Research Company Ranks Washoe Top School District in Nevada


Washoe County School District topped Nevada’s 16 other school systems in a research survey to be named tops statewide.

Pittsburgh-based Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools and municipalities, used data from 2014 to 2016 that included strength of academics, health and safety, diversity, and teacher quality.

Washoe was the largest school district recognized nationwide. It has 115 schools and 65,682 students, including charter schools. Unlike many states that have multiple school districts in one county, each county in Nevada has one school district.

The second largest school system recognized was Maryland’s top performer, Howard County Public Schools, which has 75 schools and 53,685 students. Several school districts performing highest in their states had fewer than five schools.

Criteria Niche used was based 50 percent on academics, which Washoe received a B grade. Teacher quality was 15 percent of the scoring, followed by diversity at 10 percent, which Washoe got A- and A, respectively. Parent and student surveys were 10 percent, health and safety and resources and facility grades were 5 percent each, as were extracurricular activities.

Washoe Schools Superintendent Traci Davis. Image: Ty O’Neil.

Academic scores were based on state assessment proficiencies, college entrance exam scores, and survey responses from students and parents. Teacher results were based on salary, absenteeism, state testing results, and survey responses on teachers from students and parents.

“We are happy to hear that Washoe County School District was ranked highest in the state, especially since the company considered so many important factors when making its decision,” Superintendent Traci Davis said in a statement. “I join with Niche, our outstanding faculty members, and our dedicated staff members in applauding the hard work that takes place in our classrooms, schools, and offices every day.”

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 392 Articles
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.