The Elmbrook School District has once again earned top honors from Niche as the best school district in the state of Wisconsin for 2023 — a feat the district can claim for the fourth year running.
The metro Milwaukee area performed very well in the statewide rankings, as it accounts for three of the top five school districts — Elmbrook, Mequon-Thiensville and Whitefish Bay.
The top 10 districts are: Elmbrook, Middleton-Cross Plains, Mequon-Thiensville, Whitefish Bay, Waunakee, Muskego-Norway, Cedarburg, Pewaukee, Shorewood and Greendale.
Niche is an online rankings site that ranks schools, companies and neighborhoods based on data, rankings, reviews, report cards and other factors. Schools are ranked based on their academics, teachers, diversity, college prep, clubs and activities, administration, food, health and safety, resources and facilities and sports.
In Niche’s nine-category report card the Elmbrook School District earned A+ grades in academics, teachers, clubs & activities, sports, college prep and administration. The district received an A for resources & facilities and food, and its lowest grade came in the diversity category where it received a B.
According to Niche’s database, the district achieved an impressive 97% graduation rate and at least 61% of the district's students will have achieved proficiency in reading, and 68% will achieve proficiency in math. The student-teacher ratio in the Elmbrook School District is 15:1.
“In the midst of several unusual school years, we are proud that our commitment to our students and staff have continued to wield amazing results. This accolade shows the care and importance that our community places on high-quality education for all of our students,” said Dr. Tanya Fredrich, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, said in a statement.
The Mequon-Thiensville School District stays in the top three in the new rankings as it received an A+ in academics, teachers, clubs & activities, sports and college prep. The district received an A in the administration, food and resources & facilities categories. In what is a trend for the top districts in Wisconsin, Mequon-Thiensville’s lowest grade came in the diversity category where it received a C+.
According to Niche data, the district has an almost perfect graduation rate of 99%, while 67% of the district's students achieve proficiency in reading and 64% achieve proficiency in math. Mequon-Thiensville also offers a 15:1 student-teacher ratio.
“The engagement of our students, staff, families, and community members all play a role in ensuring that each student has the tools they need to achieve success. We are grateful for the partnership of the entire MTSD community,” said district superintendent Matthew Joynt in a statement.
Whitefish Bay School District was ranked fourth in Wisconsin but is the top-ranked District in Milwaukee County. The district was given an A+ for academics, teachers, sports and college prep. The categories of administration, clubs & activities and resources & facilities all received an A. Whitefish Bay’s overall ranking was hurt most by a C+ ranking in diversity and a C- ranking in food.
Niche data puts the graduation rate for the district at 96% and students are achieving proficiency in reading at 68%, and in math at 66%. Whitefish Bay stays one student under the national average as it boasts a 16:1 student-teacher ratio.
Not only was the district ranked high for students, but it also ranked the third best place to teach in Wisconsin. Something district superintendent John Thompson said he takes pride in.
“This is really a recognition of our talented and committed team members. We have a lot of dedicated staff here making sure this is an excellent place and it shows in our motivated and engaged learners. I think it's also a reflection of our supportive families and our supportive community as a whole, so when you put those three ingredients together, that's a recipe for high-quality schools right there,” Thompson said.
Milwaukee area Private schools were also recognized
Brookfield’s dominance in the rankings continued as Brookfield Academy was ranked the best private school in Wisconsin.
Brookfield academy received an overall grade of A+, however, grades for private schools were determined by only six categories. The school earned an A+ in the academics and college prep categories. Teachers and clubs & activities received an A while sports received an A-. Niche was not able to give the school a grade for diversity as it did not have the necessary information to do so.
Niche data shows a perfect 100% graduation rate for Brookfield Academy, and while proficiency cannot be measured by the same standardized tests that public schools take, the average SAT and ACT scores at the school are 1380 and 31. The school also offers a very intimate learning setting with the student-teacher ratio being 9-to-1.
“An important factor in the school’s continued success has been the unwavering dedication to its Mission, ‘to graduate students prepared for college and life, educated in the skills, values, and heritage of responsible, constructive, free people,’" The school said in a statement.
Ranking second, University School of Milwaukee is the only other Milwaukee area private school ranking in Niche’s top 10. University School of Milwaukee has either ranked first or second every year since Niche started its rankings.
The school earned a grade of A+ in the college prep, academics and clubs & activities categories. Moreover, it received a grade of A in sports and teachers, and the school's lowest grade came in the form of A- which it received in the diversity category.
Niche data has the graduation rate at the University School of Milwaukee at 100% and average SAT and ACT scores at 1380 and 30. Small classrooms are also offered as the student-teacher ratio is 12:1.
“Our overall A+ grade speaks to our longstanding tradition of academic excellence, highly experienced and credentialed faculty and diverse and supportive community,” said the school in a statement.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee area schools top latest best schools in Wisconsin rankings