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  1. Academics
    A-
  2. Diversity
    A-
  3. Teachers
    B
  4. College Prep
    A-
  5. Clubs & Activities
    B-
  6. Health & Safety
    A-
  7. Administration
    A-
  8. Sports
    B
  9. Food
    C+
  10. Resources & Facilities
    B
School of Inquiry & Life Sciences is a highly rated, public school located in Asheville, NC. It has 351 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 25 to 1. According to state test scores, 67% of students are at least proficient in math and 77% in reading.
419 Mcdowell Street
Asheville, NC 28803
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School of Inquiry & Life Sciences Rankings

Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.

Academics

Percent Proficient - Reading
77%
Percent Proficient - Math
67%
Average Graduation Rate
95%
Average SAT
1150
62 responses
Average ACT
27
56 responses
AP Enrollment
31%
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Living in the Area
  1. Cost of Living
    B-
  2. Good for Families
    A-
  3. Housing
    C+
Median Household Income
$47,803
National
$55,322
Median Rent
$1,001
National
$949
Median Home Value
$242,500
National
$184,700

Culture & Safety

Health & Safety
A-
Based on chronic student absenteeism, suspensions/expulsions, and survey responses on the school environment from students and parents.
Poll
86%
of students agree that they feel safe at their school.7 responses
Poll
86%
of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.7 responses
Poll
What are your favorite school events or traditions?
Based on 7 responses
  • Most of the events are through Asheville High
    57%
  • SILSA doesn't really have any
    29%
  • The plays
    14%

Students

Diversity
A-
Based on racial and economic diversity and survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents.
Students
351
Free or Reduced Lunch
22%
71%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.7 responses
57%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.7 responses
29%
of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.7 responses

Teachers

Student-Teacher Ratio
25:1
National
17:1
Average Teacher Salary
$43,761
Teachers in First/Second Year
6.6%
86%
of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.7 responses
86%
of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.7 responses
86%
of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.7 responses

Clubs & Activities

Clubs & Activities
B-
Based on student and parent reviews of clubs and activities.
Girls Athletic Participation
Low
Boys Athletic Participation
Low
Expenses Per Student
$13,011/ year
National
$12,239
100%
of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.8 responses
50%
of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.8 responses
75%
of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.8 responses
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School of Inquiry & Life Sciences Reviews

62 reviews
All Categories
This school has definitely been a large contributor to who I am today! As a Senior, looking back at how SILSA has shaped me and reminded me how important community is, I realize that I'll take that into the world and build some awesome professional relationships in the future. SILSA has a wonderful environment for friends (friends with teachers, classmates, administration, etc) and maintains that throughout all four years. My favorite things about SILSA include that environment, the ability to take ANY AB Tech class (within reason, we can't take the brewing classes, of course.), and the amazing, sometimes art-based core classes. I definitely think we have some space to improve in terms of certain teachers taking the "directing your own learning" promise a bit too far, but overall, it's a great place. Please send your children here.
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In general the School of Inquiry & Life Sciences of Asheville provided good academics. One thing I can say is that in comparison to Asheville high school the teachers at SILSA were more passionate, driven and focused upon their students and their academics. Students are pushed with honors and AP classes allowing opportunities to study at the local community college. My only negative comment would be upon certain teachers that continued to display inadequate teaching methods and attitudes that confused the student body. There were specific teachers whom were continuously criticized and complained by students and teachers and nothing was done about it. In my opinion, at such a good school, standards should be set higher by administratives and followed up.
SILSA is apparently one of 'the best public high schools in America', but I find that very hard to believe. The academics and teachers are very hit or miss, I've had three amazing teachers and the rest have been terrible - I didn't learn a single thing from them except how to bs the system, which is important but I feel like I've missed out so much academically that my first few years of college will be catching up on what I missed out on in high school. That's if I even go to college, the college prep here is horrible. I got no help in applying to colleges and in the end I only applied to one school that I never heard back from because they didn't receive all the needed information from my high school. Overall, SILSA is very over rated, I would only recommend for the first two years because those teachers are pretty good, after that go to Asheville High where they have actual classes for AP's, not just online. Go to Asheville High!