Report: Sumner Academy in KCK ranked best Kansas high school


In 2020, when the pandemic forced Sumner Academy of Arts and Science to hold graduation at a drive-in, the school had just been named the top school in Kansas. It is enjoying the honor again in 2022.

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Seven of the top 10 high schools in Kansas are in Johnson County, according to a new national ranking, but once again, the No. 1 school in the state is in Kansas City, Kansas.

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, was named the top school in the Kansas rankings, compiled by U.S. News & World Report. Nationwide, Sumner placed 32nd, making it the highest ranking public high school in Kansas or Missouri.

Sumner has regularly landed at No. 1 in Kansas in recent years, including in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The school ranked among the best high schools based on performance on state-required tests, graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college. The report also highlights that Sumner allows students to take International Baccalaureate coursework and exams, with a 99% participation rate. At Sumner, 88% of those enrolled are students of color, and 78% are economically disadvantaged, according to the report.

In Kansas, Blue Valley North High School came in at second, followed by several other Johnson County high schools.

“Blue Valley is the only district in Kansas to have more than one school ranked in the top 10 which is a testament to the district’s commitment to meaningful and extraordinary educational opportunities for all students,” Blue Valley officials said in a news release.

In Missouri, the Metro Academic and Classical High School in St. Louis was named best in the state. Ranking second was Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, in Kansas City Public Schools, which was 263rd in the nation.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Jill Toyoshiba [email protected]

Also in the Kansas City metro, Ewing Marion Kauffman High School, a charter school, ranked fourth in Missouri, and Staley High School, in the North Kansas City district, placed 12th.

The U.S. News report ranked nearly 18,000 schools based on six factors, including college readiness, state assessment performance, underserved student performance and college-level curriculum.

Nationally, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, was named the top public high school.

Top 10 schools in Kansas

All five of Blue Valley’s high schools made the top 10 list in Kansas. The Shawnee Mission and Olathe districts also had schools make the list.

1. Sumner Academy of Arts and Science

2. Blue Valley North High School

3. Shawnee Mission East High School

4. Olathe Northwest High School

5. Blue Valley High School

6. Blue Valley West High School

7. Blue Valley Northwest High School

8. Andover Central High School

9. Blue Valley Southwest High School

10. Northeast Magnet High School (Wichita Public Schools)

Top 10 schools in Missouri

Two Kansas City area schools made the top 10 list in Missouri.

1. Metro Academic and Classical High School (St. Louis)

2. Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

3. Ladue Horton Watkins High School

4. Ewing Marion Kauffman High School

5. Collegiate School Of Medicine and Bioscience (St. Louis)

6. Clayton High School

7. Lafayette Senior High School

8. Kirkwood Senior High School

9. Parkway West High School

10. Marquette Senior High School

This story was originally published May 9, 2022 11:38 AM.

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Sarah Ritter covers K-12 education for The Kansas City Star. Formerly a reporter for the Quad-City Times, Sarah is a graduate of Augustana College.