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Polk County Schools receives national rating

District receives an A grade from Niche.com

By Andy Rhinehart

A national website has once again ranked Polk County Schools as one of the top districts in North Carolina.

Niche.com’s proprietary rating system has listed Polk County Schools as the second-best school district in the state in its 2020 rankings, trailing only Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools.

Niche gathers a number of data points and then uses those to compare all school districts across the country. Polk County Schools was one of only five districts in the state to earn an A grade from Niche.

Polk County Schools earned recognition as the safest school district in the state, the best place to teach in the state and the district with the best teachers in the state.

Nationally, Polk County Schools ranks in the top five percent of all districts for safety, quality of teachers and best overall.

“We are always pleased to receive notification that Polk County Schools has earned high ratings from an independent reviewer like Niche,” said Superintendent Aaron Greene. “The success we achieve results from the tremendous effort of our staff, hard work by our students, and support and involvement from our families and community.

“Polk County is a special place. We have a community that values education and provides both fiscal and material resources to us so we can do our best for our students. I believe programs like preschool and after school, the hiring of extra teachers to reduce class size at all grade levels, and dedicated effort on the part of all our educators to develop and maintain strong relationships with our students and families set us apart. It takes a significant amount of additional funding to do these things for students and we are fortunate Polk County sees the importance of providing these extra resources.”

Niche captures online comments and uses those as one of the factors in its rating algorithm. One recent user, who self-identified as a student, posted this comment about the district: “This school system is excellent the teachers are amazing and deserve to be thanked for the way they teach and will help their students.”

Other Western North Carolina school districts as ranked by Niche for 2020 were:

  • 5. Asheville City Schools
  • 14. Henderson County Schools
  • 20. Buncombe County Schools
  • 33. Rutherford County Schools

“These rankings and related recognition are about Polk County as a collective, not just our school district, and should be shared by our entire community,” Greene said.