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Best Schools in Columbus OH | 🏫Top Private Schools, High Schools, Elementary Schools

Last Updated on: 29th March 2023, 11:11 am

Serving as Ohio’s state capital, Columbus is a thriving city with a bustling downtown, numerous museums and attractions, and quiet suburban communities. Steadily growing in population size, individuals and families from around the state — and from around the nation — are moving to the area each year.

For families with school-aged children and teens, one of the most important factors in settling into a new city is finding the right school. Throughout the area, there are plenty of private and public schools in Columbus that rank highly on a number of characteristics.

Our methodology for ranking top Columbus schools is different from some of today’s popular websites, such as GreatSchools and Niche. Since there are limitations with the rating processes for most of these sites, we’ve taken extra steps to provide an unbiased list of the best schools in Columbus.

Before revealing our picks for the best Columbus private schools and the best Columbus public schools, there are certain factors that every parent should consider before choosing a school for their child or teen:

  • Overall student improvement rates (this figure often shows whether or not a school is equipped to help students who are disadvantaged or who have an Individual Education Plan.)
  • Test scores
  • Programs for gifted students
  • Classroom size
  • Extracurricular activities
  • College readiness measures
  • AP class participation rate
  • Noteworthy programs (i.e. STEM, athletics)
  • Special awards (for the school or school district)
  • School report card

Best High Schools in Columbus

Searching for the best high schools in Columbus? In the city, there are a number of outstanding places to send your teen. Choosing the right high school is one of the most important decisions a parent can make, as it sets teens up for college and work. High schools also offer the widest range of extracurriculars and academic programs, making it all the more necessary to thoroughly research every top option. Explore some of the best public Columbus high schools — including their core programs, key figures, and more.

Grandview Heights High School — Ranked as one of the best Columbus high schools by U.S. News & World Report

Ranked as the #2 best school in the Columbus Metro area by U.S. News & World Report (and the 11th best in Ohio), Grandview Heights High School excels in a number of key areas. Serving 343 students, this school has an outstanding reputation for academics. Boasting an AP participation rate of 78 percent, 64 percent of students go on to pass at least one AP test to earn college credit. Students wanting the opportunity to earn additional college credit before they graduate high school can do so through the College Credit Plus program. This program allows students in 7th through 12th grade to be enrolled in both high school and college work simultaneously.

Grandview Heights has a graduation rate of 97 percent, and is ranked in the top 10 percent of all Ohio schools for its overall test scores. Students consistently perform well above the state average on reading, science, and mathematics testing.

Individuals attending Grandview Heights have a number of ways to get involved. The school has a robust athletics program (home of the Grandview Heights Bobcats), as well as an exceptional performing arts program.

Columbus Alternative High School — One of the best magnet schools in Columbus with excellent AP and IB programs

For parents in search of the best magnet school in Columbus, look no further than Columbus Alternative High School. Designed for gifted students who are ready to tackle a rigorous curriculum, the school offers AP courses, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate Programme, and Individual International Baccalaureate Programme courses. Because of the design of this school’s curriculum, 100 percent of students will have completed at least one AP or IB course by graduation. Most take on far more than the required minimum, and earn dozens of hours of college credit hours before leaving high school.

Columbus Alternative has a graduation rate of 98.9 percent. Outside of its exceptional academics program, students are also required to participate in a co-curricular internship program. Available to juniors and seniors, students perform work for one of over 300 local organizations one day per week.

Because of its heavy emphasis on academics, the only extracurriculars available at this school are student-led organizations. There are no interscholastic sports teams at Columbus Alternative. However, for students wanting to play sports, they can do so at a neighboring high school.



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Arts & College Preparatory Academy — Top-ranking charter school in Columbus with an excellent performing arts program

Exploring options for Columbus charter schools? With an unparalleled 100 percent graduation rate, Arts & College Preparatory Academy is a marvelous choice. Open to both middle and high school students, this public charter school is acclaimed for its top-tier performing arts and academic programs. Students who have a passion for art and culture are encouraged to pursue their interests in vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theater, and visual art.

Traditional course work is also held to the highest standard, with numerous AP courses available to students. As its name suggests, the school is focused on preparing preteens and teens for college in every way possible.

Additionally, Arts & College Preparatory Academy students who qualify can apply for both free or reduced cost lunches.

Best Elementary Schools in Columbus

Looking for the best elementary schools in Columbus? The city features great public elementary schools that rank highly for a myriad of reasons. Between high test proficiency across all subjects, to excellence in serving low-income and underserved students, parents will find a wide selection of top-tier choices.

Hamilton Elementary School — Rated as one of the best elementary schools in Columbus by U.S. News & World Report

Praised by parents throughout the city, Hamilton Elementary School has an outstanding reputation for excellence. Earning top city and state distinctions from U.S. News & World Report, the school has a number of notable qualities. It is most known for its above average test scores and for how well low-income and underserved students perform at the school.

Proficiency test ratings are wonderful among students at Hamilton Elementary. In math, 87 percent of students test at or above expected proficiency. For reading, this figure is an equally impressive 83 percent. 45 teachers are on staff at the school, all of whom are full-time.

Alpine Elementary School — Top grade school for equity and high test scores

Rated highly for its equity among students of all socioeconomic levels, as well as its above average test scores, Alpine Elementary School is another phenomenal Columbus learning institution. A high percentage of students score at or above proficiency levels for reading (67 percent) and math (82 percent).

There are 16 full-time teachers at the school, which breaks down to an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio. The school also employs a full-time counselor to assist students with various needs. Currently, there is a minority enrollment of 84.3 percent.

Gables Elementary School — Above average student proficiency ratings across all subjects

Gables Elementary School is lauded for its above average student proficiency across all subject areas. More specifically, students of this Columbus elementary school perform highly in math (with 62 percent scoring at or above expected proficiency), and in reading (with 67 percent scoring at or above expected proficiency).

47 percent of the student body is female, while 53 percent is male. 23 full-time teachers are employed at Gables Elementary School. Minority enrollment is at 61.2 percent. The highest total number of students are in 2nd grade and 4th grade.

Best Private Schools in Columbus

If you are instead planning to send your child to one of the best Columbus private schools, you have ample options available. Below are some of the top private schools in Columbus.

  • Wellington School — Co-educational pre-kindergarten through 12th grade designed as a college preparatory school.
  • Columbus School for Girls — All girls private school for students 3 years of age through 12th grade.
  • Bishop Hartley High School — Coed Catholic private school serving students in 9th grade through 12th grade.
  • Calumet Christian School — Christian private school for students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

Columbus Schools FAQ

  • What is the best school district in Columbus?

    • Columbus City Schools
  • What is the best high school in Columbus?

    • Grandview Heights High School is one of the best high schools in Columbus. It functions as the only ​​high school in the Grandview Heights City Schools district. Currently, 343 students are enrolled.
  • Does Columbus have good schools?

    • Yes, Columbus has many excellent public and private schools. Approximately 46,686 students attend Columbus public schools. Columbus City Schools is the largest school district in the entire state of Ohio.

Another important part of planning your move to Columbus is to enlist the help of relocation services. Whether moving from out-of-state or in-state, hiring our five-star Columbus movers will make your journey smooth, seamless, and free of stress. Contact us today to learn more about our services by calling 614-892-9046.


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