Top 10: Denver’s most in-demand elementary, middle and high schools

East High School in City Park is Denver Public Schools’ most sought-after public high school, according to data from the district. (Courtesy of Denver Public Schools)

Parents of Denver’s roughly 93,000 public school students have choices to make.

Kids in the city are automatically eligible to attend their local public school. Some live in “enrollment zones,” which means students choose one of a handful of schools in an area.

But not all students, and their parents, stop there. Thousands apply to enroll their children in a school despite not living in the boundaries of that school.

So which schools are the most sought after?

In the first quarter of the year, parents of about 22,000 students submitted ranked preferences for the school they wanted for their children. Of those, the majority — 13,884, to be exact — were submitting to enroll their student in one of three grades: kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade.

The list of first-choice schools for those three grades shows broadly which schools in Denver are the most competitive.

Below are the top 10 most-desired schools based on being ranked as the first choice for each enrollment grade.

Elementary (kindergarten enrollment):

4,540 choices spread over 111 schools

  1. Denver Language School, 157 first choices
  2. Willow Elementary School, 119
  3. Escalante-Biggs Academy, 111
  4. Westerly Creek Elementary, 111
  5. Park Hill School, 110
  6. Inspire Elementary, 108
  7. Stephen Knight Center for Early Education, 103
  8. Slavens K-8 School, 101
  9. Swigert International School, 90
  10. Brown International Academy, 90

Middle school (sixth-grade enrollment):

5,156 choices spread over 58 schools

  1. McAuliffe International School, 449
  2. Skinner Middle School, 247
  3. Denver Green School Northfield, 245
  4. DSST: Greeley Valley Ranch Middle School, 227
  5. DSST: Byers Middle School, 207
  6. Merrill Middle School, 171
  7. Morey Middle School, 156
  8. DSST: College View Middle School, 147
  9. DSST: Montview Middle School, 143
  10. (tied) Bear Valley International, 143
  11. (tied) STRIVE Prep – Westwood, 143

High school (ninth-grade enrollment): 

4,188 choices spread over 36 schools

  1. East High School, 737
  2. Northfield High School, 507
  3. South High School, 387
  4. North High School, 260
  5. Thomas Jefferson High School, 218
  6. George Washington High School, 173
  7. STRIVE Prep – SMART Academy, 162
  8. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College High School, 156
  9. John F. Kennedy High School, 128
  10. CEC Early College, 125

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