Below are profiles featuring the top 10 high schools in the Baltimore 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.



Atholton High School

Howard County Public Schools School District


Students at Atholton High School have the opportunity to take academically challenging courses while participating in a wide variety of after-school activities. Parents are very involved on campus through many organizations, such as the drama booster club and the active PTA. The school offers a wide variety of AP courses and many students participate in the program. Students can participate in the school's exciting culinary science program to learn about the food service industry and gain real-world experience in the profession.


The drama program is a point of pride on campus and many students participate in the classes and productions. Each year students design costumes, create sets, work the lighting, and act in two productions for the school and community. Sports teams are important to school culture and have won many state championships over the years in a variety of sports. The JROTC has an excellent reputation on campus and within the community, and receiving high praise from parents and students alike.


The mission statement details that Atholton High School will, “Build life-long learners, Challenge students with rigors and relevant instruction, nurture students in a safe environment and value respect, excellence, accountability, consideration, and honesty.”



Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Baltimore City Public Schools School District


Baltimore Polytechnic Institute has been providing a STEM-based education long before STEM because a popular educational concept. The school, which opened in 1883, is a magnet school with admission open to all Baltimore City residents who meet specific test scores and academic criteria. Each student who comes to the school is on a college preparatory track and knows their ultimate destination is college when they first set foot on campus. In addition to the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, the school provides a balanced education through top caliber other courses such as English, Social Studies, and PE.


The school provides real-world experience to seniors through practicums in both science and engineering. Engineering students work in groups to design a special piece of appliance for a special needs child, and the science projects are completed individually with guidance from mentors at local colleges.


The school boasts the largest number of athletic teams in the area and offers all sports played on a varsity level. The school also offers club sports, such rugby. The marching band has top reputation and holds many awards. Students can also become a member of many different clubs, such as the Environmental Club, Robotics, and S.H.O.P (Students Helping Other People).


“We have a long tradition of excellence and our motto is “Poly Pride Deep Inside,” said Matthew Woolson, Interim Director.




Centennial High School

Howard County Public Schools School District


Centennial High is known around the country by college admissions officers for producing top notch students. A large percentage of students sign up for AP and honors courses and the school boosts a high pass rate on the AP exams.


The school is also the only school in the country to offer a complete Humanities program for advanced students that focuses on a holistic approach to English and Social Studies. For example, during a middle age study, the humanities students will learn about the topic through multiple subject areas to give them an overall picture of the relevance of the information.


According to the administration, the school has the largest number of special interest clubs of any school in the country, and students who do not find a club that suits them can make a proposal for a new club. Many of the clubs are also related to learning about diversity and cultural issues. Some of these clubs include the Black Student Achiever program, Alpha Achievers for African American, and Latin Advancement Committee.


Athletic teams are also popular, especially volleyball and basketball. Performing arts are a priority at the school; the program boasts a nationally known dance instructor, and the drama program puts on several productions each year. Many musical groups, including the band, choir, and symphonic bands, have received state rankings and honors.


“We really endorse our many groups and things that we offer the students on campus,” said Dr. Perkins, Principal.



Eastern Technical High School

Baltimore County Public Schools School District


Eastern Technical High School prides itself on preparing its students for college and various future careers. Admission to this top-tier magnet school is selective, and all students going through an application process. Students enjoy coming to class, which is evident through the school’s daily attendance rate of over 97 percent!


The school offers ten diverse majors to its students: Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Business Management and Finance, Construction Management, Culinary Arts, Engineering Careers, Information Technology, Law Related Careers, Interactive Media Production, and the Teacher Academy of Maryland. During their freshmen year, students explore all ten areas and then select a path to take at the beginning of their sophomore year. Core academic classes at the school are all offered in either gifted, honors, or AP level.


Eastern Technical High students thrive outside of the classroom as well. Sports teams have a successful records; Girls soccer, football, and baseball have all done well recent years. Academic teams, such as the Model UN, have also brought home many trophies. Students have also had success at academic competitions, such as the Community College of Baltimore County Crime Scene and the Baltimore Chapter American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE Competition.


The website states that the mission of Eastern Technical is to “provide a first-rate education to all students. Each student will be poised for success in college and the workplace.”



Glenelg High School

Howard County Public Schools School District  


Parent involvement is a cornerstone for the success at Glenelg High School. Parents also provide support and resources to the school through a very active PSTA, the Black Student Family and Community Network and parent clubs for band, drama, and choir. The school has a high graduation rate and an impressive dropout rate of 1.4 percent.

Academics are the focus of the school, which offers the Gifted and Talented Mentor program, AP courses, Engineering Programs, and Independent Research Program. The performing arts programs, including Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Vocal Music, and Dance programs, have won many honors and have an excellent reputation on a local and national level. In the 51 year history of the school, Glenelg has been crowned state champion in various sports 38 times and has won 14 regional titles since 2008.

The school website states that Glenelg is, “Guided by our mission statement, "To work together as a community to achieve excellence in all we do." Each student at Glenelg is encouraged to excel academically and to strive for continuous improvement. As a community of parents, students, and teachers we are working together to achieve common goals while providing the support and resources necessary for student success.”


Hereford High School

Baltimore County Public Schools School District


Walking through the halls of Herford High, you will notice many students wearing Hereford gear from head to toe. Football games resemble an episode of the popular TV show Friday Night Lights, in which the whole town shows up to cheer on the team. That said, academics are Hereford High's priority. Over half the students take AP English and the school administered 900 AP tests in a recent school year. The school is also the only school in Baltimore County to offer an Agriculture Science program, which provide students a unique, real-world experience.


Hereford High's faculty is dedicated to every student's success. The full-time college counselor on campus helps each student find the right college for their needs, walks through the application process, and helps students find financial aid. A group of faculty members, including the principal, recently accompanied a group of students on a college tour out of state.


The athletic teams have one of the best records in the state. Girl's basketball especially fosters school support and spirit – they almost always sell out. The drama program has taken home many honors and their productions generally sell out. Fine arts courses are also a bright spot at the school, and afterschool clubs, such as the chess and robotics teams, are popular among students.


“We have at the nicest kids in the world and our parents are very supportive. It’s a fun place to be and they make my job easy,” said John W. Bereska, Principal.



River Hill High School

Howard County Public Schools School District 


Students at River Hill get the benefits of a comprehensive high school while also getting a jump start on their future by participating in specialized career academies. At the beginning of their sophomore year, students can enroll in one of 10 academies: Architecture and Engineering, Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurship, Culinary Arts and Hotel Management, Education, Energy, Power and Transportation, Human Resources, Multimedia Arts, and Information Technology. Students in the academies take courses that prepare them for an eventual career in this area and also gain hands on experiences through internships or research projects.


River Hill boasts a very involved parent community -- the PSTA membership is almost as large as the total student body! Additionally, the school has been recognized for its commitment to character education and green living.


Students are accustomed to success and hold many awards, from the Future Business Leaders in America often being top in the state to the school’s music program being recognized as a Grammy Signature School three times. Athletics are also familiar with winning, and hold 32 state championships, including recent titles in Girls and Boys Cross Country, Basketball, Girls Soccer, Football, and Boys Soccer.


Severna Park High School

Anne Arundel County Public Schools School District


Severna Park High School provides a comprehensive education for students by providing a strong academic foundation. A unique feature of Severna Park High is that each student has an advisory period on Friday, where various topics are discussed, which provides every student with an opportunity to have an adult mentor.


The school is competitive in many sports and has won recent state championships in swimming, field hockey, and lacrosse. The band and orchestra have a top reputation and are popular on campus. To help fund the trips to performances and competition, the musical groups have support from their own booster clubs. The drama program is excellent on campus and performs numerous productions every year, including recent shows of Phantom of the Opera and Romeo and Juliet. For the past 18 years, the school has put on the Rock-n-Roll Revival, which is a popular event for both the school and local community.


The Severna Park High School website states, “The mission of Severna Park High School, the educational and cultural focal point of the community, is to empower all students to think critically, communicate and solve problems effectively and become lifelong learners.”



Towson High Law & Public Policy

Baltimore County Public Schools School District  


When students are asked what they like most about Towson High Law & Public Policy, they often say that they appreciate their teachers and value what they learn from them. The school is a magnet program that includes 1407 students. Students apply to attend the magnet and are accepted based on their performance in middle school; The application process includes an essay and relevant coursework.


The curriculum at the school focuses on law and public policy, which includes teaching skills necessary for success in the legal profession, such as public speaking and writing. Seniors have the option of participating in an internship program, which provides the opportunity to network with potential future employers and mentors. The local legal community has provided opportunities for the students in the internship program to take on concrete responsibility and complete exciting projects.


Students in the magnet program can participate in a number of programs offered at Towson High. The school offers competitive athletic teams, a variety of clubs, and performing arts programs.


“Our students are very special and so is our faculty. Our teachers show up early and leave late. For many it is not a job, but their love. They enjoy working with teenagers and it shows,” said Dr. Jan Barranger, Principal.



Western School of Technology & Environmental Science

Baltimore County Public Schools School District


Western School of Technology & Environmental Science focuses on hands-on learning opportunities, and every day the students are able to gain practice working with both academic and real-world concepts.


Students at the magnet school select a concentration from a career and technology program, which prepares them to go to either four-year college, community college, technical school or directly into the work force. Programs offered include automotive Service Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, Graphic/Print Technology, Health Science Technology, Business, Information Technology, Mechanical and Construction/Plumbing. Students headed to a four-year university who want to focus on science can also participate in the Environmental Science program.


To keep a balanced atmosphere on campus, students can play on a variety of athletic teams at both the Varsity and Junior Varsity Level. Musically-inclined students can sing in the chorus or play an instrument in the band. There is a variety of active clubs on campus, including the Robotics Club, It’s Academic Team, Green Club, Envirothon Team.


“Our aim is to ensure success in pursuing a career goal and/or higher education through hands-on experience in student-selected areas of concentration,” said Richard Jester, Princ



Please note that only schools in the following Maryland counties were considered for this article: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne's.