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 recently released its annual list of “Best High Schools.” Located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego, the school is also ranked the 5th best high school in California, the 9th best charter school in the country and 39th overall in the nation.
“For more than 15 years, The Preuss School has offered students a pathway to college and the opportunity to transform their lives and the lives of those around them,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are proud to be recognized as one of the nation’s best high schools.”
To compile the list, U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 19,000 eligible public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, a comprehensive rankings methodology was used, which was based on two key principles: that a great high school must serve all students well, not just those who will go to college, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators. A three-step process was then used to determine the Best High Schools.
While Preuss was ranked 5th in California, it was the only school in the top 5 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. At 97 percent, Preuss tied with another school for the highest minority population of the top 5 schools.
“Our graduates are consistently accepted to four-year colleges and universities at a rate of more than 90 percent and almost 100 percent go on to some form of higher education,” said Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD. “Our students’ success is a testament not only to their hard work and dedication, but to the educational model that Preuss provides.”
This latest ranking comes on the heels of other recent accolades. The Washington Post named Preuss one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” ranking the school the most challenging high school in California and 21st in the nation. The California Department of Education also named Preuss a 2015 California Gold Ribbon School, and four seniors were awarded prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarships, which cover all college costs through graduation. Preuss has been home to 35 Gates Millennium Scholars in the last 12 years.
“We are incredibly proud of everything our students have accomplished and are honored by all the recognition we have received,” added Barton.
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.
For more information on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” visit usnews.com. For more information on The Preuss School and how you can help support longer learning time at Preuss, click here.