Below are profiles featuring the top seven high schools in the Denver Metropolitan Area. In order to be featured as a Top High School, the school must have a 2010 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.


Arapahoe High School

Littleton School District NO. 6 in the County of Arapahoe


Arapahoe High School provides students with strong academics and many opportunities outside of the classroom. The strong AP program administered 789 exams with a 73 percent passing rate in a recent year. The school has an ongoing relationship with the Arapaho Tribal Nation, who endorsed the name of the school and logo. In addition, the school works closely with Native Americans who are often on campus and in classrooms.


A variable schedule simulates college scheduling and not all classes meet every day. This provides students with more course selections, time during the day to use resource centers, and opportunities to get extra help during open periods. The Study Center provides students who are struggling with extra help and one-on-one guidance.


The school has a wide selection of sports teams and the girl’s golf team recently won a state championship. The journalism program has received national recognition for both its courses and publications (yearbook and newspaper).


"We are very proud of our authentic 'Warrior Spirit' as we participate and compete with the top high schools in Colorado in athletics, activities, performing arts, visual arts and academic achievement," said Principal Ron Booth on the school website. "All teachers at Arapahoe have subject expertise and hold degrees in the discipline in which they teach."




Cherry Creek High School

Cherry Creek School District NO. 5 in the County of Arapahoe


When newcomers to the area are looking to purchase a house, they often specifically target real estate in the Cherry Creek High School area for the school. The school provides a college preparatory education and sends 95 percent of the students to a two or four-year college after graduation. Cherry Creek offers rigorous academics and a full range of AP class, as well as the only Linear Algebra class in the state. The facilities at the school resemble a college campus and the Library Tech Center has won several awards for its facilities and programs.


Students build character and gain leadership opportunities through the Adventure Program in the Physical Education program. In addition, the school has over 25 sports teams boasting 185 state championships. Academic teams also take their share of honors, including a nationally ranked Speech and Debate Team. Cherry Creek offers over 93 popular extracurricular club to choose from, including Juggling/Unicycling, Gaming, and Cooking. Other popular clubs include DECA, various honor societies, and service clubs.


“The school is well-respected both in the community and beyond. Many visitors come here throughout the year to both learn from us and about us prior to purchasing a home,” Ryan Silva, Principal.



D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School

Jefferson County School District NO. R-1


D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School provides a rigorous liberal arts education for seventh to twelve graders. Students are required to take five years of science, three years of foreign languages, and the Saxon math program integrates Algebra and Geometry. Students attend six periods of class and during the seventh period have an opportunity for intervention, study hall, or meeting with an adviser.


Admission to the option school is through lottery and all students performing at grade-level are eligible. While the school is a public high school, oversight of the school and staff is through a steering committee instead of the school district. The parents are very active at the school through volunteering, and in a recent school year, no student required intervention after state testing. Additionally, the school has had the highest ACT scores in Colorado for the past nine years.


Students have many opportunities outside the classroom. The drama program excels and even has an improvisation comedy troupe. The sports teams have a winning reputation and have taken home 2nd place in several state championships in recent years.


We have an environment that enforces behavior expectations that makes the learning the primary focus and helps prevent distractions in the classroom,” said Terry Elliott, Principal.



Evergreen High School

Jefferson County School District NO. R-1


When visitors come to Evergreen High School they often comment on the friendly atmosphere. The school focuses on providing an individualized education and students customize their program to meet their personal goals. Students can select from over 121 courses that include 25 AP/honors courses and many unique electives. The school uses the National Model Comprehensive Guidance Curriculum to help each succeed to the best of their abilities.


Over 70 percent of the student body participates in an activity and at a recent football game, the starting linebacker spent the halftime playing trumpet in the Marching Band. There are many clubs on campus, including Common Ground, Peace Jam, Fencing, Mock Trial, and Environmental Science Club. Students who don’t find a club suiting their interest can start their own. Athletics are important at the school and over 18 different sports are played on campus.


“We’re innovative, creative, and rigorous in all things academics, athletics, and social. Our school is a reflection of the small mountain community we live in that is also in close proximity to Denver. Our students have varied interests and goals and we strive to help them meet every one of them,” said Matthew Walsh, Principal.



Heritage High School

Littleton School District NO. 6 in the County of Arapahoe


At Heritage High School, the faculty and staff work to make sure that each student is not just a number, but a kid with a name, face, history and needs. By taking a personalized approach to education, the school has been able to help students contribute to the school community and achieve personal success.


The school works to remove barriers to AP courses and in a recent school year, the school administered 900 exams to over 400 kids with over 43 percent of the seniors taking an AP test.

Giving back to the community is instilled into students and the school has been raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the past five years. Each year during “Make a Difference” week the students raise $100,000 to help support a school in Africa. Throughout the year, students blog with other students at the African school and teams work on the school over the summer.


The study body is very involved on campus and can select from over 27 clubs, including the Harry Potter Club that has over 100 student members. Athletics are also very ingrained in school culture and over 700 kids are on at least one sports team.


“The culture of this school and this community is to help kids get to college and be successful,” said Ken Moritz, Principal.



Ralston Valley Senior High School

Jefferson County School District NO. R-1


Ralston Valley Senior High School, which opened in 2000, credits its success to providing family values and a sense of community at their school. As a comprehensive neighborhood high school without magnet or specialized programs, the school focuses on core academics and providing a well-rounded education for its students.


There are numerous AP and honors courses available, and 88 percent of the students go on to attend college. Teachers at the school are highly quality (69 percent hold advanced degrees!) and hold an average of 12 years classroom experience.


Students also succeed outside of the classroom. The athletic program has been ranked the top athletic program in the district for 9 of the past 10 years. Art projects created by Ralston Valley Senior High students can be found in competitions and displayed in congress office buildings. Music programs are also top notch and many students qualify for state in vocal and instrumental competitions.


“We are unique situation where a good ‘old fashioned’ neighborhood high school has amazing success across the board. We try really hard to be really good at all the things that we do,” said Jim Ellis, Principal.



Rock Canyon High School

Douglas County School District NO. RE 1


In the past six years, Rock Canyon High has doubled the size of its student body while still providing an exceptional education to each student. Since the school opened eight years ago, it has been home to many National Merit Scholars and Finalists. In a recent school year, over 40 percent of the students took an AP course and students had a high pass rate on the exam. Clubs and athletics are also important on campus and the school holds seven state titles.


Since Rock Canyon High is located in an upper-middle class community, the school focuses on giving back to those who are less fortunate. Each year the school raises money to sponsor a child in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and last year broke the national record, raising $41,000 in seven days to grant six different wishes. The Key Club sponsors a school in Costa Rica and travels to provide labor and bring supplies to the community each year. Each student is required to complete 20 hours of service and many of the clubs on campus integrate service into their activities.


“We want to graduate a well balanced student so we emphasize academics, athletics and activities. We say that there are 3 parts to a student and we focus on developing all parts,” said Principal Kim Rauh.



Please note that only schools in the following Colorado counties were considered for this article: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Park.