Above: New structures, funded by Prop AA, help modernize teaching and aid a rising student population for the top-ranking San Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas. Photo by Jacob Aere
REGION — Public high schools from Encinitas and Carlsbad are some of the top ranked public institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
All four public high schools within San Dieguito Union High School District made it on the prestigious annual list.
Canyon Crest Academy finished 191st in public high schools across all 50 states, taking the top spot in the San Dieguito Union High School District.
San Dieguito High School Academy placed 816th and La Costa Canyon at 1,640th out of 17,245 ranked public high schools across the United States.
Torrey Pines High School rounded out SDUHSD scoring at 1,245th.
Due to the media company’s updated ranking system, current records “are not comparable to the 2018 rankings or any that came before” and therefore unavailable, according to public relations coordinator, Madeline Smanik.
All SDUHSD high schools have made plans to improve learning on campus after Proposition AA, a $449 million bond initiative, was narrowly passed by voters in 2012.
“There’s a lot of excitement with our students in that they are able to learn in these state-of-the-art learning facilities,” said San Dieguito High School Academy principal Adam Camacho. “The rankings are reflective of our community, our district, and the talents our teachers bring to how they serve kids.”
San Dieguito Academy has completed major renovation to help meet growing enrollment, including a new, two-story math and science building in the fall of 2017.
Currently, SDA is working on a 53,000 square foot, 33 classroom arts and humanities building slated for completion this summer.
“A lot of the buildings were outdated and built back when [San Dieguito Academy] was opened in 1936. It’s weird having half of your classes in really old buildings and half are in new ones,” said SDA’s ASB Senior Director Sydney Becker. “But it’s nice having a changeup with new facilities, air conditioning, and newer technology.”
La Costa Canyon also plans to update and repair some of its science rooms with an additional upgrade for a two-story physics lab in the blueprint for their Prop AA improvements.
LCC needed to compete with the changing enrollment percentages and altered its schedule to allow for a seventh course in 2016.
As of 2019, SDA now has 1902 total students enrolled compared to LCC’s 1935 students. In the 2013 to 2014 school year, SDA had just 1612 total students attending classes compared to LCC’s 2073.
Camacho added that “people gravitate to the new learning spaces and are hopeful for what that brings. It’s a nice new learning environment that will sustain many generations to come. That’s probably one factor that goes into making the decision to come here.”