Newsweek’s annual list of the Top High Schools in the country was released today and places Alexandria’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology squarely at the top, again.
As a publicly funded and administered high school with very selective admissions, TJHSST is often compared with notable public magnet schools, although it did discontinue non-application based admission after the class of 1988. Attendance at TJHSST is open to students in six local jurisdictions based on an admissions test, prior academic achievement, recommendations, and essays. While TJHSST is operated by the Fairfax County Public Schools system (which serves residents of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax), residents of Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, as well as the City of Falls Church also apply to and attend the school. A particular number of admission slots is allotted to each participating locality.
While most local high schools base entering class size on the number of rising eighth-graders, Jefferson controls its freshman enrollment through its selective admissions process. Of the approximately 3000 freshmen who apply, only about 480 are admitted.
At present, the school is in the middle of an $89 million renovation, a long overdue overhaul. Many of the school’s facilities have not been updated since the school opened in 1964. For more information, go to https://www.tjhsst.edu/