Top High Schools in the Boston, MA Metro (page 2)
Below are profiles featuring the top 20 high schools in the Boston Metropolitan Area. In order to be featured as a Top High School, the school must have a 2010 Education.com TestRating of 10 out of 10. The TestRating compares a school's standardized test scores for a given year with scores from other schools in the same state. Find your school and see how it compares.
Acton-Boxborough School District
During the school day, students at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School are given a significant amount of freedom and return the respect from the administration by using it wisely. Students can access the three student centers and cafeteria commons throughout the day and during the 47 minute lunch period. Juniors and seniors also have additional time during the day to get help from students, study with peers, or engage in extracurricular activities; you won't find an Acton-Boxborough student wasting their free time!
The Acton-Boxborough staff is highly experienced and qualified. 84% hold advanced degrees and the average amount of classroom experience among the faculty is 12 years. The curriculum focuses on college preparation, and 98% of the students head to a post-secondary school after graduation. The drama program at the school is popular and performs several productions during the school year. The marching band is also known as being one of the best in the state of Massachusetts, while academic teams, such as the Academic Decathlon, Science Team, and Speech and Debate Team, often take home awards.
“Our faculty is wonderfully dedicated,” said Principal Alixe Callen. “Despite somewhat larger student:teacher ratios than other area schools, our faculty spends extensive time with students, helping them with their coursework, advising them in extracurriculars, and getting to know the personally.”
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School provides a sequence of courses from sixth to twelfth grade that builds upon what the students learned the year before. True to its name, the school focuses on science and math, but works to provide a well-rounded education through a humanities program that intertwines world art, literature, and history. The school is a public charter school and admission is granted through a lottery system; however, residents of Clinton, Hudson, Marlborough, and Maynard counties are given preference.
In addition to high-level math and science courses, students must take three years of computer sciences. The school introduced an AP program in 2009 and already boasts a 92% pass rate for the exam. Several athletic teams and activity clubs are available to students, such as Chess, Arcade Gaming, and Scrabble. Through the Leaders for Tomorrow club, students can participate in both school and community service projects.
The mission statement of the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School is to “create an atmosphere of celebration of knowledge where children of all backgrounds and abilities excel in all subjects, especially in math, science and technology, empowering them to succeed in the workplace in our modern high-tech world.”
Belmont School District
Belmont High School focuses on academics while also exposing students to the arts, providing a well-rounded high school education. Community service is a priority and each student must volunteer for 10 hours per year to be promoted to the next grade. The school provides a unique and different schedule for its students, which is based on 15 different “modules” that are 25 minutes long, with some courses lasting two and three modules.
Over 1/3 of the student body enrolls in at least one AP class from the numerous courses available. The AP art program offers several unique courses and is a source of pride at the school. Students can elect to enroll in an independent study during their sophomore, junior, and senior year to study a topic of interest. The performing arts program (the music program in particular) earns rave reviews and has taken home many awards.
The high school website details, “Belmont High School, in partnership with our community, provides students with outstanding educational opportunities for them to reach their intellectual, creative, personal, civic, and social potentials.”
Boston School District
Boston Latin, the oldest school in America, has been providing students with a challenging, classic education since 1635. Admission to the public school, which serves grades 7 through 12, is through an application process based on test scores, and enrollment is open only to Boston city residents. The school benefits greatly from the donations of the Boston Latin School Association (BLSA), which is a private charity of alumnae that contribute to the school.
Four years of Latin, in addition to an array of challenging core classes, is required to graduate. The library provides an extensive number of books and technology is integrated throughout the school. Students can take interesting classes such as photography, music, and art in the school's new art wing, and according to the school website, the school offers more sports teams than other schools in Boston. The Step Squad, Gospel Choir, and Talented and Gifted Club are also among the popular activities available for students.
Boston Latin School's mission states that the school “seeks to ground its students in a contemporary, classical education as preparation for successful college studies, responsible and engaged citizenship, and a rewarding life.”
Cohasset School District
With around 100 students in each graduating class, the teachers and staff at Cohasset Middle/High School get to know each student well. This close-knit community helps each student succeed in the rigorous academic curriculum. Collaboration is stressed on the campus, both with teachers working together and students helping each other.
Since the school is unable to offer as many electives as larger high schools, the school partners with a virtual high school and students can select from a long list of electives to further individual interests. Cohasset High uses a block scheduling format with 85 minute classes on a rotating schedule, which allows for more in-depth studies and activities.
Athletic teams compete against other small schools and have taken home eight state championships over the past eight years in various sports including, tennis, wrestling, lacrosse, baseball, and basketball. The school is also proud of the drama program, which is competitive at the state level.
“One of the strengths of the school is that while our students are motivated and competitive, the environment is very collaborative and supportive of each other,” said Joel Antolini, Principal of Cohasset Middle/High School.
Concord-Carlisle School District
The principals of Commitment, Citizenship, Harmony, and Scholarship are instilled at Concord Carlisle High School from the time a student steps on campus as freshmen to when they leave with their diploma.
The school offers an extensive foreign language program, including courses in Latin and Chinese. Overseas educational trips or exchange opportunities are also available for students who wish to broaden their horizons and see other parts of the world. Seniors can elect to complete a senior project that is either individual or collaborative to present at the Senior Project Festival. The school offers an extensive number of AP courses and the program has a high student participation rate. Students also have the option of either transferring or taking courses at the Minuteman Science Technology High School that are not offered at Concord-Carlisle.
Athletics are competitive at the school and the football team, ski team, and boys soccer team have taken top honors in recent years. The school also offers many activities and clubs for students to choose from.
Dover-Sherborn School District
When seniors graduate from Dover-Sherborn High School, they often tell the headmaster that their favorite part of the school was the caring staff and the small class sizes that allowed for connections with other students and teachers.
These relationships are nurtured from the start; a freshmen transition program welcomes ninth graders to the school with tours of the school, orientation sessions, and homerooms throughout the year. The school also has a student ambassador program, which helps increase awareness and acceptance of each other and works to prevent social aggression issues on campus.
The school offers many athletic teams and is often competing for championships. Dover-Sherborn also offers several no-cut varsity teams each season, which ensures that every every can participate in a sport. Coaches also focus on making connections to the students to help nurture their abilities. There are many after school clubs to choose from, the drama department has a reputation for excellence. Academic teams, such as the Physics Olympics, Chess team and Math team, have taken top honors in competition.
“Our bright and talented faculty and students make this a great public high school,” said Denise Lonergan, Headmaster.
Groton-Dunstable School District
Visitors to Groton Dunstable Regional High School often comment about how calm and can-do attitude of the students they observe. The staff provides a lot of positive feedback to the students on an individual and student-body basis through assemblies and complimentary loudspeaker announcements. To help promote calmness and encourage students to slow down, students have a 12 minute break every day. The school operates on an 83 minute block schedule of four courses.
In order to graduate, each senior must undertake a senior project on a topic of interest that they apply to curriculum they have studied in class. Over 40% of the seniors also take advantage of a senior internship opportunity to explore career interests. The school encourages participation in athletic teams to promote confidence and releasing student energy through physical exercise. Other popular activities on campus are the band and a host of extracurricular clubs.
“The culture of the school is that student’s respect each other, respect themselves. That has translated into high achievement because they believe in themselves because we believe in them,” said Dr. Dr. Stephan Dlott, Interim Principal of Groton Dunstable Regional.
Hamilton-Wenham School District
When an accrediting board recently visited Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, the members commented on the outstanding relationship between the teachers and their students. To encourage the teachers-student relationship, students meet with the same home room teacher each morning throughout the four years that the school.
Each student must create a portfolio illustrating through writing and projects what they have learned during high school, which is then presented to faculty members. The portfolio graduation requirement helps students look at high school as a journey and not just something to complete. Writing is a core focus of the curriculum, and teachers work together to include writing in all subjects, including social students, science, and even math. The school offers a host of AP courses and is one of the few schools in Massachusetts to offer AP Spanish Literature.
Don't be fooled, though - it’s not all work at Hamilton-Wenham! Students can explore their interests through many extracurricular clubs. The academic teams including the College Bowl and History Fair participants often take top honors and the sports program the highest winning percentage in the league.
“Our students find their niche on campus and do really well,” said Principal Matt Fox. “We are a high achieving school because our students want to do well.”