Kansas is home to almost 3 million people, and 25% of those are under 18-years-old. That’s a lot of kids in school, which means parents are always looking for great education opportunities to make sure our kids are keeping up with the rest of the world. If you were wondering, there’s a handful of areas to look at when most schools are measured. Academics, teachers, diversity, clubs and activities, college readiness, and health and safety (plus a couple other things, such as sports). Here’s the top 9 school districts in Kansas, out of 272 total, according to these standards. Time to grade the schools—instead of the other way around!
#9 Lawrence - USD 497
USD 497 has a great grade of an A, even at 9th place. It's got A markings in academics, diversity, and college readiness, but B marks in food, health, and resources. B's are still good though, remember that! I do give them props for implementing a "moving classroom" where kids can learn from non-standard desks and chairs to help their bodies and brains stay active together!
#8 Andover - USD 385
USD 385 also has an overall rating of an A. We weren't able to get scores for diversity, but Andover gets A's in academics, teachers, administration, college readiness, and health. The B's are in clubs, food, sports, and resources, but that's not going to keep your kids from learning. Also, I don't remember getting to dissect more than an owl pellet in middle school, that's pretty cool!
#7 Westmoreland (Rock Creek) - USD 323
Like a lot of Kansas schools probably get, Westmoreland has B's in diversity, college readiness, clubs, and sports. However, the rest of the categories are all A's, so that's something to be said. Overall, they get an A as well.
#6 Topeka (Auburn-Washburn) - USD 437
USD 437 does a little better, only earning B's in administration, health, and clubs. The rest are all A's, giving them an overall average score of an A. Seeing all these kids reminds me of my elementary years in Wichita.
#5 De Soto - USD 232
DeSoto however, has a C in diversity, but that didn't get them down. They earned B's in only administration and resources, and A's everywhere else. They even have an A+ in academics! Overall, an A score.
#4 Manhattan-Ogden - USD 383
Manhattan comes in at #4 with A's across the board, including an A+ in college readiness. They also have an overall score of an A+, so we're getting much more serious here. Pictured are 5th graders teaching first and second graders how to code. Coding, in elementary school! This is the future, people!
#3 Shawnee Mission - USD 512
Shawnee Mission is a good competitor for Manhattan, with an overall A+ score, but two B's (food and resources). They've got three A+ scores in college readiness, academics, and teachers to even it out, though! As a side note, I've always wondered what it would be like to have two teachers in your classroom. It's probably easier to get questions answered, that's for sure!
#2 Olathe - USD 233
You can't get much better than A's across the board, and the A+ grades they have in USD 233 are in academics, administration, and college readiness. No wonder they've got an overall A+. Need more proof it's a great school district? Check out more of Kansas' elementary schools learning how to code. Amazing!
#1 Overland Park (Blue Valley) - USD 229
Our star today at #1 is Blue Valley District with an A+ overall, and A+ ratings in everything except clubs and diversity. They're very well funded, with more than $150 million in funds. I can't be anything but amazed, here.
Do you know any other schools that should be featured? What are some of the worst districts you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments!