Cities Journal

13 Best High Schools In Texas

YES Prep, Southwest Campus in Houston, Texas
Photo credit: Neighborhood Centers / Flickr

There are over 10,000 public, charter, and private schools in Texas that offer education to over 5 million students each year, according to the Texas Education Agency, but only a handful of these schools can claim the top spots for educational excellence in the state.

The best schools often receive recognition from major publications like “U.S. News & World Report,” and also offer students who place highly on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.

Texas is an ethnically diverse state, and many of its top schools are places where disadvantaged kids can get an education that prepares them for tough classes at the college level. Here are the 13 best high schools in the Lone Star State.

1. YES Prep, Southwest Campus in Houston, Texas

YES stands for “Youth Engaged in Service,” and students at the Southwest Campus in Houston are part of a citywide system of open-enrollment high schools. The school system was placed at the top of a list of Houston schools by the “Houston Chronicle” and was even the recipient of million-dollar grants from celebrity Oprah Winfrey.

With nearly 700 students in attendance, the school caters to minority students and helps disadvantaged youth gain a strong foothold in high school so as to ensure future success in work, higher education, and life. The school provides a variety of activities for students that build character such as a Senior Scholarship FUNdraiser and an annual Spring Trip.

The school also offers a number of ways for parents to get involved with their child’s education. For example, the school offers a computer class for parents so that it’s easier to stay in touch with YES Prep teachers and the school about a child’s education.

With a significant Hispanic population, the school ensures that families who come from a Spanish-speaking household have the opportunity to fully engage with the school through Family Notes written in Spanish and English.

In addition, students with an athletic focus may find success at YES Prep as the boy’s basketball program achieved status as 25-AA Co-Champions in a tie with fellow school, Hitchcock High School. A few years later, the middle school team placed second overall during the championship phase.

Serving students from grades 6 through 12, the school sits in a large suburban area where students may access local parks and open areas for relaxing their minds between their demanding classroom work. Houston is a sprawling city with several suburbs and outlying communities. The Southwest Campus of YES Prep sits just north of Beltway 8 on the south side of the Greater Houston Area.

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