Watauga County Schools has been rated the third-best school system in the state of North Carolina, according to a study by released by Niche, an online company that analyzes public data sets to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards and profiles for every K-12 school in the U.S.
The study ranked Watauga third-best among North Carolina’s 115 school districts.
The company draws on data from the U.S. Department of Education to rank districts based on state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality and public school district ratings.
In addition to its high overall ranking, Watauga County Schools also earned No. 2 spots in the study’s list of districts with the best teachers and best places to teach in the state.
The study ranked Watauga County Schools highly in student to teacher ratio at 12:1 –below the nation average of 16:1, and graduation rate, which the study cites as 87 percent. In the most recent data, however, that figure crossed the threshold of 90 percent, the district’s highest ever ranking.
“These rankings are a testament to our continued dedication to make Watauga County Schools the best place to learn and work in North Carolina,” Superintendent Scott Elliott said. “From the ground up, every person that has a stake in the education of our students is immensely dedicated to their ongoing success. I am constantly humbled and impressed with their commitment and professionalism.”
While maintaining a strong showing across the metrics that Niche uses to grade schools, Elliott said the system would take its lower rated aspects under consideration and continue to build and improve.
“As we strive to offer our students the best possible learning environment, we will continue to constantly evaluate our practices and continue to make improvements where they are needed,” Elliott said.
Statewide, the only districts to rank higher than Watauga County Schools were Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Asheville City Schools.
For more information, and to view the complete results of the study, visit www.k12.niche.com/d/watauga-county-schools-nc/