Marion County School System teachers and Winfield City School System teachers have achieved impressive rankings in a statewide overview posted online.
According to school reviews posted by Niche.com, Marion County School System educators were ranked 10th in the state out of 137 school districts. Winfield City School teachers were high on the list as well at No. 14.
The county schools were also considered No. 11 for best workplaces for teachers, while the Winfield system was listed at No. 16.
Niche is a website that helps users discover schools and neighborhoods that are safe and highly-rated.
The Niche staff reviews public data to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards and profiles for every K-12 school, college and neighborhood in the U.S.
In the website’s list of 2018 schools with the best teachers, it used the following criteria to narrow down the results:
• Academics - 30 percent;
• Parent/student surveys on teachers - 25 percent;
• Teacher absenteeism - 15 percent;
• Teacher salary index - 10 percent;
• Teachers in their first or second year - 10 percent;
• Average teacher salary - 5 percent; and
• Student-teacher ratio - 5 percent.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West said that it was an honor to be recognized by Niche.com to be among the top-ranked school systems in Alabama for teacher quality.
“Our hard-working, caring teachers deserve to be noted in the Top 10 among school systems in Alabama,” West said.
“Our teachers strive to offer the children in Marion County the best possible education that they can deliver and do whatever it takes—working long hours during the school year and in the summer, purchasing supplies for their classroom out of their own pockets and providing instruction for children with various learning needs and styles.”
West said that she knows the teachers do this because they care about their students and they want them to get what they will need to be successful throughout their life.
The county superintendent said that Marion County teachers spend countless hours learning new strategies and methods to use in teaching children.
“Our teachers are truly lifelong-learners!” West said. “One teachers’ signature line says ‘Teacher,’ ‘Nurse,’ ‘Social Worker,’ ‘Boo-boo fixer,’ and ‘Mom to many.’ Those are just a few of the roles we ask teachers to play in the lives of the children they teach.
“I appreciate Niche for the research they conduct that proves what we already knew: Our teachers are top-notch!”
West noted that she was grateful to all of the teachers, administrators and support personnel who work hard every day to make Marion County Schools rank in the top systems.
“This is truly a great place to live, work, and raise children,” West said. “I want to personally thank the parents in Marion County for allowing us the privilege of educating their children in our schools!”
Winfield Superintendent of Education Chris Cook said that the rankings were a “huge honor” and appreciated how high the report placed Winfield City Schools in several categories.
“I think its great to recognize and honor those who are doing hard work every day,” Cook said about the Winfield teacher’s statewide ranking.
“I’m extremely proud. Our teachers do a tremendous job. They are not just teachers of education, but also teachers of life lessons.”
Cook said that reviews left on the Niche.com report by former students in the system meant more to him than the actual numbers.
“This shows that what we’ve all been working for is effective,” Cook said.
In addition to the “Best Teachers” category, Niche.com also lists several other note-worthy rankings for the two school systems.
The website ranks the Marion County School System as No. 8 in the state for safety. Nationally, Niche placed Marion County Schools as No. 320 of 11,770 for safety, or in the top 3 percent.
Niche.com calculates a district’s safety rating using a formula which considers parent/student reviews, funding per student, absenteeism, in- and out-of-school suspension, expulsions, law enforcement referrals and school-related arrests.
The Winfield City School System is also ranked No. 16 statewide in overall best school districts.
A district’s overall grade is weighed heavily by academic grades, such as SAT/ACT scores. It also pulls in other factors such as teacher reviews, culture and diversity, parent-student reviews, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities and sports.
See complete story in the Journal Record.