, 7th, and 8th grades each year, in order to enroll. After then, the school’s entry doors will be closed. Oxford only has a few spots available each year, and competition is strong.

Is Preuss School A Good School?

Preuss Academy UCSD is a well-regarded public charter school in LA, JOLLA, California. It serves 848 students in grades 6-12 and has a student-teacher ratio of 20 to 1. According to state test results, 55% of children are competent in arithmetic, and 71% are proficient in reading.


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