MOORESVILLE – A data-driven lifestyle website, Niche, has ranked the Mooresville Graded School System eighth in its list of 2019 Best School Districts in North Carolina.
The website, which describes itself as “the best place to research U.S. colleges, schools, neighborhoods and companies,” said the district is “above average” with an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio and a 90 percent average graduation rate.
The website states the rankings are based on statistics and reviews about the school districts using data from the U.S. Department of Education, including state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools ranked 22nd, and Lincoln County Schools was 29th. Iredell-Statesville Schools didn’t have a number assigned to it but was 44th on the list and had a B- grade. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools was ranked first followed by Watauga County Schools and Union County Public Schools.
Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) Chief Communication Officer Tanae Sump-McLean said it was good to see the specific ways MGSD ranked highly.
“However, while data is extremely important, it can be easy to get too caught up in the minutia,” Sump-McLean said. “In the end, we feel we are doing our jobs and growing as a district if we see our students growing, not just academically, but also socially and emotionally.”
Niche gave MGSD an A in sports; A- in diversity and college preparation; a B+ in academics, teachers and clubs and activities; a B- in health and safety, administration and resources and facilities and a C- in food.
According to its website, Niche arrives at its rankings through a combination of “rigorous cleaning and analysis on large data sets” and feedback from alumni and the community.
Niche has 12 reviews posted for MGSD, with eight of them ranking MGSD as “very good.” It’s unclear if more community and alumni reviews were taken into consideration for the ranking decision.
Sump-McLean said “it feels good” to hear from students who appreciated what they learned while studying in the district.
“As for any reviews that may not have been as positive, it is concerning that we might not have reached that child in the way they needed, but it is good to know where we may need to improve,” Sump-McLean said.
The website also ranked the district as 13 of 115 for best teachers and 19 of 117 for district quality for athletes.
According to Niche, 61 percent of students in the district are at least proficient in math and 57 percent are at least proficient in reading.
Sump-McLean said MGSD’s strongest assets are its people.
“Whether it is our staff or our parents and students or our community, we consider these people within our district our family,” Sump-McLean said. “When you work together to do what's right for our children, great things happen!”
She said she hopes potential students and parents – both locally and statewide – read these rankings and know that MGSD is “solid.”
“We are a solid district who cares about our students and will work extremely hard to partner with them and their parents to make sure they receive a top-notch education,” Sump-McLean said.
Sump-McLean also said that, while the district appreciates the ranking, “We know how strong our staff, students and district are year after year.”
With a new school year around the corner, Sump-McLean feels confident that will continue.
“We understand that each year is a fresh start for us and our students,” Sump-McLean said. “Knowing we get to interact (with), help and be a part of our young people's lives each day when the students come back August 27 is all the positive jump start we need!”