URBANA HIGH SCHOOL is located just off the I-270 technology corridor, approximately 45 minutes northwest of Washington, DC. We serve a school community centered in southeastern Frederick County, Maryland.
Urbana High School was founded in 1995 and has grown rapidly during our first quarter century. Our core values, often touted by students and staff, are respect, unity, integrity, and pride. Our school provides a safe and supportive learning environment in a school community that respects diversity and individual differences and that expects compassionate, ethical conduct.
Having the largest student enrollment in our system, Urbana offers a broad array of courses in the arts, sciences, and humanities. In each of these areas, our programs provide a rich selection of challenging opportunities as students ready themselves to actively participate in our local and global communities. Dual enrollment courses, in partnership with local higher education institutions, and a robust Advanced Placement program afford students many options to achieve in college-level curricula. Annually, our students take upward of 1200 Advanced Placement exams in 24 subjects with an average of 70% of scores that qualify for college credit. Urbana is also proud to offer a Learning for Life program that serves non-diploma bound students and that allows these students to learn in a variety of academic disciplines.
Since 2004, UHS has offered students the opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB). The IB program is a rigorous, pre-university course of studies that meets the needs of highly motivated secondary students in the eleventh and twelfth grades. The IB program ensures "intellectual rigor and high academic standards, teaches young people to relate the experiences of the classroom to the outside world, and assists students in becoming critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and informed participants" in their communities and the world. The Program also encourages students to understand and explore the history and character of different cultures. Ninety-five percent of our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program candidates earn the full diploma.
While Urbana has been recognized for our visual and performing arts in local and our athletic teams have won regional and state championships, our faculty and students are most committed to our record of academic excellence. U.S. News and World Report ranks Urbana first in Frederick County, tenth in Maryland, and 466th nationally in light of graduation rate, our AP participation rate and our students’ level of college readiness. Urbana is ranked 445th by Newsweek as one of the nation’s Top 500 STEM schools.
In 2018 and 2019, Urbana was recognized as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School and as a National Blue Ribbon School respectively for consistently high student achievement. In 2020, we were recognized as a Maryland Green School where our students and staff understand their connection to the environment and create healthier spaces to learn.
Approximately 75% of UHS students attend 4-year colleges following high school; another 20% go on to 2-year colleges, with the remaining students attending vocational schools, going directly into the work force or joining the military. Our students are routinely offered admission to some of the most competitive colleges in the country.
Members of our faculty have been recognized as local and state Teachers of the Year. In 2011, former UHS teacher Michelle Shearer was named National Teacher of the Year. Numerous Urbana faculty have also been honored as Agnes Myers Outstanding Teachers, a program of The Washington Post.
Our school and neighborhood communities are active supporters of UHS programs; we appreciate our PTSA and several booster organizations that support academics, athletics, and the arts. We offer several annual performing arts productions and have an extremely active club schedule involving the majority of our students in a wide spectrum of activities from Model United Nations Club and Engineering Club to Red Cross Club and Gay/Straight Alliance. Our faculty members are enthusiastically committed to encouraging students to explore individual interests and achieve success through extra and co-curricular activities.
We welcome inquiries about our school.