Special Report

The Best Schools in America's 50 Largest Cities

Source: St. Stephen's Episcopal School

11. Austin area
> Best school: St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 6:1
> Enrollment: 696

The best school in the Austin, Texas, area is St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. The private, episcopal boarding school is for students in grades 6-12. It has just under 700 students, and a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio. This low ratio allows students to get more attention and stay more engaged than students in larger class sizes, benefitting their education.

St. Stephen’s received an overall A+ grade from school data platform Niche. It also earned top marks for its academics, teachers, and college prep. The school reported a 100% graduation rate.

Source: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

12. Jacksonville area
> Best school: Stanton College Preparatory
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
> Enrollment: 1,575

Stanton College Preparatory ranks as the top school in the Jacksonville, Florida, area. Unlike nearly every other school that ranks as the best in its area, Stanton College Prep is a public school. Most of the other top schools are private institutions.

Stanton College Preparatory received an overall A+ grade from education data platform Niche, and A+ grades for its academics, diversity, and college prep as well. It has an average graduation rate of 99% for its 12th grade class, and 95% of students are proficient in reading.

Source: manonallard / E+ via Getty Images

13. Columbus area
> Best school: The Columbus Academy
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 8:1
> Enrollment: 1,085

The Columbus, Ohio, area’s top school is The Columbus Academy in Gahanna. The private school welcomes students from pre-K through 12th grade. Though it has over 1,000 students enrolled, its student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1 — less than half the 17:1 ratio at the typical American school.

The Columbus Academy received an A+ overall grade from school data platform Niche. It also received top overall marks for its academics and its college prep. After graduating, 100% of students go onto a four-year college.

Source: Berezko / Getty Images

14. San Francisco area
> Best school: The Nueva School
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 4:1
> Enrollment: 605

The best school in the San Francisco area is The Nueva School. The school, located in Hillsborough just south of the city, earned A+ grades for its academics, teachers, clubs and activities, and college prep from school data platform Niche.

The Nueva School has one of the smallest student-to-teacher ratios of any school in the country, at just four students per teacher. Nationwide, the typical teacher has 17 students in a given class. This small class size can help students stay engaged and get more individualized attention.

Source: Courtesy of Trinity Valley School

15. Fort Worth, TX
> Best school: Trinity Valley School
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 9:1
> Enrollment: 1,017

The Trinity Valley School ranks as the best school in Fort Worth, Texas. It earned an A+ grade from school data platform Niche. It boasts a 100% graduation rate, and its students reported an average SAT score of 1340 and an average ACT score of 30 — both well above average.

Trinity Valley School is a private school for children from pre-K through 12th grade. Its annual tuition is nearly $25,000. The school has just over 1,000 students and a student-teacher ratio of 9:1, well below the nationwide average.

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