The Preuss School UCSD—a charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college—has been ranked the best high school in San Diego County by U.S. News & World Report, which just released its annual list of “Best High Schools.” Preuss was also ranked among the top five high schools in the State of California and among the top 15 charter high schools nationwide. Located on the campus of the University of California San Diego, The Preuss School also received a Gold Award designation, based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates and college preparation.
“We are proud to have The Preuss School recognized as one of the nation’s best high schools,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Since Preuss opened its doors 18 years ago, it has offered a pathway to college for students fromunderrepresentedbackgrounds, transforming the lives of our young scholars, their families and our community.”
The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 22,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, a comprehensive rankings methodology was used to determine the nation’s “Best High Schools,” comprising a four-step process. The first three steps looked at how well schools served all of their students, using as benchmarks performance on math and reading portions of state proficiency tests and graduation rates. For those schools that made it past the first three steps, a fourth step assessed the degree to which students were prepared for college-level work.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our students as well as the educational model Preuss provides,” said Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD.
Ranked 5th in the state, Preuss was the only school in the top 10 that requires that all prospective students must be from a low-income family and have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college. Among the top 10 California high schools, Preuss also had the highest number—95 percent—of students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, The Preuss School was ranked 15th among charter schools nationwide and was ranked one of the top 100 high schools nationally (#54).
The Preuss School is chartered by the San Diego Unified School District and operated by UC San Diego. More than 800 students come from throughout San Diego County to participate in a single-track college preparatory curriculum and take advantage of an array of academic supports including tutoring, mentoring and counseling. A key tenet of the Preuss model is its commitment to longer learning time. Preuss students are in school longer each day and for 18 more days a year than the typical student in California, which adds up to almost an entire extra academic year over the course of their middle and high school careers. The cost of these extra days of instruction is not covered by the state and is funded, in part, by private support.