You may not be aware of this, but some of the largest high schools are located in the US. A high school is considered big if it has between 2000 and 3000 students; now imagine the number of students in the largest high school in the country. If the high school itself isn’t terrifying enough, the number of students some of the high schools have can be pretty intimidating. Thousands of students create a functioning system within the schools, alongside the employees and the teachers. And somehow, it all works out very well.
So, in the following paragraphs, we are going to find out which high school is the largest in the US, and what other large high schools can compare in regards to the number of students that attend them.
The high school with the highest number of attending students
When we discuss the largest high schools in the US, we have to take into consideration two things; the number of students, and the facility. Now, when it comes to the number of students, the largest high school in the US would be the Penn Foster High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This high school currently has approximately 45,000 students enrolled, either in direct classes at the school or via online classes.
The Penn Foster High School was founded in 1890 by a newspaper editor Thomas J. Foster. Alongside the high school, there were also the Penn Foster Career School and the Penn Foster College. The purpose of these educational institutions was to provide the coal miners with the education they needed for their careers and work safety.
Nowadays, the Penn Foster High School (as well as the Career School and the College), are among the best in the country. The high school, in particular, is being praised for its exceptional care for the proper and high-quality education of all the students. Penn Foster allows the students to earn their diplomas regardless of their educational background. Students have to take a core curriculum of classes, as well as five elective courses to help them focus on specific industries. Penn Foster High School also provides the so-called distance education, and the school’s diploma program is regionally accredited through the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is also nationally accredited by Distance Education Accrediting Commission and by AdvancED.
Penn Foster High School has been awarded the International Distance Learning Award in 2014, Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award in 2015, and numerous other awards that show why so many students want to be a part of the Penn Foster educational institutions.
The largest high school facility
Now, when it comes to the largest high school in the US size-wise, then it would be the Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. This public high school occupies a 65-acre (260,000m2) campus in the north suburb in Chicago. However, even though the facility is huge, the school only enrolls 3,459 students, according to the school report from 2018.
The Evanston Township High School was established in 1883 and was one of the first high schools in this area. The original facility for the school was quite small, and as the enrollment increased, it became impossible for all the students to fit under one roof. Then, in 1915 the school received a new location, but the transfer was halted due to some disputes. Finally, in 1921 the school was allowed to move to the 55-acre school campus, which was later expanded to 65 acres.
The size of this high school has enabled it to offer numerous different educational facilities to their students; for example, students can access a planetarium, a greenhouse, a nature center/classroom, etc. There are also facilities for the South Technology Center, as well as the urban farming project called The Taking Farm, that is run with the help of students and volunteers. Students can also access some of the best computer-based SMART Labs, a daycare center, Auto-Tech classes, and so much more.
Other large high schools in the US
- Acero Schools Chicago, Illinois – the number of students enrolled in this school is over 8,000, which makes it one of the largest high schools not only in Illinois but also in the country. This is a public school that offers special programs to their students, especially when it comes to athletics and team sports.
- Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) – the number of students enrolled in this school is over 9,000, which makes it one of the largest high schools in the country. This is a public school known for its special programs and online enrollment events. The school was also ranked as one of the ‘Top Places to Work’ in 2011 as the treatment of the employees is exceptional.
- Georgia Cyber Academy – the number of students enrolled in this high school is over 13,000, which, of course, makes it one of the largest high schools in the country. This is a private high school known for its migrant and homeless student assistance.
- BYU Independent Study High School – the number of students enrolled in this high school is over 41,000. Next to Penn Foster High School, this is the second-largest high school in the US. The school is located in Provo, Utah and is known for its teacher-led activities. The school also offers financial aid programs and university scholarships for the best students.
- The largest high school in the US in regards to the number of enrolled students is the Penn Foster High School in Pennsylvania. The number of enrolled students is 45,000.
- The largest high school in the US in regards to the size of the facility is the Evanston Township High School. The school occupies 65-acres of the school campus.