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BCPS ranks in top 25 percent of best districts in state

posted Sep 14, 2017, 7:31 AM by Cheryl Shuffler


A few weeks into a new school year and Burke County Public Schools has found its niche on a list of best schools districts in the state. The website k12.niche.com ranks Burke County Public Schools 29th on its list of 2018 Best School Districts in North Carolina. The rating is based on reviews from students and parents as well as test scores, college readiness factors and teacher quality.

The website gives Burke County Public Schools As and Bs for teachers, academics, health and safety, facilities, extracurricular activities and diversity. Based on overall experience, students and parents give the school system a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.

Individually, 24 mainstream schools in the district received either an A or B from the website. Niche explains the “ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data and ratings collected from millions of Niche users.”

Here are some of the reviews of Burke County Public Schools listed on the site:

I like how the counselors are very helpful and most of the teachers prepare you for the finals.”

“Really like the staff and how helpful they are... lunch food options are great... They go above and beyond to make sure your kids are safe...”

“I like that Burke County Schools care for the students and try to keep with the latest social media, such as Snapchat or Twitter.”

“I like Burke County School because my school always acts as a family, not as individuals. Every school has drama, as does mine, but we also find a way to unite and have fun with school.”

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “This ranking from niche.com proves what we already know about our school district and its great schools and teachers. Ranking right up there with other districts such as Wake, Orange and Buncombe schools is something to be proud of. We have only good things ahead of us with our renewed commitment to student success as outlined in our five-year strategic plan as well as continued initiatives on teacher planning and instructional rounds and the introduction of new programs.”

Those programs include Project Lead the Way in elementary schools, more technology in the middle schools, and a cosmetology school and increased enrollment in the N.C. School of Science and Math courses offered through the STEAM Academy.

In addition to recognizing staff and students, Putnam thanked parents and the community for their continued support. He said, “Our partnerships between school and home as well as with the Burke County Board of Commissioners, Burke Development Inc., the Burke County Chamber of Commerce, Western Piedmont Community College and Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, plus many more, support our mission and vision as we continue to ignite learning for a brighter future.”

The No. 29th state ranking for Burke County Public Schools is out of 116 school districts. The website also ranks Burke County Public Schools 35th on the Best Places to Teach list. Niche also ranks places to live and colleges. While the 2018 Best Places to Live results are not out yet, in 2017, the county of Burke as a whole is ranked 8th on the lowest cost of living list, 9th on the best place to buy a house list and 18th on the list of counties with the best public schools in North Carolina.


Photo: Students in Paul Gantt’s Project Lead the Way class at Patton High School work on programing a robot to complete certain tasks.