Four high schools serving Sandy Springs, Buckhead and Brookhaven were among the 54 Georgia schools named this month to Newsweek magazine’s list of the top 1,500 public high schools in the nation.

Chamblee Charter High School, whose attendance zone covers much of Brookhaven, was the top-ranked school in Reporter Newspapers’ coverage area, ranking fourth in Georgia and No. 219 in the nation. Chamblee was 236th in the nation in 2008 and peaked at 178th in 2007.

Close behind at No. 227 in the nation and fifth in the state was Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs. North Springs Charter High School in Sandy Springs also made the list, ranking 572nd in the nation and 22nd in Georgia.

Riverwood was 309th last year, 153rd in 2007 and 132nd in 2006. North Springs missed the list in 2008 but was 594th in 2007 and 566th in 2006.

Buckhead’s public high school, North Atlanta High, ranked 886th in the nation and 34th in Georgia. It’s North Atlanta’s first appearance on the list since being ranked 541st in 2006.

North Atlanta was the only public school in the city of Atlanta to make the list, while the Sandy Springs schools were among eight in the Fulton County system to earn Newsweek’s recognition. Chamblee was one of four DeKalb schools on the list, including Dunwoody High, which was 1,047th in the nation and 39th in Georgia.

No. 1 in the state was Walton High School in East Cobb, which was 91st in the nation.

The rankings are based on a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in a given year divided by the number of graduating seniors. The new rankings are based on the numbers from spring 2008. The schools that make the Newsweek list rank among the top 6 percent of America’s public high schools.

The complete list is available at