The toughest Denver public schools to get into

Posted at 8:30 AM, Apr 13, 2017

DENVER – The school choice system in Denver has garnered national attention in recent weeks, earning both recognition by the Bookings Institute and criticism (and praise) from U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

But despite the national consideration and debate, the system appears to be working well. A recent study shows a high-rate of participation among families in the district. The same study says about 3 in 4 students are matched to their first-choice schools, and nearly all students got one of their top five choices.

Here are the choice match percentages from this year:
1st choice – 85%
1st or 2nd choice – 93%
1st, 2nd or 3rd choice – 95%
Sixth grade:
1st choice – 81%
1st or 2nd choice – 92%
1st, 2nd or 3rd choice – 95%
9th grade:
1st choice – 79%
1st or 2nd choice – 93%
1st, 2nd or 3rd choice – 96%

All students are guaranteed placement at their neighborhood school, or in a group of schools if they reside in an enrollment zone, but Denver parents can opt out of sending kids to their default neighborhood school in favor of a school of their choice.

Key findings in the 2015 study show there are now 20 percent more projected openings at the city’s best schools than in 2012. But what are the district’s toughest schools to get into? Denver Public Schools provided Denver7 a breakdown of some of the most in-demand schools in the district.

Here are the schools with more number of Denver students listing them as top choice for grades K, 6 and 9:
Number    School Name                              Number First Choices

1                William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School             143
2                Escalante-Biggs Academy                       143
3                Swigert International School                    133
4                Park Hill School                                        123
5                Highline Academy Northeast                    108
6                KIPP Montbello Elementary School          101
7                Brown International Academy                   91
8                Odyssey School of Denver                        90
9                Carson Elementary School                        90
10              Denver Language School                          84
6th Grade         
Number    School Name                              Number First Choices

1                McAuliffe International School                   507
2                DSST: Green Valley Ranch MS                348
3                Skinner Middle School                              220
4                DSST: Byers Middle School                     203
5                DSST: College View Middle School         185
6                DSST: Stapleton Middle School               163
7                Kunsmiller Creative Arts MS                     152
8                Denver School of the Arts MS                   144
9                STRIVE Prep - Westwood                         140
10              Bear Valley MS                                          125
9th Grade         
Number    School Name                              Number First Choices

1                East High School                                       788
2                South High School                                     283
3                Northfield High School                               225
4                STRIVE Prep - SMART Academy             169
5                DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School   166
6                CEC Middle College of Denver                  164
7                Thomas Jefferson High School                  161
8                North High School                                      143
9                Martin Luther King Jr. Early College           128
10              George Washington High School                119

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