Decorah High School is the second best school in the state and in the top 3 percent in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

In a report released this week, U.S. News ranked DHS No. 2 in the state and in the top 3 percent of the nation.

With a population of just 610 students, DHS is considerably smaller than several of the other top-10 Iowa schools, which contain an average student body of 1,024. Decorah ranked second in the state behind John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ames High School, Cedar Falls High School, Linn-Mar High School (Marion), Mid-Prairie High School (Wellman), ADM Senior High School (Adel), West Liberty High School, Prairie High School (Cedar Rapids) and Ankeny High School.

Although there are 368 high schools in Iowa, not all were ranked by U.S. News.

National ranking

Decorah's national rank was No. 637 of the 21,000 public high schools in 49 states ranked by the study.

Top 10 schools in the nation include the School for the Talented and Gifted, Dallas, Texas; BASIS Tucson, Tucson, Ariz.; Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, Va.; BASIS, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Pine View School, Osprey, Fla.; Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School, Montgomery, Ala.; Biotechnology High School, Freehold, N.J.; International School, Bellevue, Wash. and Academic Magnet High School, North Charleston, S.C.

Information included with the ranking include the fact that students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement course work and exams and around 50 percent of students take advantage of these offerings.

The student body is 52 percent male and 48 percent female. Ninety-two percent of the students are proficient in reading, with 91 percent being proficient in math.


"We are extremely honored to be held in such high esteem by US News and World Report. This award is due to the efforts of not only our staff at the high school, but staff throughout the District who have prepared our young people well," said Haluska.

"However, this award wouldn't have been possible were it not for the efforts of our tremendous young people who continue to show amazing effort at everything they do. To say I am proud would be an understatement."

DHS Principal Kim Sheppard added, "We are honored and humbled to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report, as the number two high school in the State of Iowa. This honor is truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teachers as they strive to challenge our students on a daily basis and to the manner in which our students have responded. We are very aware that the honors we have received would not be possible without the solid educational foundation that has been put in place by all teachers who have previously worked with our students. It is truly a team effort and would not happen without the efforts of all."