(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Niche, a national education assessment organization, which each year evaluates more than 60 million K-12 school reviews and survey responses to identify the Best Public School Districts in America, has ranked Albemarle County Public Schools among the top five school divisions in Virginia and among the top five percent of all school divisions in the nation.
Niche says its decisions are based on a rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education, along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users. The organization says it selects each ranking’s factors to represent a healthy balance between statistical rigor and practical relevance.
Among those factors, Albemarle County Public Schools earned an A+ for the college readiness of its students, as well as an A for academics, teachers, health and safety, and athletic programming.
“These very high competitive evaluations are a tribute to the skill and dedication of our teachers,” said Dr. Matt Haas, deputy superintendent. “They also recognize the value of our project-based curriculum and the investments our community continues to make in the quality of instruction in our schools. It’s a team approach,” he said, “one that is fully committed to continuous improvement in preparing our graduates for lifetime success.”
Each year, the survey evaluates a school division’s performance based on such factors as academics, teachers, clubs and activities, diversity, college readiness, and health and safety. Albemarle County public schools received an A for each of these six factors and also received an A for administration and for its resources and facilities. It was ranked as the third best school division in Virginia in which to teach.
Nationally, Niche evaluated 10,364 public school divisions as well as 18,793 individual high schools.
All three of Albemarle’s comprehensive high schools—Albemarle, Western Albemarle, and Monticello—were ranked in the top 10 percent of all high schools in the nation. Among Virginia’s 693 public high schools, Albemarle High School was ranked #28; Western Albemarle was #35; and Monticello was ranked #42, all within the top six percent. Each school received an A+ or an A for academics, teachers, and the college readiness of its students.
Overall, the school division’s national ranking, at 529, was in the top five percent of the 10,364 school divisions that were evaluated by the survey organization. Within the Commonwealth’s 132 school divisions, Albemarle was the only non-Northern Virginia school division in the top five. Alexandria, Falls Church, Loudon, and Fairfax were ranked 1-4. Each of these divisions spends more per pupil than Albemarle County, with an average per pupil expenditure of $15,872 for the four school divisions. Albemarle County is spending $12,818 per pupil this year.