May 15, 2012 5:13 PM by Andy Koen
Both of the local high schools ranked among the 10 Best in Colorado by US News and World Report are charter schools. The online news magazine lists the Classical Academy and the Vanguard School as the 5th and 6th best schools in the state respectively in their May 7 rankings.
The report compares 21,776 American high schools in three areas: overall academic achievement, achievement among minority students and college preparedness.
College prep is one area where the Classical Academy in Academy District 20 shines. Some 76% of TCA students take Advanced Placement classes. Interim President Kevin Collins also credits the character of his students for the school's success.
"Character is an important piece of this, and I think that's an important part of TCA," Collins said. "For example, last month we had a community service day and all of the secondary school had the kids out doing community service in the community."
The Vanguard School in Cheyenne Mountain District 12 consisently scores near the top on state assessment such as the C-SAP and T-CAP. All of Vanguard's students are proficient in reading and 83 are percent are proficient in math. The scores are just as high among minority students.
Principal Colin Mullaney says he is just as proud to see how his students carry the mindset of excellence outside of the classroom.
"We're here to help them grow in character and their own sense of excellence," Mullaney said. "So, they take that out of our school wherever they go."
Other local high schools to make the top 40 are as follows:
#13. Cheyenne Mountain
#22. James Irwin Charter Academy
#24. Air Academy High School
#29. Lewis-Palmer High School
#32. Pueblo East High School
#37. Doherty High School
#38. Palmer High School