Finding the best schools in St. Louis doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it can be if you don’t know where to start. To save you time in your search, we put together a comprehensive guide on St. Louis schools to help you figure out which school is the right one for your kiddos. 

So, grab a pen and paper, and get ready. We’re here to share all there is to know about public and private schools here in the Gateway to the West. Hopefully, it’s just what you’ve been looking for. Let’s get started!

How do you find the best schools in St. Louis?

Most importantly, you’ll want to decide between public vs. private school. There are both in St. Louis, and your kids’ public school options can be more limited based on your physical location. 

If you want to narrow down your search for the very best schools in St. Louis, here are some things to evaluate: 

  • What is the average percentage of seniors who graduate each year?
  • What are the math and reading proficiency levels?
  • How are academics and teachers overall? 

Read on for more information on the school systems in St. Louis, Missouri. 

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high school students studying
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How are public schools in St. Louis?

St. Louis public schools are in the lower half of public schools in the state of Missouri. Referring to public schools only, the state has an average math proficiency of 42% and a reading proficiency of 49%. St. Louis is below that number in both math and reading, with a 20% math proficiency and 25% reading proficiency. 

The state’s average graduation rate is 89.6%. St. Louis’s high-school graduation rate is close to that at 87.2% as of the 2020-2021 school year. Some of the schools in the St. Louis Public Schools District have even higher graduation rates than the state average. (Check out Metro Academic and Classical High School, for example, which has a graduation rate of a whopping 96%.) 

As you might expect, where you decide to live in St. Louis makes a huge difference in where your kids can go to school. That means that before you pick a place to move to (city vs. suburbs), make sure the school has what your child is looking for first. 

That means that if they’re interested in performing arts, look for that. If they love football or basketball, check out the sports programs. These things can make a huge difference in your child’s happiness. 

Top-rated public schools in St. Louis

Here’s a peek at some of the best public schools in St. Louis, from elementary to high school: 

Best Elementary Schools in St. Louis, MO:

Best Middle Schools in St. Louis, MO:

Best High Schools in St. Louis, MO:

What private schools are in St. Louis?

St. Louis has approximately 149 private schools, and 23% of students in grades K-12 attend one of these. These are some of the best private schools in St. Louis: 

Of course, the schools above aren’t all the options you have in St. Louis. Here are some more schools to look at: 

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What are suburban St. Louis schools like?

The suburbs are where you’ll find some of the top schools in the city. Why are they so great? Class sizes are generally smaller, which ensures your kids get more one-on-one attention during class, helping them to best retain what they’re learning. 

We took a look at one suburb, Kirkwood, and the people living there rave about it. One resident says, “I love kirkwood! Great grade/middle schools and you can walk anywhere and it’s relatively safe. All kinds of families and a great “downtown” area with lots of shopping and music and food.

The reviews for other St. Louis suburbs are similar, citing great schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of things to do for families. If you’re trying to figure out which suburb is best for your family, we recommend coming up with a list of a few suburbs and jotting down the schools in each one. 

Then, see which suburb is within your price range. Narrow down your list a little more, and check out the ratings for the different schools. That will help you figure out which suburb is worth moving to in St. Louis. 

What suburbs have particularly good school systems?

Clayton, Ladue, and Olivette have a handful of the best schools in the St. Louis suburbs. Clayton is known for having kid-friendly neighborhoods, a fun and popping downtown atmosphere, and–you guessed right–top-notch education. According to the city website, “The City’s public school district is one of the nation’s best, with 95% of its high school graduates going on to college.” The population is roughly 16,763.

Ladue is another suburb with high school ratings. Not only is it a short drive to downtown St. Louis and St. Louis Lambert International Airport, according to residents, but it’s also safe and relatively quiet. About 8,631 people live in Ladue.

Finally, there’s Olivette. This suburb is one of the top places to raise kids in the state. It has wonderful public schools and also gets an A+ for kids (for the schools, yes, but also because it’s near the Saint Louis Zoo and Shaw Park Aquatic Center!). Roughly 7,837 people live in Olivette.

What are the best school districts in St. Louis?

These have been voted St. Louis’s best school districts: 

School District of Clayton

Missouri’s top school district, the School District of Clayton, boasts As in nearly every area, including academics, teachers, and college prep. There are 2,514 students, with about 72% math proficient and 74% reading proficient. 

Kirkwood School District

The Kirkwood School District has top-notch classes (AP and gifted programs included), as well as clubs and activities. The student population is 6,072. What are the math and reading proficiency levels? Math is at 66%, and reading is at 73%. 

Ladue School District

The Ladue School District serves 4,235 students, and people say that one of the best parts about this school district is the low student-to-teacher ratio. The math proficiency is 70%, and the reading proficiency is just above that at 72%. 

Good luck with your school search

The best schools in St. Louis are waiting to welcome your child this upcoming school year. Need help moving to STL? We have your back. Bellhop provides professional moving services, such as local and long-distance moving in St. Louis. Let us give you a hand. We are committed to making your move as stress free as possible. 

Book a move online today.

Interested in learning more about St. Louis? Check out our other St. Louis guides below:

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