High schools serve a number of important functions. Most obviously, they provide educational opportunities for their students. They also prepare students for college or the workforce, offer interesting and engaging extracurricular activities, and field competitive sports teams. A great high school will likely excel in several of these areas.
The state of Minnesota has no shortage of excellent high schools, and we’re here to tell you about the cream of the crop. These schools offer exceptional experiences for their students and prepare them for successful futures. Here are the best public and parochial high schools in Minnesota.
The Best Minnesota Public High Schools
Minnesota’s public education system is ranked above average in most measures by the National Center for Education Statistics. The state has a history of providing excellent public education. Based on a variety of factors, including academics, student-teacher ratio, athletics, and community support, here are some of the top Minnesota public high schools.
Math & Science Academy — Woodbury
The Math & Science Academy (MSA) benefits from being a smaller school, home to fewer than 500 high school students. Students receive personalized attention, and it shows in their higher-than-average SAT and ACT scores.
MSA is a public charter school that, befitting its name, is focused on offering rigorous math and science education. The Dragons also compete in sports ranging from badminton to volleyball. Extracurricular options include opportunities as diverse as board game design and a green thumb society.
Minnetonka Senior High School — Minnetonka
Minnetonka Senior High is well-known for both its academics and athletics. The school boasts an impressive 76% participation rate in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Academic offerings include VANTAGE, a nationally known business and entrepreneurial training program.
The Skippers also have a number of highly successful athletic teams, including the 2023 Minnesota state hockey champs. The athletic department has won state championships in a wide variety of sports, from basketball to lacrosse to football and more.
Wayzata High School — Plymouth
The largest high school in Minnesota, Wayzata High School has appeared multiple times on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top 500 schools in America. In 2018, Wayzata was named an AP Honor Roll school. It received this recognition for its efforts to expand access to AP classes to a wide variety of students.
Athletic excellence also abounds at Wayzata. This is perhaps best exemplified by the performance of its Dance and Synchronized Swimming teams. The Trojans recently won 10 straight state championships in Synchronized Swimming. They have also won multiple state titles in Dance.
Eagen Senior High School — Eagen
Eagen High School is particularly well known for its theater and music programs. The school regularly wins awards for both and has been recognized by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Eagen has an AP participation rate of 34%, and its students score highly in reading and math proficiency.
The Wildcats compete in over 30 sports, and the school offers an array of extracurricular activities. STEM is a priority at the school, evidenced by clubs dedicated to robotics, Women in STEM, and science.
Mahtomedi Senior High School — Mahtomedi
Known for academics, Mahtomedi High boasts high graduation rates and participation rates in AP classes. Nearly 72% of Mahtomedi students took at least one AP exam, and 97% of students graduate. The school also boasts math, science, and reading test scores that are well above state averages.
The Zephyrs compete in 28 different varsity sports, and the school offers more than 40 different clubs and activities. The boys’ hockey team won a state championship in 2023, giving the school seven state titles in just the past five years.
More Great Minnesota Public Schools
- Nova Classical Academy Upper School – Saint Paul
- Orono Senior High School – Long Lake
- Edina Senior High School – Edina
The Best Minnesota Parochial High Schools
In addition to its great public schools, Minnesota is also home to a number of impressive parochial schools. Here are some of the top parochial high schools in the state.
St John’s Preparatory School — Collegeville
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that St. John’s is located in Collegeville, as it provides students with the preparation they need for their next step in life. The school boasts an impressive student-teacher ratio of 11:1, allowing it to offer students plenty of hands-on guidance.
All students at St. John’s Prep are required to participate in at least one activity. The school boasts an impressive 100% acceptance rate for students who apply to college.
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School — Faribault
Shattuck-St. Mary’s (SSM) invites its students to participate in what it calls Centers of Excellence. Students can choose from programs focused on BioScience, Engineering, Music, and more. This allows students to choose personal areas of study that interest them most.
SSM is also well known for athletic excellence. Its hockey program is elite level and has sent 42 players to the NHL and 45 players to the Canadian and U.S. national teams. The figure skating program also features coaching from former Olympic figure skaters.
Lourdes High School — Rochester
Nearly 98% of graduates from Lourdes High School go on to attend a four-year college. The school offers AP classes, as well as college credits for some of its courses (in partnership with nearby Saint Mary’s University). Lourdes has a student-teacher ratio of 13:1, lower than the state average.
The Eagles have a tradition of athletic excellence as well. The school has won 47 state championships in various sports, including soccer and football, over the past 50 years.
More Great Minnesota Parochial Schools
- Providence Academy – Plymouth
- DeLaSalle High School – Minneapolis
- Trinity School at River Ridge – Eagen
The Best High School in Minnesota for You
Whether you’re in the process of choosing a high school or thinking about moving to a new school district, it’s important to do your research. While all of the above-listed schools are high-quality institutions, picking a school can be very personal. Some schools just fit certain students better than others. The above information should be considered a starting point. Keep an open mind, and hopefully, you’ll find the best high school in Minnesota for you or your student!
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