LIVINGSTON, NJ — Shortly after Livingston Public Schools was named the No. 3 public district in New Jersey by Niche.com, the same site also ranked Heritage and Mt. Pleasant as the No. 2 and No. 9 middle schools in the state, respectively.
Heritage Middle School, with 954 students and a student-teacher ratio of 12:1, was named No. 2 in the district behind only Princeton Charter School in Princeton, NJ. The middle school in Millburn, which is the only Essex County district to be named above Livingston in the overall district ranking, was ranked at No. 3.
Livingston Mt. Pleasant Middle School, with 458 sixth graders and a student-teacher ratio of 12:1, was named No. 9 in the state. Both Heritage and Mt. Pleasant earned an overall Niche Grade of A+.
According to Niche.com, the 2020 Best Public Middle Schools ranking is based on “rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education.” Ranking factors include state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, middle school ratings and the overall quality of the school district.
“Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions a parent will make for their child,” the company states in its Methodology for K-12 rankings. “Niche understands this, and has worked to build the most complete, accurate, and transparent school search tool on the Internet. This tool is powered by our comprehensive school rankings. Our commitment to helping families find where they belong has pushed us to make our 2020 Niche School Rankings the best yet.”
When the website’s annual ranking of public school districts was initially released, LBOE President Charles "Buddy" August credited the district's teachers for the high ranking.
"This is a great thing for all the staff members who teach in Livingston," he said. "They are the ones that make the product, so to speak. They deserve all the credit for this."
August also said he was impressed with Livingston's ranking on a national scale.
"There are so many ratings that come out each year, and No. 3 is great, but, to me, even better is being No. 30 in the country," August said. "All the board members should be ecstatic about this. It's a great place to be, and hopefully it will make more people want to move here. I have heard that the real estate market in Livingston is doing great."
During last week’s Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Block acknowledged the rankings but reminded the public that while it is “really nice to be honored and recognized” in this way, it is also important to remember that the success of the district is measured by more than the recent Niche.com rankings.
“Livingston has a lot to be proud of, but it’s important to remember, too, that that’s one of many measurements of the great things that happen for the students in the district every day,” said Block. “We should enjoy it and smile, but also realize that we measure ourselves by the work that we do every day with our student here at Livingston.”
Livingston received the following overall grades from Niche.com:
Overall Niche Grade: A+
College Prep: A+
Health & Safety: A+
Clubs & Activities: A+
Resources & Facilities: A+
According to figures reported by Niche.com, Livingston Public Schools has 5,814 students in grades PK, K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 13-1. According to state test scores, 69 percent of students are at least proficient in math and 80 percent in reading.
To read more about the methodology used in these annual rankings, click HERE.
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