Full guide to the best High schools in Olathe KS

Full guide to the best High schools in Olathe KS

Olathe, Kansas, a thriving suburb of Kansas City, is known for its excellent public education system. The Olathe School District consistently ranks among the top districts in the state, with several high schools earning accolades for their academic excellence, extracurricular offerings, and college preparation programs. This guide will explore the best high schools in Olathe, highlighting their unique features and strengths.

Olathe North High School

Established in 1958, Olathe North High School is one of the oldest and most respected institutions in the district. It’s particularly renowned for its 21st Century Programs, which offer specialized curricula in areas such as Aerospace and Engineering, Geoscience, and Medical Professions. These programs provide students with hands-on experience and industry connections, giving them a head start in their chosen fields.

Olathe North boasts a diverse student body and a strong commitment to academic excellence. The school’s Advanced Placement (AP) program is robust, with a high percentage of students earning college credit through AP exams. Extracurricular activities are also a strong point, with numerous clubs, sports teams, and performing arts groups available to students.

Olathe Northwest High School

Opened in 2003, Olathe Northwest High School quickly established itself as a leader in innovative education. The school is home to two unique programs: the Aerospace and Engineering Program and the e-Communication Program. These offerings attract students from across the district who are interested in STEM fields and digital media.

Northwest’s commitment to technology integration is evident throughout the curriculum, with students having access to state-of-the-art computer labs and engineering facilities. The school also maintains a strong emphasis on the arts, with award-winning music and theater programs.

Olathe East High School

Olathe East High School, founded in 1992, has built a reputation for academic rigor and a supportive learning environment. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum with numerous AP and honors courses. East is particularly noted for its strong science and mathematics programs, as well as its successful debate and forensics teams.

The school’s Hawk Athletic Program is one of the most successful in the state, with numerous championships across various sports. Olathe East also prides itself on its inclusive atmosphere, with a wide range of clubs and activities designed to engage students of all interests and backgrounds.

Olathe South High School

Olathe South High School, which opened its doors in 1981, is known for its balanced approach to education, emphasizing academics, athletics, and the arts in equal measure. The school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a standout feature, offering students a rigorous, globally recognized curriculum that prepares them for success in college and beyond.

South’s performing arts programs, including band, choir, and theater, consistently receive top ratings at state competitions. The school also boasts strong athletic programs and a wide array of clubs and organizations, ensuring that every student can find their niche.

Olathe West High School

As the newest addition to the Olathe School District, having opened in 2017, Olathe West High School represents the district’s commitment to forward-thinking education. The school features two unique 21st Century Programs: Public Safety and Green Tech. These programs provide students with specialized knowledge and skills in emerging fields, preparing them for future careers in law enforcement, firefighting, and environmental sustainability.

West’s modern facilities include collaborative learning spaces, advanced technology labs, and a state-of-the-art media center. The school has quickly established strong academic and extracurricular programs, with growing success in sports, debate, and the arts.

Choosing the Right School

While all Olathe high schools offer excellent education, each has its unique strengths and specialized programs. Students and parents should consider individual interests, career aspirations, and learning styles when selecting a school. The Olathe School District’s open enrollment policy allows students to attend schools outside their designated attendance area if space is available, providing flexibility in school choice.

Factors to consider when choosing a high school include:

Academic programs: Look for schools with strong offerings in areas of interest, such as STEM, arts, or international studies.

Extracurricular activities: Consider schools with well-developed programs in sports, music, theater, or clubs that align with the student’s interests.

College preparation: Examine AP course offerings, IB programs, and college counseling services.

School culture and size: Some students thrive in larger environments, while others prefer smaller, more close-knit communities.


Olathe’s high schools consistently rank among the best in Kansas, offering students a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. Whether a student is interested in aerospace engineering, public safety, or the performing arts, there’s a school in Olathe that can nurture their passions and prepare them for future success. By carefully considering each school’s unique offerings and atmosphere, students and parents can make an informed decision that best fits their educational goals and personal preferences. Learn more about the best elementary schools in Olathe KS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Olathe high schools offer various specialized programs called 21st Century Programs. For example, Olathe North has programs in Aerospace and Engineering, Geoscience, and Medical Professions. Olathe Northwest offers Aerospace and Engineering and e-Communication programs. Olathe West features Public Safety and Green Tech programs.

Olathe high schools consistently rank among the top in Kansas. They have high graduation rates, strong AP and IB programs, and send many students to top universities. The district as a whole is often recognized for its academic excellence at the state and national levels.

Yes, the Olathe School District has an open enrollment policy. Students can apply to attend a school outside their assigned area if space is available. This allows students to access specialized programs or environments that best suit their needs and interests.

Olathe high schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities. These include various sports teams, music programs (band, orchestra, choir), theater, debate and forensics, academic clubs, and special interest groups. The exact offerings may vary by school, but all schools provide numerous opportunities for student involvement.

Olathe high schools offer several college and career preparation initiatives. These include Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs at some schools, dual credit opportunities with local colleges, career and technical education programs, and comprehensive college counseling services. The 21st Century Programs also provide specialized training and industry connections in various fields.

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