GreatSchools Rating

Carmel High School

Public | 9-12 | 4685 students


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4 stars

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Based on 5 ratings
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49 reviews of this school

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Posted May 22, 2009

An outstanding school in every respect. Our son far prefers Carmel High School over the private (and quite distinguished) middle school he attended.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 16, 2009

My oldest child and I went to the same small private school and I was pleased, so when we moved to Carmel Schools, I was extremely worried. I could not be happier! I recalled one or two 'stand out' teachers from the previous school but when I attended the orientation at Carmel for both my younger children, I did not see a single teacher that was not a 'stand out' teacher. The small groups make it seem like a much smaller school and the course options are wonderful. My kids played freshman sports and had a great time. The football coaching staff is excellent. You honestly get a response within the hour most of the time whether you are e-mailing administration about spring break, teachers about grades or coaches with concerns and that includes the head football coach with a question about practices. I could not be happier with CHS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 8, 2009

I moved to Carmel a year ago and am now graduating. I've found that although numbers are large and you won't know people in your classes on the first day, by the end of the year you would have made a ton of friends. I loved my time here.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 15, 2008

I was an '07 grad of carmel. i loved every minute of being a student there. yes its true you really can only participate in an activity or two and its hard to get on top. but its that way in the real world too. The classes are difficult and encourage you to work harder and actually become an active learner. I was extremely well prepared for college and find it much easier. I take a heavier course load than most students and get better grades. Carmel encourages you to go out and get what you want instead of handing it to you. All the opportunities are there you just have to take advantage.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 23, 2008

As a parent of 2 students at Carmel High I can honestly say if I had it to do over again I would have never sent them to this school. It is too large and the teachers and coaches are only focused on top performers. If you have an average student don't expect a whole lot of attention either in the classroom or on the playing field. If you want your kid to be just a number then this is the school for you.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 4, 2008

CHS is an amazing school. Like any other high school some teachers are better than others, but every one of them has a passion for teaching that makes the students want to learn. The admins are great people who really try to help the kids, and the principal is to die for. I have never met a man who has so much pride and love for his school and students. This school has an incredible amount of school pride. There are no words to describe the energy at pep rallies and football games.. I have seen nothing like it in any other high school around here. I am going to be a junior at CHS next year, and every Carmel student I know can't wait for school to start again. Carmel has it all to make it a top public school; The academics, extra circulars, and school pride.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 19, 2008

People need to get over the fact that they think Carmel is full of rich snobs. It's not. The teachers truly care about their students and want to seem them grow. I don't have one complaint about Carmel schools.

Posted May 30, 2008

The school is overpopulated. To many students. The Administrators are all afraid of the students parents. Run Forest Run. I send my kids to Hamilton Southeastern
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted November 13, 2007

If you have an A+ student and/or star athlete for a child I give Carmel a 10. However, if you have a C student or below it gets a 3 rating. Carmel is too large to offer the average athlete any opportunities to compete and they teach at the A-B student level. The average or below student quickly falls behind and/or fails. The classes are too large and the teachers have too many students to provide any individualized help. Which is why private schools and 'learning centers' just flourish in Carmel. If you have a special needs student even with a very slight LD, forget about it. They focus solely on college prep and offer no career center or trade classes for students who are not on the college track. Sorry, Carmel HS does not live up to the hype. From a parent who has put 2 kids through Carmel HS
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 23, 2007

My experience with Carmel High School has been beyond dismal. There is no diversity in that school, and children are often treated badly if they are different.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 13, 2006

Carmel High is one of the premier secondary schools in the country. We had 2 children graduate from CHS (2003 and 2005), and currently have a sophomore here. These 3 very different children all had great experiences at this same large school. And 'large' is one reason they had so many opportunities to be involved and succeed in different areas. Music and performing arts at CHS cannot be beat; the visual arts department is wonderful; science course offerings and teachers are excellent. Currently, one child now studies science at a very selective private college, while the other attends a very selective music school. Both were extremely well prepared by teachers, courses and activities at CHS. Due to numerous moves, our children had previously attended small private schools, public schools in other states, and schools in Europe. None equaled the great education they got at Carmel. And, the Principal is fabulous.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 3, 2006

This school is blue ribbon school, with a graduation rate over 98 percent. College is said to be a breeze by my children. If you look at the ISTEP results this school is often over 95 percent! That says alot, especially when other schools you look at are in the 50 or 60 percentiles. If anyone on this review forum says that this school is hard to get involved in...give me a break they have over 120 clubs ranging from harry potter club to buffet club. If other peoples children couldnt get involved it wasnt the schools fault. Yes there are a lot of people but thats easier to find people that are most like you. The Principle is to die for! The guy is the nicest man ive met in a while! Principle John Williams is fantastic and knows most of the kids! This school is amazing!
—Submitted by a former student

Posted September 28, 2006

The size of the school makes it incredibly easy to get involved. I am a junior at CHS. I am currently in Science Club, Science Olympiad, Symphony Orchestra, Math Club, Piano Club, Webteam. I am also a football video manager. My only complaint is that there are too many clubs for me to do, but only 5 days a week. Making friends is incredibly easy as well. With this much diversity in a high school, it's easy to find people like you. Also, there are plenty of teachers in the school. The ratio of students:teachers is still the same as any other public school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 22, 2006

Having had one son graduate from Carmel High School and another attend one year, I can no longer recommend it to other parents. My youngest son is now attending a charter school and we are much happier with it. The principal and administrators of Carmel schools are into harsh, scare tactics type discipline regardless of underlying motivation or influences. They would not work with us or our son's therapist to help him deal with bullies and other problems. The amount of homework given nightly was also a nightmare. My oldest son is now in college and has less stress and homework than he did at Carmel High School. Carmel is so large that the administrators and teachers have little interest or time to deal with students as individuals. They are mainly concerned with getting high test scores and winning teams, rather than helping struggling teenagers succeed.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 20, 2006

CHS is what I looked forward to in my teenage life. It is a safe and smart environment for everyone. Some say it is big, but that is for the good. A student can make more friends, and find other people that share their same interests. Clubs, sports, and classes are what bring the kids together. CHS has many clubs, high quality sports teams, and an amazing range of classes that prepare students for college. Even if someone isn't a top-notch athlete, this school has a great intramural program. Kids can get their friends together and play flag football, ping pong, basketball, and many other games just for the fun of it. A person only has one chance to experience high school. By being apart of CHS, those people can prepare for the future, and also enjoy every step of the way there.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted January 19, 2006

We moved here from another state. My student is a freshman at CHS, and I have two other students in middle and elementary schools. We relocated to Carmel because of the academic reputation of the schools. If I were to make the decision again, I would move into the Fishers, Westfield or Zionsville schools. The ISTEP scores are great, but Carmel is too big, even with the new freshman center. It has very little diversity. Unless your child is a superstar athlete or cheerleader, participating in sports is not likely. The system promotes a strict path, and thinking outside the box is not promoted or encouraged. The pervasive attitude from the teachers and administration is one of condescension, and all feel they have too much to handle. I do not recommend moving here from anywhere else. But the scores are great.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 28, 2005

We relocated from California to Carmel with two high school students new to Carmel High. The school is way too big for its own good, detached, and lacking teacher/parent communication. My kids would meet someone than never see them again because the school is so big. This is not college, but high school. I think Fishers has the right idea with the building of their new high school. We're back in California, and I'm glad my kids will not have to graduate from Carmel High.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 31, 2005

I will be a senior at Carmel High School this coming year. I love Carmel. There are so many opportunities that only a large school could offer. All kids have the ability to do well because each teacher has a unique teaching style. Class sizes are not too large and all of the different options have something for everyone. Each teacher is very qualified to teach their subject. Most teachers teach with a passion that makes you want to learn. Carmel athletics are also great. Most of the sports teams at Carmel go into post season tournaments and several go on to win state titles. Clubs and groups at Carmel are a perfect example of the options at Carmel. There is a club or group for anything you could think of. If you don't see something you like, you can start your own club. Carmel is the land of opportunities.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 27, 2005

I have a daughter that graduated from Carmel in 2004 and has found herself extremely prepared for her first year of college. Yes, it is a big school; however, if you ask her, she would tell you it did not seem too big. The kids find their own way. It is parents that are intimidated by the size, not the kids. I've known too many parents that have put so much fear into their kids about the size of the high school, the kids start school afraid. I have a daughter going into the new freshman center, we can't wait!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 2, 2005

We've had two children graduate CHS (1999 and 2004). The opportunities for the children at CHS are unlimited. If any student, or parent says it's hard to get involved at CHS, they are just making excuses. They aren't trying to get involved. Children get out of it what they put into it. For a public school, there is none better. The school offers excellent academic's and seems to continually strive to provide more challenging classes and opportunities to those students who want it. CHS offers an array of classes not found in most schools as well as a great Performing Arts Department and Athletic Dept. CHS is truly like a university. Opportunity abounds at CHS and prepares them well for college. It was an experience my children will always cherish along with the lifelong friends they made there.
—Submitted by a parent

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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