We have a lot of great high schools in South Dakota!

U.S. World & News Report looked at 17,655 public high schools in the country and included 194 high schools in South Dakota among the best.

There are six areas a school must excel in to even be considered for this list of superior public high schools in the U.S.

  • College readiness
  • College curriculum breadth
  • State assessment proficiency
  • State assessment performance
  • Underserved student performance
  • Graduation rate

These are the top ten South Dakota public high schools that made the list in 2024.

1. Lincoln High School - Lincoln had an impressive scorecard in this study. The school came in number one in South Dakota and 932 in the national rankings. That's out of over 17,000 schools. They also ranked 432 out of all the STEM schools.

Lincoln High School
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2. Warner High School - Warner is a tiny town (population around 500) in Brown County. It is south of Aberdeen and north of Mellette, South Dakota. Their students performed really well in math, reading, and science categories.

Warner High School
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3. Rapid City Stevens High School - Set in Rapid City, 35% of Stevens' students participated in Advanced Placement coursework.

Rapid City Stevens High School
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4. Brandon Valley High School - Located in Brandon, South Dakota this high school has a 98% graduation rate.

Brandon Valley High School
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5. Northwestern High School - This school is set in Mellette, South Dakota, population of around 200.

Northwestern High School
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6. Spearfish High School - Graduation rates at Spearfish are 97%.

Spearfish High School
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7. Dakota Valley High School - Located in North Sioux City, South Dakota, this school has a 22% participation rate in advanced placement coursework. (No photo available)

8. Gettysburg High School - Has the distinction of having a 100% graduation rate in 2024 and particularly high reading and mathematics scores.

Gettysburg High School
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9. T. F. Riggs High School - 25% of the students at this Pierre High School have taken at least one advanced placement test and the school has a 97% graduation rate.

T.F. Riggs High School
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10. Ipswich High School - Located west of Aberdeen, this city of around 1,000 people has a 100% graduation rate.

Ipswich High School
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Washington High School placed 12th in this study and Roosevelt was in 14th place.

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To see this complete study go to U.S. News & World Report's Best South Dakota High Schools.

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