Niche gives Woodlands Academy another A+ for educating girls

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart has earned another round of top marks for its faith-based education of young women. According to the just-released 2022 rankings by Niche, an independent research company, the Lake Forest school repeats as the #1 Best All-girls High School in Illinois. In addition, Woodlands Academy is again ranked the #1 Best Catholic High School in Illinois. This is the fifth year in a row that Niche has ranked Woodlands Academy the #1 Best All-girls High School in Illinois and the third consecutive year it’s given Woodlands an overall grade of A+.

Niche, a website for researching K-12 schools, scored Woodlands Academy highly on a variety of factors. These include SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratios, the quality of colleges students consider, and reviews from students and parents.

“I am so proud to once again be ranked the best all-girls high school in Illinois,” Head of School Dawn Nichols, Ed.D., said. “Preparing young women to tackle the world beyond high school is Woodlands’ sole focus. Our belief that empowered girls can change the world is an integral part of who we are and how we educate our students.”

Statistical data used in the 2022 Niche rankings was obtained from various sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, which Niche then analyzed. For the complete rankings, methodologies and data sources, visit

In 2020, Woodlands Academy was recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School. This coveted award is based on a school's overall academic performance. It affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

The focus on educating young women to become well-rounded global citizens traces back to the original vision of Sacred Heart education formulated more than 200 years ago. Woodlands Academy, Lake County’s only single-gender school, is an independent Catholic day-and-boarding, college-preparatory school for young women of all faiths grades nine through 12 founded in Chicago in 1858. Located in Lake Forest since 1904, Woodlands empowers girls to change the world.

Prospective students and their parents can learn more about a Woodlands Academy education during open houses from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7. Join teachers and students on campus for an immersive experience on how a Woodlands education prepares girls for college and beyond. To register, or for more information, visit  or call 847-234-4300.