The best schools in Jacksonville, FL
Wade Skinner
Wade Skinner

Best High Schools in Jacksonville, FL 🏫 | Top Jacksonville High Schools + Elementary Schools [Public & Private]

Are you thinking about moving to Jacksonville with children? Then you'll likely want to know about the best schools in the city. Jacksonville offers a great place to raise a family with great schools and an affordable cost of living.

The Duval County School District oversees the 200+ public elementary, middle, and high schools in Jacksonville, FL.

However, like any urban area, some Jacksonville, FL schools are better than others. So, before sending your child to a particular institution, it helps to do some research. First, you should understand what to look for in a neighborhood school to know whether it meets your standards.

A few things you should keep an eye on are the student improvement, test scores, classroom sizes, college readiness, AP participation, and graduation rate. You should also see if they have any programs for gifted students, extra-curricular activities, or noteworthy programs in athletics, art, music, or STEM. Also, be sure to check out their school report card and see if they've received any awards, such as Blue Ribbon awards, state awards, or awards from non-profits.

So, now that you understand what to keep an eye on, here is a list of the best Jacksonville high schools, elementary schools, and private schools.

The Best High Schools in Jacksonville, FL

Residents will find a good mix of traditional neighborhood schools, magnet schools, charter schools and alternative schools in Jacksonville, Florida, each offering unique strengths and weaknesses. At least five Jacksonville high schools rank within the top 50 high schools in Florida, and more than a dozen others rank within the top 500. Here is a list of the best high schools in Jacksonville, FL.

Stanton College Preparatory School | A Challenging Jacksonville Magnet School with High Academic Standards

Stanton College Preparatory School is generally regarded as the best high school in Jacksonville, FL. Located in the Mid-Westside area of Jacksonville, Stanton College Prep is one of the most exclusive magnet schools in Jacksonville, Florida, and offers a range of AP and IB classes. Due to its rigorous academic standards, Stanton College Prep is one of the best high schools in Jacksonville, FL, and ranks among the top high schools in the US and Florida.

According to US News and World Report, it's the 5th best high school in the state and 55th best in the country, with a 99% graduation rate and 100% AP participation rate. In 2014, it was even ranked by the Washington Post as the 4th most challenging high school in the South. In addition to its high academic standards, Stanton College Prep also offers more than 80 clubs and extracurricular activities ranging from the Chinese Club to the Future Business Leaders of America. So if you're in search of top-rated schools in Jacksonville, FL, with high standards and a range of options, Stanton College Prep is a smart choice.

Paxon School for Advanced Studies | A Respected Jacksonville High School with an Award-Winning Math and Science Program

The Paxon School for Advanced Studies is another one of the best high schools in Jacksonville, FL. Situated in West Jacksonville, Paxon is one of four IB senior high schools in Duval County. It's also notable for its exceptional academic programs, and according to the College Board's AP Report, it has one of the top science and math programs in the state.

After Stanton, the Paxon School is the second-best high school in Jacksonville, FL, but also ranks 19th in the state of Florida and 189th in the country. It also maintains a graduation rate of 99% and AP participation rate of 100% with a student-teach ratio of 20:1.

Paxon also has a strong athletic program, and fans of Jacksonville High School football should watch the Golden Eagles take on their main rivals, the Stanton College Blue Devils. While their programs may not be for everyone, Paxon School is your best option if you want high-level STEM programs and a well-respected faculty.

Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts | One of the Best Jacksonville Pub

Another one of the top Jacksonville high schools is the Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts. The 6-12 magnet school is located in the Hogans Creek neighborhood across the street from UF Health Shands Hospital and offers a unique focus on medicine.

According to Florida's statewide grading system, it's an "A" school, and it’s also nationally recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education. According to US News and World Report, it ranks 3rd out of the best high schools in Jacksonville, FL, 20th in the state of Florida, and 200th in the country. In 2015, the Washington Post also named it the 7th most challenging high school in America.

Darnell Cookman serves just over 300 students and offers a student-teacher ratio of 19:1. It also has an 83% minority enrollment rate and a graduation rate of 99%. So, if you're looking for exceptional Jacksonville Florida high schools that will prepare you for the future, Darnell-Cookman is a great choice.

Douglas Anderson School for the Arts | A Highly Acclaimed Jacksonville High School Offering Great Art Programs

The Douglas Anderson School for the Arts also tops the list of best high schools in Jacksonville, Florida. Named after a local civil rights activist, Douglas Anderson is located in the San Marco neighborhood of south Jacksonville and offers a unique focus on the performing, visual, and language arts.

The school has been recognized with numerous awards including Blue Ribbon Designation by the US Department of Education and acknowledgments from International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

It ranks as the fourth best Jacksonville high school, 30th in the state of Florida, and 345th in the United States. It boasts an 85% AP participation rate and a 100% graduation rate with a 20:1 student-teacher ratio. Plus it offers some of the best programs in the South for disciplines such as dance, music, theater, creative writing, and film. As a result, those who want good schools in Jacksonville, Florida, to pursue an art-based education will feel right at home at Douglas Anderson.

Best Elementary Schools in Jacksonville

In addition to award-winning high schools, there are also many great elementary schools in Jacksonville, FL. There are 97 elementary schools in the Duval County school system, serving 47,864 students. But with so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right school. So here is a look at a few of the top Jacksonville elementary schools

Jacksonville Beach Elementary School | An Award-Winning Jacksonville Elementary School with Impressive Test Scores

Jacksonville Beach is the top elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida. Located in the coastal suburb of Jacksonville Beach, the school is dedicated to providing students with challenging and enriching education to develop their minds to the fullest potential. JBE has not only been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence but it's also an MSA-certified magnet school and an A+ school, according to the Florida Department of Education.

In fact, 100% of students test at or above proficient in reading and math, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1. As a result, the school is not only regarded as the top elementary school in Jacksonville, it also ranks #1 in the state of Florida.

  • District: Duval County Public Schools
  • Grades: K-5
  • Enrollment: 598
  • Student to teacher ratio: 17:1
  • Address: 315 10Th St S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
  • School Report Card

Chets Creek Elementary School | A Welcoming Elementary School in Jacksonville with a Rigorous Yet Fun Curriculum

Chests Creek also ranks among the top Jacksonville schools for elementary-aged students. The A+ rated neighborhood school is located in southeastern Jacksonville and offers a standards-based curriculum designed to prepare students for the future.

The school features a 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and 81% of students test at or above proficiency in math, while 75% do so in reading. It's also recognized as the fourth-best elementary school in Duval County and 106th in the state of Florida.

Students and parents love Chets Creek Elementary because it offers a fun and interactive curriculum in a challenging yet supportive environment that equips kids with a lifelong love of learning.

Hendricks Avenue Elementary School | A Community Oriented Jacksonville Elementary School with a Supportive Staff

Hendricks Avenue Elementary is another one of the top Jacksonville public schools serving grades K-5. Located in the Miramar neighborhood, the A+-rated school offers exciting academic programs, a supportive staff, and an active PTA. It ranks very highly regarding test scores; 74% of students test at or above proficiency in reading, while 72% do so in math. As a result, it ranks within the top 500 elementary schools in the state of Florida. However, what makes Hendricks Ave special is its supportive community, and the school hosts regular events for both students and families, including fall fundraisers, culture and arts programs, family fitness nights, and so much more.

Best Private Schools in Jacksonville

While there are many exceptional public elementary and high schools in Jacksonville, FL, some parents prefer they receive a private school education. Here are a few of the top Jacksonville private schools

  • The Bolles School: The Bolles School has a great reputation as one of the top private high schools in Jacksonville, FL. The college preparatory and boarding school serves students in Pre-K through 12 and offers a 12:1 student-teacher ratio and world-class art, academic, and athletic programs.
  • St. Johns Country Day School: St. Johns Country Day School is another one of the top private K-12 schools in Jacksonville, boasting a 100% graduation rate and 6:1 student-teacher ratio. It's located in the nearby suburb of Orange Park but offers one of the best private educations in the state of Florida, with affordable tuition and respected athletic programs.
  • Providence School: The Providence School is well regarded as one of the top Jacksonville private high schools for a Christian education, with 45 athletic teams, 31 fine arts programs, 19 AP courses, and a graduation rate of 100%.

Jacksonville Schools FAQ

What Is the Best School District in Jacksonville?

The Duval County public school system is the main district serving Jacksonville. Although some residents claim that St. Johns and Clay Counties (which offer some public high schools in Jacksonville, Florida) are actually better.

Does Jacksonville Have Good Schools?

Like any major city, the quality of the schools in Jacksonville can vary considerably depending on where you are. But it's home to some phenomenal institutions, and the best high schools in Jacksonville, FL, also rank among the top in the state.

How Many Schools in Jacksonville?

Duval County has 205 schools serving 128,948 students. This doesn't count private schools or schools in other districts that serve the area.

Thinking about relocating to the Jacksonville area? When you do, call our trusted expert Jacksonville movers to make your relocation simple and stress-free. Call (904) 730-1545 for a free, custom moving quote.

Wade Skinner
Wade Skinner
Hi my name is Wade Skinner, President and co-owner of Skinner Moving & Storage. As a family owned and operated business and a 5th generation Jacksonville family, we believe every customer should be treated like family. We live our Mission Statement and Core Values. This is the Skinner difference!

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