Top High Schools in the Miami, FL Metro (page 2)

Top High Schools in the Miami, FL Metro

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Updated on Aug 23, 2011


Boca Raton Community High School

Palm Beach School District


While Boca Raton Community High School has a student body close to 3,000, the school is a close community and students often comment that it has a “small school feel.” Over 73 countries are represented in the diverse student body and 80 percent of the students come to the magnet school from outside the attendance zone.


The school has state-of-the-art facilities including an Olympic sized swimming pool, astro turf football field and science center. Because the school accepts a diverse range of students, mainstream students are paired with special education students as buddies. In addition to a full range of AP and honors courses, students can apply to the specialized STEM and ACE programs.


The school is also known for fostering student leadership and the student government has received top honors. The drama program, ROTC, and band all have exceptional reputations and often take home top honors at competitions. Athletics are important to school culture and the school has one of the top sports programs in Palm Beach County.


"We want our students to be involved in many things, explore their passions and develop their talent. Our job is to make sure that they do it with the greatest degree of excellence," said Principal Geoffrey McKee.





City/Pembroke Pines Charter High School

Broward School District


The City of Pembroke Pines Charter High School provides an “academic village” atmosphere for students heading to college after graduation. The school benefits from having a regional public library and a satellite campus on the Florida International University campus. The school does not select a valedictorian or salutatorian, but recognizes 20 students as Summa Cum Laud to encourage the kids to be both well-rounded and academically successful.


The school benefits from high parent participation and each parent is required to volunteer at the school for at least 30 hours each year. With a focus on college preparation, the school does not offer vocational courses, but students can select from many unique electives including debate, sign language and forensic science.


In addition to the traditional high school sports of football, basketball and baseball, students can play lacrosse and water polo. One of the strengths of the school is the performing arts program, especially the drama department and the band.


“At Pembroke Pines Charter School we educate our students and prepare them for their future while trying to make them global citizens,” said Peter Bayer, Principal.



College Academy

Broward School District


Students at the College Academy, which is located on the college campus of Broward Community College, can earn an Associates of Arts degree while being a part of an accepting and supportive community. Eleventh and twelve graders are accepted to the dual-enrollment magnet high school based on test scores, and start at the school at the beginning of their junior year.


The students take college courses and sit alongside college students in the classroom. Students work with a high school guidance counselor to ensure they are on track for graduation requirements and a Broward Community College counselor helps navigate through the college registration and classes. Instead of having to figure out the college environment after graduation, the students learn to be proactive in their education, working with professors, attending office hours, and registering for classes with the support of the College Academy staff.


While the school does have some traditional high school activities, such as the National Honor Society and a prom, the school is primarily focused on academics. Students focused on extracurricular activities and sports teams might be better served at a traditional high school over College Academy.


“I often get thank you notes from students after they have left the academy letting me know how prepared they were for college and how fortunate they feel to have been able to attend College Academy,” said Principal Nell Sapp.



Coral Reef Senior High School

Dade School District


Since students come to Coral Reef Senior High School from 20 different middle schools, the school focuses on helping students build relationships. During lunch, all 3,000 students eat at the same time and students can also meet with clubs or get extra help. The school reports having few discipline problems, and the hallways are almost always calm and quiet, even during transition periods.


The administration makes an effort to help freshmen successfully transition to the school through the week long Ready for the Reef program. During the orientation, students learn their way around the school, work on study skills, and build relationships with each other.


To pursue interests and prepare for a career, students attend one of six academics during their four years at the school: International Studies/International Baccalaureate; Business/Finance; Agriscience/Engineering Technology; Leisure Medicine/Health Sciences; Visual/Performing Arts; and Legal/Public Affairs.


“There is a culture of learning at our school and it’s cool to be smart at Coral Reef,” said Cynthia O’Hair, Science Department Chair. “Kids don’t try to hide the fact that they are successful at school because the people around them are also successful.”



Cypress Bay High School

Broward School District


Visitors to the Cypress Bay High School often notice that trophies for academic championships sit alongside the many athletic trophies in the school trophy case. The wide variety of awards illustrates how the culture of the school focuses on success and competition in all areas. The school is focused on college preparation and 98 percent of the students head to a two or four-year college after high school.


The students rise to the high expectations of the staff and are eager to sign up for challenging courses. Recently, the school administered over 2600 AP tests in the spring and over 86 percent of the students passed the exam. The foreign language program offers a wide range of languages and has received many honors. The math department at the school also has an excellent reputation and has a100 percent pass rate on the AP exams.


In addition to ITS reputation for academic success, the school has a competitive athletics program and has taken home many championships, especially in soccer and football.


“This is a place of extreme academic rigor and a spirit of competitiveness. The school is successful in all areas. We have a tradition of excellence that the students want to uphold,” said Marianelle Estripeaut, assistant principal at Cypress Bay High School.



Design & Architectural Senior High School

Dade School District


In addition to a standard high school education, Students at the Design & Architectural Senior High School (DASH) get intensive, hands-on experience in a design field. Students apply to the magnet school and must audition or have a portfolio review before being accepted. The school's diverse population represents over 32 countries and 100% of their graduates head to college, often with sizeable scholarships.


Because of the school's location in the heart of the design district, the school partners with the local arts community and many seniors are able to intern at local businesses.


At the beginning of the tenth grade, students select a specialty in Architecture/Interior Design, Industrial Design, Visual Communications/Web Design, Entertainment Technology (Film), or Fashion Design. In addition, students take specialty fine arts courses each year and several AP classes.


Students in class from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the school offers dual enrollment options with nearby colleges. While DASH does not have sports teams, students can participate in clubs and attend prom at the school.


“We nurture each student and really care about what happens to them when they leave the school, “said Dr. Stacey Mancuso. “DASH is truly a school like no other.”


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