DELMAR — A national ranking and review website has named Bethlehem Central No. 1 among area school districts in its annual best districts rating.
Niche.com ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents. In its 2022 Best School Districts ranking, Bethlehem Central topped the list of 32 Captial District school districts.
“Bethlehem Central School District is a top-rated, public school district,” stated the site. “According to state test scores, 78 percent of students are at least proficient in math and 67 percent in reading.”
Bethlehem Central was also rated the 30th best district out of 672 ranked districts across the state, and out of 687 districts, its teachers were rated 13th throughout all of New York.
In 10 categories, Bethlehem Central earned an A+ grade for academics, teachers, college prep, clubs and activities, health and safety, resources and facilities, and food. The district’s administration received an A grade. In scholastic sports, the district earned an A-.
Nationally, Bethlehem placed 158 out of 10,772 districts, and its teachers ranked No. 52 in the U.S. for districts with the best teachers.
Under the category of diversity, the Delmar schools earned a C grade. Of its 4,368 students, 84 percent are White, 6.7 percent are Asian, 3.5 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are multiracial and 2.7 percent are African American. In comparison, North Colonie — which finished second overall among area schools — earned a B+ diversity grade. Other schools included Niskayuna (B-), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (C-), East Greenbush Central (B-), Voorheesville Central (C-), Guilderland Central (B-) and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central (B-).
According to the website, the rankings are 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, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.
Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, as self-reported by the school districts. Niche also collects data directly from schools via their Niche Partner Accounts.
Bethlehem Superintendent Jody Monroe informed the school board of the district’s rank during her report to the school board in Wednesday night’s meeting.
“This is a well-timed honor. Educating students against the backdrop of a global pandemic for more than 18 months should qualify all schools districts, teachers and staff to be celebrated,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “I am particularly proud to see our teachers being recognized among the best teachers in America. They are part of a stellar team of people who have persevered against all odds and remain dedicated to the success and the well-being of our students.”