U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of Best High Schools on Tuesday, April 27. Coming in at #6 on the 2021 list, Wilton High School has once again taken a spot in the top 10 list of Connecticut high schools, rising five spots from last year.

It’s also the highest rank the magazine has given the school since 2016, when WHS claimed the #7 spot. It was #10 in 2018; #9 in 2019; and #11 in 2020. (The 2017 rankings were an exception when the school was not ranked because it missed a preliminary assessment qualification).

This year, Wilton was ranked by the magazine at #6 out of 212 Connecticut high schools. Nationally, WHS was ranked at #446, a rise of almost 100 points since last year when the school came in at #537; of the national STEM schools, the magazine put Wilton at #122, the second consecutive year the school trended up (from #137 in 2020). Wilton was ranked at #5 in the Bridgeport Metro Area High Schools.

According to a press release from U.S. News, the 2021 rankings list rated more schools across America than ever before, evaluating more than 17,800 public high schools on how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college.

The complete U.S. News overview of Wilton High School is available online and includes an assessment of WHS graduation rates, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, college readiness index, student diversity, test scores and more.

The other schools in Wilton’s DRG (district reference group) also made appearances on the Best High Schools list in the following order:

Darien High School:  #1 in CT (was #3); #201 in U.S. (was #214)
Weston High School:  # 3 in CT (was #2); #354 in U.S. (was #202)
Staples High School (Westport):  #4 in CT (was #4), #380 in U.S. (was #279)
New Canaan:  #5 in CT (was #5); #387 in U.S. (was #282)
Wilton:  #6 in CT (was #11), #446 in U.S. (was #537)
Ridgefield:  #8 in CT (was #9); #469 in U.S. (was #516)
Redding/Joel Barlow:  #16 in CT (was #15), #709 in U.S. (was #696)

“Families can use the Best High Schools rankings to see how schools compare at the national, state and local level on factors like graduation rates and college readiness,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “The rankings also provide insight into academic performance among underserved groups.”

Key findings:

  • “Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia is No. 1 in the national ranking of Best High Schools (for the second year in a row), as well as among magnet schools. BASIS Chandler in Arizona is at the top of the list for charter schools, and High Technology High School in New Jersey is the No. 1 STEM school.”
  • “The top 10 schools in the national ranking represent 10 different states, demonstrating that high-quality public high schools can be found throughout the U.S.”
  • “Among all ranked schools, 35.3% are in rural or remote areas and 24.6% are in cities. Among just the top 5% of ranked schools, 7.2% are in rural or remote areas and 42.3% are in cities.”
  • The top 100 high schools represent 29 states and the District of Columbia.

The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The data used in this edition is from the 2018-2019 academic school year, and therefore was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Best High Schools rankings are available exclusively on USNews.com and include data on a variety of factors, such as enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price lunch programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessments. U.S. News worked with RTI International, a global research firm, to implement the comprehensive ranking methodology.

See the full rankings online.