Leon County’s Chiles High School and Okaloosa County’s Niceville High School lead Northwest Florida in preparing college-bound students for college majors in STEM fields, according to an index of enrollment rates in chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus calculated using course enrollment information for the Fall of 2016 provided by the Florida Department of Education. South Walton High School and three Leon County high schools – Lincoln, Rickards and Leon – form the next tier of schools.
The analysis was performed for the region going west from Leon and Wakulla Counties to Escambia County for the public high schools that have 100 or more 12th graders this year, according to the FLDOE. There are 37 such high schools in the region.
The enrollment rate for a particular subject was calculated by summing the number of students enrolled in all courses in that subject (from grades 9-12) and then dividing by the number of 12th graders in the school.
The STEM Career Prep Index is the sum of the course enrollment rates for chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus. The top six schools according to this index are Chiles, Niceville, South Walton, Lincoln, Rickards and Leon.
The enrollments did not include dual enrollment courses, which are not compiled by the FLDOE at the school level. Nor did it include courses for which ten or fewer students are enrolled. The FLDOE does not release information on such courses because of student privacy concerns.