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Colorado is known for boasting one of the healthiest and well-educated populations in the United States, owing to the state’s physical majestic and ripe opportunity for outdoor activity, and this vigor is reflected in the performance of its best public school districts.

The top district in the state is Jefferson County School District No. R-1, presiding over 100 elementary, middle, and high schools in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Students in the district best the state averages in the CMAS, PSAT, and SAT tests.

Placing second is Douglas County School District RE-1, the third largest district in the state of Colorado. The quality of the district’s schools is shown through the high (and continually rising) 90.8% graduation rate.

Colorado’s #3 school district is its largest: Denver County School District 1, serving the schools of the city of Denver. The fast-growing and steadily improving school district reduced its drop-out rate from 11.1% to 4.5% from 2006-2014.

Cherry Creek School District No. 5 is the Centennial State’s #4 district.  Known for attracting high teaching talent, over 79% of the district’s faculty have 10+ years of experience.   In 2018, 14 of the district’s schools were named John Irwin Schools of Excellence.

Closing out the top five is Boulder Valley No. Re2, centered near Boulder and serving that community, along with several others in the area. Due its frequent placing as the top district in the state academically, BVSD has earned a reputation that transcends state borders.

Top School Districts in Colorado, 2019

RankSchool DistrictCountyCityState
1Jefferson County School District No. R-1Jefferson CountyGoldenColorado
2Douglas County School District No. Re 1Douglas CountyCastle RockColorado
3School District No. 1 in the county of Denver and State of CDenver CountyDenverColorado
4Cherry Creek School District No. 5 in the county of ArapahArapahoe CountyGreenwood VillageColorado
5Boulder Valley School District No. Re2Boulder CountyBoulderColorado
6Mancos School District Re-6Montezuma CountyMancosColorado
7School District No. Re-20 Weldon ValleyMorgan CountyWeldonaColorado
8Littleton School District No. 6 in the county of ArapahoeArapahoe CountyLittletonColorado
9Academy School District No. 20 in the county of El Paso anEl Paso CountyColorado SpringsColorado
10Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12 in the county of EEl Paso CountyColorado SpringsColorado
11Steamboat Springs School District No. Re 2Routt CountySteamboat SpringsColorado
12Poudre School District R-1Larimer CountyFort CollinsColorado
13Lewis-Palmer Consolidated School District No. 38 in the coEl Paso CountyMonumentColorado
14Telluride School District No. R-1San Miguel CountyTellurideColorado
15Limon School District No. Re 4JLincoln CountyLimonColorado
16Adams 12 Five Star SchoolsAdams CountyThorntonColorado
17St. Vrain Valley School District No. Re1JBoulder CountyLongmontColorado
18Aspen School District No. 1 in the county of Pitkin and StaPitkin CountyAspenColorado
19East Grand School District No. 2Grand CountyGranbyColorado
20Platte Canyon School District No. 1 of the county of ParkPark CountyBaileyColorado
21Summit School District No. Re 1Summit CountyFriscoColorado
22Weld County School District No. Re-7Weld CountyKerseyColorado
23Weld County Reorganized School District No. Re-4Weld CountyWindsorColorado
24Meeker School District Re1Rio Blanco CountyMeekerColorado
25Ridgway School District No. R-2 of the county of Ouray aOuray CountyRidgwayColorado

Methodology

The following contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, teacher quality, school funding, student to teacher ratio, standardized test results (reading and math; the percentage of students scoring at or above state proficiency level). Data from a total of 10,728 school districts had sufficient values for the variables above.

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