GreatSchools Rating

Carmel High School

Public | 9-12 | 4685 students


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4 stars

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49 reviews of this school

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Posted February 1, 2014

I hate this school the students are snobby and teachers are not involved in the class they never explain anything. The school has a very sink or swim mentality. This school is only good if you are rich and from carmel.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 7, 2014

Your typical high school, except I'm unbearably large. Yes, they offer a wide variety of classes including a multitude of AP classes, but when the work offered in said classes is at a level so low they students hardly learn anything- not impressed. The only challenges my son faced was getting to class on time and without being bullied. If the average grade in the high school is high, it's because the work is so easy my three year old daughter could do it. Teach my students something.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 29, 2013

I am a student at Carmel High School and it's truthfully much worse than people hype it up to be. I have a reasonable GPA, 3.3-3.5 in mostly AP classes. To start off, there are some teachers who are absolutely amazing in every aspect but they're overshadowed by the teachers who have zero talent teaching, I have both types and my grades in those classes reflect that. Carmel does have extremely difficult courses in every department, take that as you will. If your thinking of moving into the area I seriously recommend putting kids in elementary schools first. Carmel tends to get very cliquie and becomes harder to make friends the old you get. If I could, I would move schools instantly. Even thought I get good grades I don't feel like I'm learning anything and fear that I'll be unprepared for higher education.

Posted June 11, 2013

Carmel High School has a large variety of programs that cater to a student's interest. If a kid is willing to put work into it he can be very successful. I don't think any of the programs are overrated, kids can challenge themselves with AP courses if they wish. There is a college prep division in the administrative department which works with every single student during their junior and senior year. Their performing arts program is one of the best in the state. Many of the kids are pretentious, but that is the parent's fault and it's not something to blame on the school. They have a model principal that cares very much for the students. The discipline system is bureaucratic and careless at times, admittedly. If your child is willing to work hard this is one of the best schools in the country to send them to.

Posted October 24, 2012

As the parent of 5 children who have attended Carmel Clay Schools, we moved to Carmel primarily because of the school system and we have not been disappointed. Three of our kids have graduated and gone on to college and we still have 2 students in the system. While the academics are rigorous, our kids found college to be a breeze because they were so well prepared by the Carmel School system. The size of the school was intimidating to me but the kids have all found clubs, organizations and activities that they have participated in which has helped them connect and form great friendships. Our kids aren't all star athletes which has limited their ability to participate on the school athletic teams. Carmel has an incredible level of talent given the large student count. However, we 've found the Carmel Dads Club is a great way for kids to participate in sports. The teachers are highly engaged and committed to the success of their students. Ultimately there are pros and cons in every school system. If parents want their kids prepared for a higher education and a highly competitive job market in the future, you won't find a school system that will do a better job than Carmel.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 17, 2012

Wow! The previous folks posting must have large axes to grind. As a parent of a Carmel High School graduate, I can say that the academic instruction my son received at CHS fully prepared him for success at his select private college. He is now a college sophomore, and has often commented on how prepared he was compared to students coming from high schools elsewhere in the country. Yes, it is a large school, however, I found the staff and administrators to be extremely helpful when approached one-on-one. It is not - nor does it claim to be - anything but a large public school. Those expecting to be treated with 'kid gloves' should move their children to private schools. That said, I can tell you of many families who paid the big bucks for private high school and had no better luck gaining acceptance to select colleges than CHS grads. I firmly believe that the large, competitive environment at CHS more adequately prepares teens for success at the university level. Challenged: yes. Pampered: no.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 12, 2012

We moved out of the district BECAUSE of the schools. This district has to be the most overrated I've ever seen because the quality is extremely low in every respect. Carmel High school is too big but it does reflect the size of the egos of those affiliated. Most teachers are lazy and unconcerned about delivering watered down academic material. Administration is even worse.It is a very mediocre system which offers very little student development. It's sink or swim which is fine for students who are over acheivers. But even then, they have a false sense of superiority. They may NOT be as smart as they think they are. They may be missing out on so many intangibles that are not included in a Carmel education. Carmel is very superficial and unsophisticated. Students tend to lack character, a moral compass and adequate balance. The large sports program enables this belief in their superiority coupled with poor sportsmanship. If other districts cared more for their wins, they too would stuff students in one huge building...but they won't. Carmel is VERY good at promoting themselves as much as the parents are promoting their kids. It's a political battlefield.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 28, 2012

The high school is way too big and the quality is poor. People are extremely proud of their sports programs, of course. It's the reason why they won't split their school to a manageable size. It is more important to dominate in sports than provide a quality education. It's humorous to watch the parents brag about how great the school is when the academics are typical of any public school. After giving the district six months, we pulled our three children out and enrolled them in private school. We sold our house and moved to a more tax friendly area. Carmel is not special and it certainly isn't hard. I was unimpressed with the teachers and thought many were lazy and unprofessional. I felt the administration was arrogant and not really interested in the students. Carmel is overrated in every way.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 7, 2012

There are many excellent teachers and programs at Carmel High School. However, when there IS a problem, it is difficult to get action to get it solved, and one may be met with incredulity should one dare to challenge the school's perfection. Even when many parents or students have tried to get a situation fixed, it can be hard to know if anything is being done because the school and principal will not acknowledge that it has any flaws whatsoever. They need to be more aggressive when addressing poor teaching. Kids and parents with high work ethic tend to mask teaching deficiencies and I daresay the administration isn't out there looking for problems to solve, let alone responding to parents who draw them to their attention.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 17, 2011

We moved to Carmel 8 years ago and it was the best thing ever happened to my children. My oldest daughter (now in college) had to adjust to the rigorous academics, but she said this school really prepared her for college. She discovered her passion for broadcast journalism here (they have a student run radio station and cable TV station, CHTV). My youngest, a junior, is involved in theatre and choir. Carmel high has 11 choirs, IB drama and film, a comedy sportz team, drama club, student directed one acts. Applied Music, a course for singers, goes to NYC every year, so does Drama. A highlight for me each year is Holiday Spectacular! Every child in choir participates and it blows me away every year! Carmel High has sports and clubs for everyone. My kids have always felt safe here. I have never had a problem reaching a teacher or a counselor. John Williams is a personable and charismatic principal. I see him at every event! I was impressed when he stopped by summer football practice to tell the players how proud he was of them (he did the same thing for the show choir). No school is perfect, but Carmel has come pretty close for our family.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 11, 2011

My daughter is a Junior this year. She is NOT one of those super-students who takes 5 AP classes each year and has a 4.0+ GPA. She works hard at her non-weighted classes (has a GPA of 3.2) and sings in a choir and participates in a couple of clubs. We have been very happy with her education/experience at Carmel High School. Yes, the teachers expect more from the students at CHS than at her previous school, but that's ok. She's getting a fantastic education and will do well at college because of it. No, she won't be going to Harvard or Notre Dame, but she will be successful wherever she does go. The course selection at CHS is fantastic (the reason we chose Carmel over other school districts), and for the most part, the teachers are caring and competent. We did have a problem last year with a teacher (new teacher, very bright, but couldn't effectively pass on the knowledge), but after an email to the department chair, a meeting was quickly set up between the department chair, the counselor, the teacher, our daughter and us. The problem was resolved to our satisfaction.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 13, 2010

Teachers at this school always have the excuse "it's harder because you are at Carmel" In my junior year I was taking 5 AP classes and 2 honors classes so I went to see teachers outside of class for help because I would always have so much on my mind in class. Teachers started to think I was struggling with my grades and they woould say "at Carmel we have a more rigorous curriculum..." They always have that excuse to back their poor teaching. Teachers also barely get to know you. The administration is more concerned with students that do activities and their students as a whole to get higher AP and SAT scores.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 6, 2010

I love carmel high school so much! It's such a great environment to learn in. The school has high standards, but it is a great preparation for college. There are so many extra curricular activities to get involved in. The performing arts, sports, student government, and all of the clubs they offer are just fantastic. This school provides so many great opportunities for kids to get involved.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 17, 2010

carmel is better than most schools but still has some problems. the reason that the school test scores are so high is not because of the teaching quality but because of the demographics. there are many successful families in carmel who teach their kids how to succeed as well. the main cause of success of standardized tests is not teaching quality. also, it is hard to go to a good school from carmel because the standards in carmel classes are so high. it makes the student look worse than he/she actually is.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 16, 2009

Excellent school, but considering the socio-economic demographics of Carmel, IN, the students would do well no matter where they went to school. My daughter started at Carmel and we transferred her to North Central High School because of her high interest in Performing Arts. Carmel has a lot of cliques and is not very welcoming. We have met several parents who moved their kids because of social problems. Carmel is a great school, but very wealthy and very white.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 16, 2009

Great teachers, great kids!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 26, 2009

Carmel HS exceeds expectaions and triumphs all other public schools in the INdianapolis area. My oldest went to Park Tudor (an expensive private school in the area) and my youngest goes to Carmel, and she recieves as great of an education as my son did. There is a wide variety of academics and an abundance of activities.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 22, 2009

Carmel HS is excellent in almost every regard -- from the outstanding academics to an endless array of extracurricular activities. Their teachers take an interest in each and every student -- whether academically gifted or struggling. The only way a student would not succeed would be by the student's own intentional failure. Ambitious students will find almost every resource available to them to further their studies.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 1, 2009

Carmel High School is the best school ever!!! I just finished my first year at college and I thought my classes were easier than high school where kids from other schools were struggling. I developed great relationships with many of my teachers at CHS and they are almost all really involved and excited to teach. The opportunities are endless from any number of over 100 clubs, to amazing sports teams, top rated performing arts programs, intermural sports, and an amazing student government. It is really easy to get involved the school does not seem too big after your first semester there. It is super easy to make friends and get involved. I would recommend everyone to go here.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 26, 2009

I loved this school very much and will miss it. Everything here is perfect, from academics to extracurriculars, Carmel is #1 at it all! Great school to send kids to; very diverse and will definitely fit in!
—Submitted by a student

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 70% in 2013.

788 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 48% in 2013.

1215 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for English was 76% in 2013.

1182 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Scale: % passing

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Indiana used the End-of-Course (ECA) assessment to test students in middle and high school in Algebra I, Biology I, and English 10. The ECA is a criterion-referenced assessment developed specifically for students completing their instruction in Algebra I, Biology I, or English 10. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests

Indiana uses the A through F School Grading System to assess the overall performance of a school. For the 2011-2012 school year, schools were graded based on performance and participation levels in state standardized tests and student growth using the Indiana Growth Model. In addition, high schools were graded on four-year (on-time) graduation rates and college and career readiness indicators including Advanced Placment exam results and industry certification exam results.

Source: Indiana Department of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

Above average

Test score rating
College readiness rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average


How schools in the state rate:

of schools in the state are Below average
of schools in the state are Average
of schools in the state are Above average

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the district and state.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests compared with other schools in the state.

This school

College readiness rating 20132What's this?

College readiness rating combines this high school's graduation rates with data about college entrance exams, both of which are indicators of how well schools are preparing students for success in college and beyond.

This school

SAT participation


Average SAT score


Graduation rate


1 Test scores are based on 2012-13 ISTEP and End of Course Assessment results.

2 This rating is based on composite SAT scores, SAT participation (% of graduates taking the SAT), and four-year adjusted graduation rates from 2011-12.

Starting College

How many graduates from this school ...

Enroll in college immediately after high school graduation1

This school


State Average


Need remediation, or help strengthening basic skills2*

This school


State Average


First year

How well prepared for college are these graduates?*

Average first year GPA (out of 4.0)2
This school
State Average

Average number of units completed in first year2
This school
Recommended load

Sticking with it

How many college-going students...*

Enroll in college for a second year3

This school


State Average

1Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, National Student Clearinghouse, 2011-2012
2Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, 2011-2012
3Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana Dept. of Education, 2010-2011
* Of those that went to Indiana public postsecondary institutions

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 81% 72%
Asian 10% 2%
Black 3% 12%
Multiracial 3% 4%
Hispanic 2% 10%
American Indian 0% 0%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 9%N/A46%
Special education 9%N/A14%
English learners 2%N/A5%
Source: IN Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

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520 East Main Street
Carmel, IN 46032
Website: Click here
Phone: (317) 846-7721


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