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The Preuss School UC San Diego Named County’s #1 High School

The top ranking comes as the school advances remote learning strategies


  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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The Preuss School graduation ceremony 2019

The Preuss School UC San Diego prepares first-generation and low-income students to succeed in college and beyond.

U.S News & World Report has named The Preuss School UC San Diego the #1 high school in San Diego County in their 2020 list of Best High Schools. Located on the campus of the University of California San Diego, The Preuss School is a middle and high school designed to prepare first-generation and low-income students to succeed in college and beyond.

“We are proud of the recognition that The Preuss School has received for its unique educational model,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Preuss scholars are immersed in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, experience more classroom time than a typical student in California and take part in a semester-long internship at the university—all of which set them on a clear path to higher education.”

U.S. News ranking scorecard for The Preuss School

The Preuss School 2020 ranking scorecard. Source: U.S. News & World Report.

The ranking also placed The Preuss School #9 in California among 1,612 schools and #87 nationally among 17,792 schools across the U.S with an overall score of 99.51 out of 100. U.S News considered multiple factors in their report, including the proportion of 12th graders who took and passed at least one AP or IB exam; 100% of seniors at The Preuss School completed at least one Advanced Placement test, while 85% earned a passing score. In addition, the ranking methodology also assessed graduation rate (96% at Preuss) and math and reading performance rank.

“We are thrilled to be named the best high school in San Diego and among the top 10 in California,” said Executive Director of The Preuss School Dr. Helen V. Griffith. “From the first day they arrive, we tell our scholars that they are going to college. Our educators help grow their talent and ambition through caring mentorship, leading them to achieve a bright future.”

The vision of The Preuss School is to provide students in grade six through 12 with a clear pathway to college so that they may transform their lives, elevate their families and make a difference in their communities. Chartered by the San Diego Unified School District, the school maintains a unique relationship with UC San Diego, offering students internship opportunities on the university campus, field trips to places like laboratories and theaters, as well as one-on-one tutoring by undergraduate students.

In following guidance from San Diego County Public Health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19, The Preuss School began remote instruction on March 16. At the start of each day, scholars check in with their advisory teacher, a faculty member with whom they can share feelings, find support and discuss challenges. The morning is reserved for instructional time via Zoom. And afternoons are more flexible with time available for small group study or one-on-one sessions with teachers, tutoring and counseling meetings and working independently on projects.

“This schedule helps create a structure that allows for all faculty to have uninterrupted access to their students by class,” said Griffith. “We will still facilitate grading of assignments, feedback from instructors, AP instruction and assessments, tutoring, mentoring, online exams, and possibly online gatherings of school clubs as we move later in the school year.”

Qualcomm Inc. donated 300 laptops to The Preuss School

Qualcomm Inc. donated 300 laptops to The Preuss School to enable remote learning during the pandemic.

To ensure students have the equipment they need to keep learning, Qualcomm Inc. recently donated 300 laptops to The Preuss School. The gift was initiated by UC San Diego alumni Charles Bergan and Jeff Gehlhaar, and scholars were able to pick up laptops by appointment as well as wireless hotspots for internet access.

More information on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools can be found here. And visit The Preuss School website to discover more about the school.

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