Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy’s SAT score (combined reading and math) ranked seventh among North Carolina’s public school systems in 2015, according to data published this past week by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

95.2% of graduating seniors at Thomas Jefferson took the SAT — compared to 52% in the United States and 64% in North Carolina.

“These scores are a primary reason why the graduates of the class of 2015 were offered a combined $7.3 million in academic scholarships over four years,” said Headmaster Joe Maimone. “We are proud of the great accomplishments of our 83 graduates this past year. This was an extraordinary class of students who are now in college enjoying the fruits of their success in high school. Our teachers are to be commended for providing the challenging Advanced Placement and Honors courses that helped them to achieve this success.”

“Our school’s high SAT scores are a testimony to the work ethic of our students, the dedication of our parents, the talent and can-do attitude of our faculty, and the excellence of our classical curriculum,” said Jeff Ziegler, the school’s academic dean.

The school’s mean SAT scores have ranked in the top ten in the state during eleven of the previous thirteen years, according to prior editions of the North Carolina SAT Report, and The Washington Post ranks Thomas Jefferson #134 among the nation’s public high schools in preparing students for college. In addition, the Department of Public Instruction recognizes the school as an A school.

There is no cost to attend the public charter school, which attracts students from Rutherford, Cleveland, Polk, McDowell, Gaston and other surrounding counties.

Top State Rankings (combined critical reading and math)
• NC School of Science and Math 1358
• Raleigh Charter High School 1300
• Chapel Hill-Carborro City 1183
• NC School of the Arts 1170
• Woods Charter 1166
• Gray Stone Day 1137
• TJCA-CFA 1123 (95.2% participation)
State and Local Averages: (percent participation)
• Polk County 1041 (38.8%)
• U.S. 1010 (52%)
• North Carolina 1006 (64%)
• Cleveland County 954 (46.8%)
• Rutherford County 943 (46.7%)