St. Louis is a thriving midwestern city known for its barbeque, the Gateway Arch, its top music scene, and for its World Series winning baseball team. It is also well-known for its excellent public schools that consistently rate highly on a variety of lists.
If you are moving to St. Louis in the coming months and are in search of a top school for your child or teen, excellent options abound. Instead of starting your search by looking at individual schools, it can be helpful to first review details about the best school districts in St. Louis.
What’s unique about our method of ranking? When choosing the top St. Louis school districts, we utilize a different set of criteria than popular education websites — such as GreatSchools and Niche. We do this since there are limitations and biases with the ranking process for many of these websites. That’s why we’ve taken extra care to assemble an accurate list of the best school districts in St. Louis.
Prior to naming our selection of the best school districts in St. Louis, it is beneficial to learn about what criteria we used when creating our list:
- Test scores
- Classroom size
- Overall student improvement rates
- AP class participation rate
- Programs for gifted students
- Special awards (for the school or school district)
- School report card
- Noteworthy programs (i.e. STEM, athletics)
- Extracurricular activities
- College readiness measures
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Kirkwood School District | Kirkwood, MO
- Area served: Kirkwood and St. Louis County
- Enrollment: 6,072
- Number of schools: 9
Consistently rated as one of the best school districts in St. Louis, the Kirkwood School District consistently maintains high standards for all of its schools. Operating nine schools for students between preschool and high school, Kirkwood serves a largely suburban area. The district covers the city of Kirkwood and parts of St. Louis County.
Encompassed by the district, Kirkwood Sr. High School was named as the #6 best high school in all of St. Louis by U.S. News & World Report. This school boasts a graduation rate of 98 percent, with an impressive AP participation rate of 58 percent. Other highly rated schools in the district include North Kirkwood Middle School and F.P. Tillman Elementary School.
Kirkwood School District takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to developing its assessment systems. They offer over two hundred courses/subjects for students across all grade levels, making the learning experience all-encompassing and well-rounded.
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School District of Clayton | Clayton, MO
- Area served: Clayton
- Enrollment: 2,514
- Number of schools: 6
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1 to 11
Featuring some of the highest student proficiency ratings in the state, a Blue Ribbon Award, as well as the most diverse student body in the region, School District of Clayton is a top St. Louis school district. It is ranked in the top one percent of all Missouri school districts based on its high reading and math proficiency scores. In fact, out of all 557 districts in the state, School District of Clayton is ranked #2 based on these metrics.
School District of Clayton also has an exceptional graduation rate of 99 percent, which has steadily increased over the past few years. Some of the best schools in the district include Clayton High School (rated the #4 best high school in St. Louis by U.S. News & World Report), Wydown Middle School, and Glenridge Elementary School.
Ladue School District | St. Louis, MO
- Area served: St. Louis County
- Enrollment: 4,325
- Number of schools: 8
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1:13
Lauded for its outstanding test rankings, high proficiency levels across all subject areas, and superior graduation rate, the Ladue School District is easily one of the best St. Louis school districts.
Taking a detailed look at some of the district’s key data, it has a greater than 99 percent graduation rate among all of its students. Reading proficiency is at 72 percent, whereas math proficiency sits at 70 percent These figures put the district in the top one percent of all school districts in Missouri. Additionally, minority enrollment is 44 percent, which is significantly higher than the state average of 30 percent.
Schools that consistently perform the best in the Ladue School District include Reed Elementary School, Ladue Horton Watkins High School (ranked as the #2 best high school in St. Louis by U.S. News & World Report), and Ladue Fifth Grade Center.
Brentwood School District | Brentwood, MO
- Area served: Brentwood and St. Louis County
- Enrollment: 776
- Number of schools: 5
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1 to 10
Rated in the top five percent of all school districts in the state, Brentwood School District is yet another top school district in St. Louis.
What makes Brentwood School District so exceptional? Situated in the heart of St. Louis County, teachers, parents, and students have only good things to say about this district. It rates in the top five percent state districts for math, language arts, and reading proficiency (grades pre-k through 12). It is also in the top one percent of the most diverse school systems in Missouri. Best Brentwood School District schools include Brentwood High School and Mcgrath Elementary School.
St. Louis Public Schools | St. Louis, MO
- Area served: All of St. Louis
- Enrollment: 19,299
- Number of schools: 74
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1 to 12
When looking at the top elementary and high schools in St. Louis according to U.S. News & World Report, nearly all of the top spots are occupied by schools within the St. Louis Public Schools district.
Although the school district encompasses a large number of schools — including some that are not highly rated — its top-ranked schools excel in every possible way. According to a number of metrics and authoritative lists, Mallinckrodt A.G.I. Elementary School is the best school in the St. Louis Public Schools district. It rates highly for equity, test scores, and academic progress. Additionally, Metro High School maintains a 99 percent graduation rate, as well as a 96 percent ACT participation rate.
Rockwood R-VI School District | Eureka, MO
- Area served: Eureka and St. Louis County
- Enrollment: 19,822
- Number of schools: 31
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1 to 14
Rated as one of the best school districts in St. Louis — and in the entire state of Missouri — Rockwood R-VI School District offers a superior educational program at all of its schools. Several of its schools have been named as some of the best in St. Louis by U.S. News & World Report.
Across all of its 31 schools, Rockwood R-VI has an excellent graduation rate of 95 percent, putting it in the top 20 percent of all school districts in Missouri. The district’s math proficiency is in the top 10 percent of all Missouri schools, while its reading proficiency scores are in the top five percent. Overall, public schools within this district rank in the top 10 percent of all schools in the state. Top Rockwood R-VI schools include Lafayette Senior High School, Chesterfield Elementary School, and Kehrs Mill Elementary School.
Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District | Maplewood, MO
- Area served: Maplewood
- Enrollment: 1,419
- Number of schools: 4
- Teacher-to-student ratio: 1 to 11
From preschool to high school, the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District has earned a fantastic reputation for its academic record, test scores, extracurriculars, and other core stats.
Although comprised of just four schools, the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District is one of the best school districts in St. Louis. Its high school graduation rate is 97.7 percent. The district ranks in the top 20 percent of all Missouri school districts, and is in the top one percent in terms of diversity.
What are the best schools in this small district? Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School and Mrh Elementary School have some of the best scores and ratings in the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District.
St. Louis Schools FAQ
What is the best school district in St. Louis?
The best school district in St Louis is the Kirkwood School District.
What is the best high school in St. Louis?
The best high school in St. Louis is Metro Academic and Classical High School, which is part of the St. Louis Public Schools district.
Does St. Louis have good schools?
Yes, St. Louis has many highly-rated elementary, middle, and high schools.
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