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U.S. News and World Report: Idaho’s best high schools are mostly in the Treasure Valley



Treasure Valley schools dominated U.S. News and World Report’s latest Idaho high school rankings top-ten list. 

The standout schools included an even mix of traditional and non-traditional schools. Most were in urban locations, with the exception of Rockland Public School in Southeast Idaho.  

U.S. News and World Report’s Top Ten Idaho High Schools

  1. North Star Charter, Eagle
  2. Coeur d’Alene Charter
  3. Sage International School, Boise
  4. Renaissance High, Meridian
  5. Boise High
  6. Timberline High, Boise
  7. McCall-Donnelly High
  8. Rockland Public School
  9. Century High, Pocatello
  10. Thomas Jefferson Charter, Caldwell

The rankings are released annually, and are based on a half-dozen criteria that assess academic performance and college readiness, including: 

  • State exam scores
  • Four-year graduation rates
  • Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam participation and scores

The rankings also take into account underserved students’ — including those who are Black, Hispanic, or from low-income households — performance on state exams. 

U.S. News and World Report evaluated 227 Idaho high schools to create its ranking list. Of those, 36 (or 16%) were charters, and four (or less than 2%) were magnets. These non-traditional schools are overrepresented among the best schools, comprising nine of the state’s top 20 schools, or 45%. 

The same is true for schools nationwide. For all ranked public schools in the U.S., 11.5% were charters and 4.4% were magnets. Yet they claimed 13 of the top 20 spots, or 65% percent. 

Learn more about the different types of schools in Idaho here

To see the full results for Idaho and find out where your school landed, click here

Read on to see a breakdown of the top non-traditional and traditional schools in the state. 

Top ten non-traditional public schools (charter and magnet schools)

Six of the schools on this list are in the Treasure Valley, and only one is in a rural location (North Idaho STEM Charter Academy). The schools also tend to be smaller, with an average enrollment of about 250 students.

School / Location Idaho ranking Grad rate College readiness index* Enrollment
North Star Charter / Eagle #1 95% 88.8 171
Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy / Coeur d’Alene #2 91% 69.7 231
Sage International School / Boise #3 83% 72.9 254
Renaissance High / Meridian #4 99% 27.7 658
Thomas Jefferson Charter / Caldwell #10 83% 29.8 104
Xavier Charter / Twin Falls #12 97% 33.9 134
North Idaho Stem Charter Academy / Rathdrum #13 100% NA 106
Compass Academy / Idaho Falls #18 93% 25 481
Meridian Technical Charter High / Meridian #19 100% NA 192
Victory Charter / Nampa #21 100% NA 125

*Based on 12th-grade student participation and performance on state-required tests and AP/IB exams. Passing an exam is worth three times more than taking an exam.

Traditional public schools

Four schools on this list are in the Treasure Valley, three in North Idaho, and two in Eastern Idaho. Rockland Public School is the only rural outlier. Enrollment is higher at these schools than the non-traditional standouts, with an average of about 1,200 students. 

School / Location Idaho/National rank Grad rate College readiness score Enrollment
Boise Senior High / Boise #5  90% 59 1,588
Timberline High / Boise #6 89% 55.3 1,398
McCall-Donnelly High / McCall #7 89% 39.6 429
Rockland Public School / Rockland #8 100% 35 63
Century High / Pocatello  #9 92% 46 1,092
Moscow High / Moscow #11 82% 34.7 769
Twin Falls High / Twin Falls #14 84% 26.3 1,286
Eagle High / Eagle #15 93% 21.2 1,802
Coeur d’Alene High / Coeur d’Alene #16 93% 22.9 1,548
Centennial High / Boise #17 85% 26.4 1,931

*Based on 12th-grade student participation and performance on state-required tests and AP/IB exams. Passing an exam is worth three times more than taking an exam.

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