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    U.S. News says these are Alabama’s best elementary, middle schools

    Updated: Oct. 13, 2021, 2:01 p.m. | Published: Oct. 12, 2021, 10:30 a.m. 

    By Trisha Powell Crain | tcrain@al.com

    U.S. News and World Report is out with a first-time within-state ranking of elementary and middle schools. In Alabama, that includes 665 elementary schools and 455 middle schools, with 90 schools being ranked in both categories because they have both elementary and middle school grades.

    Rankings are based heavily on math and reading proficiency results from the 2018-19 school year, so it will not reflect the pandemic’s impact on learning. U.S. News considered overall proficiency levels as well as how well students performed compared to expectations considering the demographic and socioeconomic status of students.

    High proficiency levels are typically correlated with low student poverty levels, and these rankings reflect that with few exceptions. Most of the top 10 in each of the elementary and middle school rankings are magnet programs, meaning students must meet minimum admission criteria.

    In Alabama, W.H. Council Traditional School in Mobile County took the top spot for elementary schools and also for elementary magnet schools. Council is a school of choice in Mobile and an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school.

    Here are the top 10 elementary schools statewide:

    1. H. Council Traditional School - Mobile County
    2. Forest Avenue Elementary School - Montgomery County
    3. Eichold-Mertz School of Math and Science - Mobile County
    4. Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary - Tuscaloosa City
    5. Heritage Elementary School - Madison City
    6. East Elementary - Vestavia HIlls City
    7. Crestline Elementary School - Mountain Brook City
    8. Eura Brown Elementary School - Gadsden City
    9. Guin Elementary School - Marion County
    10. Cahaba Elementary School - Trussville City

    Here are the top 10 middle schools statewide:

    1. Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School - Jefferson County
    2. Tuscaloosa Magnet School Middle - Tuscaloosa City
    3. Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet - Montgomery County
    4. Clark-Shaw Magnet School - Mobile County
    5. Phillips Preparatory Middle School - Mobile County
    6. Fairhope Middle School - Baldwin County
    7. Floyd Middle School - Montgomery County
    8. Mountain Brook Junior High School - Mountain Brook City
    9. Liberty Middle School - Madison City
    10. Christian School - Birmingham City

    The rankings include more than 80,000 public elementary and middle schools across the country. Schools are ranked at the state and district level, with best charter schools and best magnet schools ranked as stand-alone categories.

    See all rankings here.

    Among 11 magnet middle schools statewide, Tuscaloosa Magnet School Middle, in Tuscaloosa City Schools, ranked first.

    No Alabama charter schools were ranked, as University Charter School in west Alabama was the only charter school with elementary and middle school grades in existence in the 2018-19 school year.

    Seventy-three of Alabama’s 138 school districts are included in the elementary level within-district rankings.

    Fifty-four of Alabama’s districts are included in the middle school within-district rankings.

    “With the publication of our inaugural Best K-8 Schools rankings, U.S. News now provides rankings and data on schools from kindergarten all the way through graduate school,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. “Whether you’re researching options for a law degree or looking for information on your child’s middle school, U.S. News has the data you need to get started.”