South Lakes High School

11400 South Lakes Dr, Reston, VA 20191
(703) 715-4500

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 2340 students 20 students/teacher (VA avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade


Standards of Learning End-of-Course (SOLEOC)

In 2013-2014 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course tests to assess students in reading, writing, math, science and history/social science subjects at the end of each course, regardless of the student's grade level. The SOL End-of-Course tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. High school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests to graduate. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.
  • This school in 2014
  • Fairfax County Public Schools average
  • Virginia state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

South Lakes High School is a public high school in Reston. The principal of South Lakes High School is Ms. Kimberly B Retzer. 2,340 students go to South Lakes High School and identify mostly as Multiracial; White, non-Hispanic; and Hispanic. 26% of the 2,340 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at South Lakes High School is 20:1. Dominion Christian School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Multiracial 6% 5%
White, non-Hispanic 47% 43%
Hispanic 20% 22%
Black, non-Hispanic 16% 10%
Asian/Pacific Islander 11% 19%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.09% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 26% 26%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    People are just scared of the low income families that send their kids to this school but SLHS has some of the nicest kids I have ever met. The IB program at SLHS is incredibly rigorous and challenges students to do their absolute best. I don't know how a 4 star rating is equal to a 6 out of ten? Maybe the HS that the founders of Great Schools had a pretty bad Math Program? 4/5=8/10. simple math people.

  • (1 year ago)

    I'm currently a junior at South Lakes and I have to say it's filled with a lot of people that genuinely care about the students. I have had such great teachers and have a found a great community on the track team. The facility is awesome compared to some of the other FCPS high schools we are pretty newly renovated and well upkept. The athletics coaches and the counselors are great too but I have to say the one thing that takes away is the Principal. Mr. Butler who left in 2012 was excellent personally engaged with the students and clearly cared about us and our education. Now I feel trapped and constantly mistrusted by the principal and some of the office staff as if the students are animals that need to be corralled with random arbitrary rules.

  • (1 year ago)

    South Lake deserve one star for some of teachers that work hard but unfortunately the Principal leadership is ashamedly poor as same of the Vice Principal.

  • (3 years ago)

    My daughter is a freshman at South Lakes and we have found this school to offer a wonderful blend of academic challenge nuturing support and a strong community. Led by a fantastic principal the teachers and staff do a great job of encouraging and mentoring the students. My daughter is on track to receive the IB Diploma and has found the classes to be rigorous but manageable. We have been pleased with the sports and performing arts programs as well. My daughter -- and our family -- are looking forward to her next 3 1/2 years at South Lakes.

  • (5 years ago)

    South Lakes has a principal like no other that goes above & beyond to know his students teachers curriculum parents etc. Bruce Butler is the most aware and involved principal and cares about each student. The admin. staff is wonderful also. They work to keep the students & parents involved &i nformed. The IB program is very challenging & requires a large amount of writing. When an IB graduate student of South Lakes moves on to a challenging college they comment that the college don't seem so difficult in comparison. The students & teachers are welcoming. The facility itself is the best I have seen in Fairfax Cnty with it's high technology in each classroom bright skylights large & functional gym well designed theatre etc. With the newly re-districted students and new enthusiasm this school's test scores will soar!

  • (5 years ago)

    There is no comparison to the Seahawk Community. Students are pushed to do their best and success is always rewarded either by a handshake from the principal or congratulations from all teachers.

  • (6 years ago)

    South Lakes does a great job with a very diverse population - racially economically ethnically (including many languages) and includes students with a variety of handicapping conditions.

  • (6 years ago)

    South Lakes is a family we always take care of our own.

  • (6 years ago)

    South Lakes High School is very diversified racially and as well as it is a well thought of IB school.

  • (6 years ago)

    I have always found South Lakes to be challenging and stimulating for my kids. Neither are in the IB program but that does not exclude them from taking IB or AP courses. As a matter of fact I found the AP courses much more demanding on them than the IB courses. The teachers are tough but fair. They have always responded to my many inquiries and work hard to help my kids succeed. I could not be happier with the curriculum offerings at South Lakes. My daughter found her calling when she discovered The Academy for Communications and the Arts offered at South Lakes and other Fairfax County Schools. She now attends Columbia continuing her dream in life.

  • (6 years ago)

    Great school especially if you are in the IB program.

  • (6 years ago)

    Princeton. Juilliard. Berkeley. M.I.T. Virginia Tech. Cornell. UVA. USC. W&M. NYU. Penn State. West Point. These are just a few of the schools that my classmates and I went on to after graduating from South Lakes in 2006. Since that time the quality of education at the school has only improved and the school has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. The IB program at SLHS is vastly superior to the AP program at any university in the nation; freshman year at an Ivy Leaugue school is easy in comparison to the IB workload. The music and arts programs at South Lakes are also fantastic with students frequently performing at the Kennedy Center Carnegie Hall and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

  • (6 years ago)

    I loved this school. I had 3 boys graduate in the last 2 years- they were all accepted into good colleges (inc W&M and VT) and they felt that South Lakes prepared them for the next level ( they made Deans list etc). They have a diverse group of friends and still communicate with their teachers. Strong administration and great new facility. I saw no negatives in our time there.

  • (7 years ago)

    South Lakes High school a school where most people in the area are afraid to attend because of its poor judgements pf people who have never set foot there. I'm a rising tenth grader attending South Lakes this fall. When I first moved to Reston I hated it and I still do. I've left somethings behind. But this school changed me. Mentaly and phisically. The teachers are outstanding. They might be a little tough on you for not doing your home works and so and so but they're trying to make you do the best and succeed in the future. Your councelors are magnificient. They'll take sometime to listen to what you have to talk to them about they'll listen and give you some advice. Even though the school is not in ther best conditions right now when I first when there It helped learn what I needed to.

  • (7 years ago)

    South Lakes is an excellent school. The staff has been extraordinary and the mix of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds have prepared my son for the real world. We would not choose to place our kids in any other school in Fairfax County. Our kids are happy and have succeeded in the Langston Hughes/South Lakes pyramid and we couldn't have asked for better for them anywhere.

  • (7 years ago)

    This school is definitely not a bad school. Contrary to the belief of many residents in the surrounding area it is actually in my opinion one of the best schools in the nation. I understand that this is a biased opinion based off of the fact my child goes to South Lakes but South Lakes definitely provides everything I expected a school to have and more. Ever since there was a change in administration the school has been amazing and once the renovations and redistricting are complete I believe it will be a top 100 school in the noation or even better

  • (7 years ago)

    This is one of the bst high schools in the United States. There are programs for every interest. The students are diverse; many families come from overseas looking for great education and these students are motivated. Test scores are top notch. It is not even crowded so your child will get the attention he or she deserves. This school also looks good on college applications. A+

  • (7 years ago)

    The IB program at South Lakes is amazing. The teachers are dedicated hard working and the students are excellent in those classes. The regular level classes could use some improvement with discipline and focus. However safety has never been a 'paramount of importance' for my children here. I'm assuming that comment below might have been written by an angry Oakton parent.

  • (7 years ago)

    The much talked about diversity factor is true with most of the fairfax county public schools not only this one! Schools are for education and safety has to be of paramount importance!

  • (7 years ago)

    I am currently attending south lakes and I think that it is a great school. I have a friend from elementary school and I was talking with some of her friends who attend oakton and they actually said ' You go to South Lakes? Aren't you scared to go there? Most of the people we know are afraid to even go over there.' I was so suprised! I knew it had a bad rep but wow! I think that they should actually come and see what the school is like before they judge it. I think south lakes is an excelent school. People say that all the students that go there are bad and dangerous. That is not true.

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Overall score

(based on 60 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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