Elementary and Secondary

Ranked among the Best in the Nation

Virginia's nationally acclaimed education system serves as a workforce pipeline, supplying businesses with a steady stream of skilled new entrants. Our attention to education is reflected in Virginia's superior, well-prepared labor force. Ranked among the best in the nation, Virginia's elementary and secondary schools offer a wealth of opportunity and diverse learning experiences for students.

Currently over 1.2 million students are enrolled in over 1,800 public elementary and secondary schools throughout the state and Virginia's public high schools graduate over 88,000 students annually. More than 65% of these graduates continue to a two or four-year degree program or other continuing education plan.

  • U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "America's Best High Schools" names 19 Virginia high schools as gold medal schools, 36 silver medal schools and 58 bronze medal schools. In addition, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is ranked as the fifth "Best High School" in the nation.
  • Virginia's students rank sixth nationally for achievement in Advanced Placement (AP) tests according the College Board's Class of 2016 AP Program Results. Nearly 44% of high school juniors and seniors took an AP exam during the 2015-2016 school year.
  • More than 91 percent of the students in the class of 2016 graduated on time with a diploma and 51.7 percent graduated from high school with an Advanced Studies Diploma.
  • Career and technical education programs in Virginia public schools serve more than 284,000 students in grades 6-12. These programs are designed to prepare young people for productive futures while meeting the Commonwealth's need for well-trained and industry-certified technical workers.


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