Three Shelby County high schools named among best in Alabama

Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spain Park, Oak Mountain and Chelsea High schools were named to the state's 2016 "Best High Schools" list compiled by U.S. News & World Report. (File)

Spain Park, Oak Mountain and Chelsea High schools were named to the state’s 2016 “Best High Schools” list compiled by U.S. News & World Report. (File)


Three high schools in Shelby County earned spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 “Best High Schools” list for Alabama.

Spain Park High School came in at No. 8, followed by Oak Mountain High School at No. 11 and Chelsea High School at No. 24 on a list of high schools throughout the state.

The Shelby County schools also ranked among the top 2,210 of 19,908 schools in the nation, with SPHS at 978th, OMHS at 1,225th and CHHS at 2,210th.

All three schools were among 2,173 high schools awarded a silver medal based on U.S. News ranking criteria.

U.S. News & World Report partnered with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, to produce the 2016 Best High Schools rankings.

According to the U.S. News website, the rankings methodology is based on the following principles: A great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

More than 28,561 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia were reviewed. After schools that were too small to be analyzed were eliminated, the count dropped to 19,908, the total number of public high schools in the U.S. that had high enough 12th-grade enrollment or sufficient enrollment in other grades during the 2013-2014 school year to be eligible for the rankings.

For the first time, U.S. News this year added a new step focused on graduation rates, meaning high schools that make it past the first two steps of the methodology have to meet or exceed a national standard high school graduation rate to be considered top-performing schools and to be ranked at a national level.

Another first is U.S. News also has published graduation rates for all high schools on its website.

For more information and to view the full 2016 Best High Schools list, go to