DFW residential real estate » Best K-12 schools
Dallas Best K-12 Public Schools
The best Dallas schools ranking presented on this pages identifies the ten sets of Dallas Fort Worth elementary, middle and high schools at which student performance is highest across all grade levels. The communities in which these exceptional schools are located and some of the neighborhoods they serve also are identified.
The 2017 TEA STAAR tests results for Dallas area schools do show there are other DFW schools in addition to those identified below, mostly elementary schools, but also some middle schools, where student performance is at a similar level to that of schools identified in this analysis. However, as students attending these schools progress beyond elementary school and middle school, neither the STAAR results for the schools they will be attending nor the high school's college readiness indicators keep pace with those of the schools that serve these top ranked areas. It is not coincidental that all of the high schools serving these areas rank among top 20 2017 DFW open enrollment high schools.
All of the areas in which these select schools are located are more or less north of downtown Dallas. If you consider Highland Park and University Park to be Dallas suburbs, rather than collectively an enclave situated within the surrounding city of Dallas, then all of the schools identified in this analysis also are located in Dallas suburbs. Either way, this analysis identifies what most people probably consider both the best open enrollment public schools in both the Dallas area and in the Dallas suburbs.
Unlike some other best schools in Dallas lists, the analysis upon which this ranking is based examined only the most recent student performance data available and no consideration was given to neighborhood home prices and demographics, changes in student performance over time, or other arguably subjective or mitigating factors. Instead, as described in the Methodology section at the bottom of this page, this best schools in Dallas ranking is based on two metrics: 1) how all students attending various sets of DFW public elementary schools, middle schools and high schools performed on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) administered by the Texas Education Commission (TEA), and 2) the level of participation and success of DFW high school students in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and on college admission tests. All schools identified below received a Met Standard performance rating, the TEA's top district and campus accountability rating beginning in 2013, so the schools' campus ratings were not a differentiating factor.
1. Highland Park and University Park
Typical home sale prices: $600,000 to $6.5 million
School district: Highland Park Independent School District
Nearly all of the area within the Highland Park ISD schools attendance zones is also within the town or city limits of Highland Park and University Park. The park cities neighborhoods located in this area include some of the DFW metroplex's oldest and most prestigious neighborhoods, including Highland Park and Mount Vernon, located in the town of Highland Park, and University Heights, Armstrong Fairway and University Park, in the city of University Park.
Given that the park cities area has earned the top spot in this Dallas best schools ranking, it probably will come as no surprise that Highland Park High School also occupies the top spot in my 2017 best DFW high schools rankings. As also would likely be expected, all other Highland Park ISD schools have similarly impressive student performance profiles.
Typical home sale prices: $300,000 to $2.3 million
School district: Carroll Independent School District
All but a few students who live in Southlake attend Carroll ISD schools. In addition to earning second place in this best Dallas schools ranking, Carroll ISD also earned second ranking in this 2017 best Dallas Fort Worth school districts analysis. The performance profiles of students attending all Carroll ISD schools are among the highest in Texas.
The numerous Southlake neighborhoods served by Carroll ISD schools include neighborhoods in the Timarron master planned community, Cambridge Place, Coventry Manor, Estes Park, Monticello, Shady Oaks, Stone Lakes, Westwyck Hills and Winding Creek.
Students living in more than a dozen Grapevine neighborhoods, including Cannon Homestead and Lakeview Estates, also attend Carroll ISD schools. Students living in east Westlake neighborhoods like Entrada, Glenwyck Farms and Terra Bella have the option of attending either Carroll ISD schools or Westlake Academy, a highly rated charter school that focuses on international-style academics.
3. Lucas and Fairview
Typical home sale prices: $250,000 to $1.2 million
School district: Lovejoy Independent School District
Much of the area within the Lovejoy ISD boundaries also lies within the municipal limits of either Lucas or Fairview. Most Lucas and Fairview neighborhoods feature a relatively small number of one acre and larger home sites. These neighborhoods include Estates at Austin Trail, Glenbrook Estates, Forest Creek Estates, Rockland Farms and Wolf Creek in Lucas, and Ascot Heath, Bridlegate and Oakwood Estates, in Fairview.
Exceptions to the one acre and larger home sites rule are Broadmoor Estates, located in Lucas, and in Fairview, Heritage Ranch, a gated master planned community for age 55+ adults. There also are a few other neighborhoods located within the Lovejoy ISD boundaries, but not in Lucas and Fairview, where houses have been built on smaller home sites. These neighborhoods include Serenity, located in McKinney, and Belmont and Stacy Ridge Estates, located in Allen.
As is the case with both the Highland Park and Carroll school districts, the metrics used in this analysis demonstrates that student performance in all Lovejoy ISD schools is among the best in Texas.
Typical home sale prices: $160,000 to $950,000
School district: Coppell Independent School District
The Coppell area is served by the eight Coppell ISD elementary schools located in Coppell: Austin, Cottonwood Creek, Denton Creek, Lakeside, Mockingbird, Pinkerton, Town Center and Wilson. Student performance at these elementary schools is not as consistently high as in some of the more highly rated areas, such as those served by Highland Park ISD and Carroll ISD. This is offset, however, by the across-the-board high levels of student performance at Coppell East, Coppell North and Coppell West middle schools. High school students in this area may attend an open enrollment school, Coppell High School, or apply for admission to attend New Tech High School at Coppell, a magnet school.
Coppell neighborhoods that are located within the attendance zones of the more highly rated Coppell ISD elementary schools include Big Cedar, Copperstone, Gibbs Station, Old Coppell Estates, Pecan Hollow, Summit at the Spring and Woodlands of Coppell.
5. West Flower Mound
Typical home sale prices: $220,000 to $1 million
School district: Lewisville Independent School District
The west Flower Mound area includes neighborhoods located within the attendance zones of five Lewisville ISD elementary schools, Bridlewood, Flower Mound, Liberty, Old Settlers and Wellington. Middle and high school students living in this area attend Downing, McKamy and Shadow Ridge middle schools and Flower Mound and Marcus high schools. More than 90 percent of students who attend each of these ten schools met or exceeded the 2016 TEA achievement test standard.
Many of the students attending these west Flower Mound schools reside in neighborhoods located in the Bridlewood and Wellington master planned communities. Others live in neighborhoods such as Bella Lago, Chateau Du Lac, Chimney Rock, Regency Park, River Oaks Estates and The Sanctuary.
6. Northwest Plano
Typical home sale prices: $180,000 to $1.6 million
The northwest Plano area encompasses the current attendance zones of eleven Plano ISD elementary schools and five Frisco ISD schools. The eight of the Plano ISD elementary schools, those that feed up through Renner, Rice and Robinson middle schools into Plano West Senior High School, are Andrews, Barksdale, Brinker, Centennial, Gulledge, Haun, Skaggs and Wyatt elementary schools. The four other Plano ISD elementary schools, which feed through Schimelpfenig Middle School into Plano Senior High School, are Bethany, Carlisle and Mathews. The five Frisco ISD elementary schools that serve the northwest Plano area are Anderson, Borchardt, Riddle, Spears and Taylor. These schools currently feed through Fowler and Vandeventer middle schools into Liberty High School and Centennial High School.
Quite a large number of neighborhoods are located in this area. They include all west Plano neighborhoods in the Willow Bend and Gleneagles master planned communities, Cypress Point, Lakeside on Preston and White Rock Creek Estates.
7. South Colleyville and southeast Grapevine
Typical home sale prices: $230,000 to $2.5 million
School district: Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District
The south Colleyville and southeast Grapevine area is comprised of neighborhoods located within Grapevine-Colleyville ISD attendance zone boundaries of Colleyville Middle School and the Bransford, Colleyville, Heritage and Taylor elementary schools. Colleyville Middle School feeds into both Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School.
Ashmore, Brook Meadows/Thornbury, Lakewood Estates, Leyton Grove, Mill Creek Oakbrook Hills, Remington Park, Riverwalk and Westmont are some of the neighborhoods located in south Colleyville. Neighborhoods located in southeast Grapevine include Heritage Cove, High Point Farm Estates, Meadow Park and Stonebridge Oaks.
8. West Highland Village
Typical home sale prices: $160,000 to $950,000
School district: Lewisville Independent School District
Students who live in the west Highland Village area attend Heritage and McAuliffe elementary schools, Briarhill Middle School and Marcus High School. Students who attend three of these Lewisville ISD schools attained 2016 TEA Student Achievement Indexes between 90 and 100. Heritage Elementary School's TEA Student Achievement Index was 89.
9. Trophy Club
Typical home sale prices: $180,000 to $900,000
School district: Northwest Independent School District
Students who live in Trophy Club attend Beck and Lakeview elementary schools, Medlin Middle School and Nelson High School. Students who attend four of these Northwest ISD schools attained 2016 TEA Student Achievement Indexes between 90 and 100. Nelson High School's TEA Student Achievement Index was 89. High school students in this area may also apply for admission to attend Steele Accelerated High School, a magnet school.
10. (tie) West and southeast Frisco
Typical home sale prices: $210,000 to $1.7 million
School district: Frisco Independent School District
Both the west and southeast Frisco areas are served by Frisco ISD schools. The west Frisco area is made up of the attendance zones of the Allen, Carroll, Corbell, Fisher, Hosp, Newman, Nichols, Pink, Purefoy, Sparks, and Spears elementary schools and the Cobb, Griffin, Hunt, Pioneer Heritage, Stafford and Staley middle schools. High school students living in this area attend Frisco, Lone Star or Wakeland high schools.
Students living in the southeast Frisco area attend Curtsinger, Isbell, McSpedden and Smith elementary schools and Wester and Vandeventer middle schools. These schools feed into Centennial, Liberty and Independence high schools.
Neighborhoods in west Frisco area include Chapel Creek, Estates on Legacy Drive, Hollyhock, Lakes on Legacy, Newman Village, Phillips Creek Ranch, Starwood, Stonebriar neighborhoods and The Trails. Neighborhoods in the southeast Frisco include Hunters Creek, Lawler Park and Richwoods.
10. (tie) East Keller and northwest Colleyville
Typical home sale prices: $160,000 to $1.1 million
School district: Keller Independent School District
Students who live in the northeast Keller area attend Florence, Hidden Lakes and Liberty elementary schools, Bear Creek and South Keller intermediate schools, Indian Springs and Keller middle schools and Keller High School. The schools serving northwest Colleyville are Liberty Elementary School, South Keller Intermediate School, Indian Springs Middle School and Keller High School. More than 90 percent of students who attend all but one of these schools exceeded the 2016 TEA achievement test standards. Indian Springs Middle School's TEA Student Achievement Index was 87.
Many of the homes in the northeast Keller area are located in neighborhoods in the Hidden Lakes master planned community. Other northeast Keller neighborhoods include Manors of Waterford, Providence Grove, Southern Hills, Stonebridge, Tuscany and Wildwood. Neighborhoods located in northwest Colleyville that attend Keller ISD schools include Clairemont, Covington and Remington Park.
Comprehensive performance ranked lists of the above and other Dallas area public schools are provided on these Dallas Fort Worth best high schools, Dallas Fort Worth best middle schools and Dallas Fort Worth best elementary schools pages.
This 2017 analysis of which areas in the DFW metroplex have the k-12 schools is based on how students attending all levels of open enrollment public schools in each area perform on the annual TEA STAAR tests and the success of high school students on several college readiness indicators, specifically their level of participation and success in advanced placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and on college admission tests.
Within each evaluation category, the top rated group of schools was awarded the maximum points allocated to that category and all other school groups were awarded a proportional number of points based on how their individual scores compared to the score of the top rated group. Scores from both evaluation categories were then added together to arrive at the school group's overall score.
Performance on STAAR tests: 60 points
A maximum of 60 points was awarded based on the weighted average percentage of all schools serving a geographical area in meeting the TEA's annual achievement standards on reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies subject assessments.
To calculate this weighted average percentage, the composite Student Achievement Index for all schools within each school level, for example, elementary, middle and high schools, was derived. Where students in grades 9 through 12 attend two different campuses, their scores were combined. The composite Student Achievement Index for each school level was then multiplied by the number of grades taught in those schools. For example, the composite student achievement for a group of K-4 elementary schools would be multiplied by 5. Those results for all levels of schools were then added together and total was divided by 13.
Participation and performance in AP/IB courses and college entrance exams: 40 points
A maximum of 40 points was awarded based on percentage of students in grades 11-12 participating and successfully completing Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and the highest adjusted scores of high school seniors taking SAT and ACT college entrance exams. This index was originally calculated in developing my best Dallas Fort Worth public high schools ranking and is described on that page.
Sources: Texas Education Agency, school districts identified in this ranking, and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems Inc.
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