(NEXSTAR) – When it comes to the best public high school in the country, a newcomer from North Carolina has broken through the ranks, according to a new study.

Niche, a site that combines ratings from students, parents, and alumni with quantitative data, just released its high school rankings for 2023 and found the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics to be the best in the nation.

The Durham school climbed steadily during the pandemic, ranked number 4 in 2021, and it achieved second place a year later. See the top 10 public high schools below:

2023 RankingSchoolMetro AreaState2022 Ranking
1North Carolina School of Science and MathematicsRaleigh areaNC2
2Payton College Preparatory High SchoolChicago areaIL6
3The Davidson AcademyN/ANV1
4MA Academy for Math & Science SchoolN/AMA3
5Northside College Preparatory High SchoolChicago areaIL7
6Illinois Mathematics and Science AcademyChicago areaIL13
7Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & TechnologyWashington, D.C. AreaVA5
8Maggie Walker Governor’s SchoolRichmond areaVA4
9High Technology High SchoolNew York City areaNJ8
10Whitney M. Young Magnet High SchoolChicago areaIL23
(Niche)

When it comes to private high schools, Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts is again ranked first, for the third straight year.

See the top 10 private high schools for 2023 below, and the full list for both public and private institutions here.

RankingSchoolMetro AreaState2022 Ranking
1Phillips Academy AndoverBoston areaMA1
2Harvard-Westlake SchoolLos Angeles areaCA11
3Choate Rosemary HallN/ACT3
4Phillips Exeter AcademyN/ANH6
5Groton SchoolBoston areaMA5
6Trinity SchoolNew York City areaNY8
7St. Mark’s School of TexasDallas-Fort Worth areaTX7
8The College Preparatory SchoolSan Francisco Bay areaCA4
9Commonwealth SchoolBoston areaMA24
10The Nueva SchoolSan Francisco Bay areaCA9
(Niche)

In 2023, many school districts will be juggling staff shortages as well as the ongoing presence of COVID-19, which continues to spread via highly transmissible subvariants of omicron.

While some districts are bolstering staffing numbers and installing new ventilation systems to minimize disruptions, the Associated Press reported that many others were sticking with the same approach they had last year.

“We don’t anticipate significant changes to our plan; we don’t anticipate significant disruptions,” Charles Herndon, a Baltimore County Public Schools spokesperson, told the AP. “What we’re expecting to see is waves of COVID in 2022 and 2023, and I’m sure there are going to be times when more folks are going to be absent and there will be times when everything is OK.”

When it comes to the best school districts in 2023, Niche found that the top five are all in either Illinois or New York:

2023 RankingDistrictMetro AreaState2022 Ranking
1Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125Chicago areaIL1
2Glenbrook High Schools District 225Chicago areaIL2
3Great Neck Public SchoolsNew York City areaNY3
4Jericho Union Free School DistrictNew York City areaNY5
5Syosset Central School DistrictNew York City areaNY9
6Roslyn Union Free School DistrictNew York City areaNY7
7New Trier Township High School District No. 203Chicago areaIL6
8West Lafayette Community School CorporationN/AIN14
9Palo Alto Unified School DistrictSan Francisco Bay areaCA27
10Eanes Independent School DistrictAustin areaTX11
(Niche)

Education is top of mind for many parents worried that their children have to catch up after two years of remote learning, social isolation, and various pandemic-related traumas like the loss of a loved one.

“Many students are having to relearn how to be with each other in person and in social and academic settings,” Wayne Au, professor of education at the University of Washington, Bothell, told The Conversation. Moreover, students in low-income families are still trying to overcome the consequences of inequitable access to resources and technology at home during remote schooling.”

Choosing a new school has never been easy, but parents and children now have to do it in an unprecedented environment.

“Some of the biggest decisions that parents face have to do with their children’s education,” said Luke Skurman, Founder and CEO of Niche. “We strive to put as much power in their hands as possible so they can make informed decisions with confidence.”

This is the ninth year that Niche has compiled the rankings, which it says are based on data compiled for 92,743 public schools, 30,112 private schools and 11,820 school districts nationwide.