How does your KC-area high school compare to others nearby?

Blue Valley West High School, 16200 Antioch Road, in Overland Park.

Blue Valley West High School, 16200 Antioch Road, in Overland Park.

If you’re raising a family in the Kansas City area, the quality of the public education offered in your neighborhood probably matters a lot to you.

But it can be difficult to take hard data like test scores and graduation rates and turn them into a real understanding of how well a school will serve your child.

Enter Niche, a school and neighborhood ranking service and data aggregator that pulls information from dozens of sources to analyze how “good” a school really is. While it crunches a lot of numbers in determining a school’s strength, the site also takes reviews from current and former students into account.

The service recently released its 2024 rankings for the Kansas City area, and a few trends are clear: Schools in Overland Park take many of the top spots.

Here’s a closer look at the top 10 public high schools in the metro, and where other schools fall on the list.

Blue Valley schools claim the top spots

The names of the top four schools in the Kansas City metro area based on Niche’s rankings have something in common: They all begin with the same two words.

1. Blue Valley North High School

2. Blue Valley High School

3. Blue Valley West High School

4. Blue Valley Northwest High School

All four of these schools in the Blue Valley Unified School District earned an A+ in Niche’s rankings. Blue Valley North has the lowest listed student-to-teacher ratio, at 17 students per full-time teacher. They are all similarly sized at around 1,500 students and located in Overland Park.

Other Kansas public high schools round out the top 10

Public high schools in Kansas took all ten of the top spots in Niche’s ranking, with the Olathe and Shawnee Mission school districts claiming many of the remaining six. Here are the next schools on the list:

5. Shawnee Mission East High School

6. Olathe North High School

7. Sumner Academy of Arts & Science

8. Blue Valley Southwest High School

9. Olathe Northwest High School

10. Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

Niche gave all of these public high schools an A grade. The high schools in Olathe that made the cut both have student-to-teacher ratios of 15 to one, the lowest ratios of the top ten. Sumner Academy of Arts & Science also stands out as the only Kansas City, Kansas public school to make the list.

Missouri’s first high school on the list appears in the very next position: Lee’s Summit West High School took the 11th place spot. Staley High School in North Kansas City came in 14th place, and the first Kansas City, Missouri public high school to appear in the ranking was the Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in 20th place.

What do you want to know about education in the Kansas City area? Ask the Service Journalism team at

This story was originally published January 22, 2024, 12:08 PM.

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Natalie Wallington is a reporter on The Star’s service journalism team answering Kansas City’s questions about the cost of living, environmental issues, local utilities, LGBTQ+ rights and how Kansas and Missouri laws impact you. Her past work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, VICE News, Popular Science and elsewhere.

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