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Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School has earned national accolades again: inclusion in Newsweek Magazine’s “Best STEM High Schools in America.”  The entire Newsweek list of 5,000 best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high schools represents the top fifth of all public, private, and charter high schools in the nation, and Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School is ranked in the top 3% nationwide. There are a total of 16 Missouri schools in the top 1,000, and TJ is ranked the #11 STEM High School in Missouri (see that list below).  According to the Newsweek announcement, the list highlights schools “that offer skilled teachers who keep up with developments in these fields and who create dynamic learning environments to engage their students.”

“As an independent school with a liberal arts college prep focus, we are exceptionally proud that TJ has been recognized as one of the top STEM schools in the nation, despite the fact that STEM is only a portion of our overall mission and program.” said Laura McDonald, TJ’s Head of School.  “It is a testament to the expertise and passion of our faculty at all grade levels, and we are proud to represent this part of the state as one of the best STEM schools in the nation.”

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School is committed to developing STEM skills at every grade level — from 1st graders learning basic computer programming as part of their science curriculum, to Upper School students engaging in Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, Physics, and Chemistry, as well as three AP math course offerings.  There are several elective offerings for Middle and Upper School students including Applied Programming & Robotics, Scientific Research Methods, “STEM,” Computer Science, and Coding.  We are also proud to offer STEM courses to all children in the community through our academic enrichment programs including Summer Discovery Academy, Young Scholars, Destination Discovery, and Kids College.

Newsweek partnered with to evaluate which high schools in America best offer students a quality experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, while also preparing them for post-school life.  This ranking is not just a snapshot, or a one-time rating, but is a ranking based on five years of data.  It is a significant accomplishment for a school, especially for a school like TJ with a liberal arts program.

“Science, technology, engineering, mathematics — these are the fields in which our children need to be fluent. The STEM skills that only specialists have today will be expected of virtually everyone in the American workforce tomorrow,” said Nancy Cooper, Newsweek’s Global Editor in Chief.  “With high-profile institutions in big urban areas and small but strong programs across the nation, America’s future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is in good hands. Just take a look at these successful schools.”

The Newsweek top STEM high schools rankings are relatively new, and the magazine published the list of the top 5,000 high schools on its website recently.  It also published a double-issue print edition to mark the occasion.  The list is available at