Blue Valley schools earn top rankings in ‘best schools’ list put out by website Niche

Blue Valley Niche

The Blue Valley School District swept the top spots in recent rankings of the best public high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in Kansas, put out by the website Niche. Blue Valley North High School was named the top public high school in the state by the site. File image.

The Blue Valley School District swept the top spots in a recent ranking of the best public high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in Kansas, according to an annual report by the website Niche.

Niche released its annual report rating thousands of K-12 schools around the country on Monday.

The site’s rankings were based on a combination of factors, including reviews from current students, alumni, and parents, along with quantitative data from sources like the U.S Department of Education that aimed to evaluate teacher quality, resources and facilities, extracurricular activities and more.

Blue Valley schools dominated the rankings, taking the top 5 spots in each of the high school, middle school and elementary school categories.

Below are the top five rankings for K-12 schools in Kansas, according to Niche:

2022 Best Public High Schools in Kansas:

  • Blue Valley North High School, ranked #1
  • Blue Valley High School, ranked #2
  • Blue Valley West High School, ranked #3
  • Blue Valley Northwest High School, ranked #4
  • Blue Valley Southwest High School, ranked #5

2022 Best Middle Schools in Kansas:

  • Lakewood Middle School, ranked #1
  • Oak Hill Elementary School, ranked #2
  • Harmony Middle School, #3
  • Pleasant Ridge Middle School, #4
  • Overland Trail Middle School, #5

2022 Best Elementary Schools in Kansas:

  • Lakewood Elementary School, #1
  • Oak Hill Elementary School, #2
  • Sunset Ridge Elementary School, #3
  • Valley Park Elementary School, #4
  • Cedar Hill Elementary School, #5

“It feels wonderful that our teachers, students and our whole community’s hard work and dedication to education has paid off by having this top ranking,” Blue Valley Superintendent Tonya Merrigan said.

Blue Valley North won the title of “best high school” in Kansas, according to Niche, due to the school’s high scores for its administration and teacher ratings, its range in sports and activities and its health and safety.

It also received high marks for academics and college preparation due to the schools’s high  graduation rate and student assessment.

Merrigan credited the high rankings to the entire Blue Valley community valuing education and the teachers that work within the district.

For this years 2022 rankings, Niche made a change to the way it calculates ratings of a school.

The company decided to de-emphasize SAT and ACT scores. The choice to alter the methodology was a way to acknowledge “socioeconomic and racial disparities perpetuated by standardized tests, challenges making appointments to test in-person due to COVID-19 and an increasing number of institutions adopting test-optional policies.”

“Our 2022 rankings come at a time when so many parents are curious about the different options for their children’s education, including some they may never have considered before,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, said in a news release.