Shelby County school districts among top in the state

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

All four of the school districts that operate within Shelby County placed in the top 26 out of the 137 that were measured in the state of Alabama, according to the Niche 2021 Best School Districts in Alabama rankings.

From these four, Hoover City Schools was the top rated coming in at No. 4. This was followed by Pelham City Schools at No. 12, Alabaster City Schools at No. 14 and Shelby County Schools came in at No. 26.

The districts are ranked on a number of factors including things such as academics, teachers, culture and diversity, parent and student surveys on overall experience, health and safety grade, resources and facilities, clubs and activities and sports. Each of these carried a percentage of the score, with academics making up 50 percent.

At the No. 5 ranking, Hoover City Schools earned an overall A+ grade from Niche. The district had an overall enrollment of 13,952 and an overall student to teacher ratio of 15:1.

The school showed a 65 percent proficiency in reading and a 70 percent proficiency in math among students. The district also maintained their 94-percent graduation rate from 2020, as well as the average SAT score 1280 and ACT score of 27.

Pelham City Schools improved their ranking from No. 14 in 2020 to No. 12 this year. This included an overall Niche grade of A. Enrollment in the schools increased by 100 students from the prior year to a population of 3,306 students for a student to teacher ratio of 18:1.

PCS also maintained their reading proficiency score of 53 percent and math proficiency score of 54 percent from 2020.  Average graduation rate stayed at 93 percent. For standardized testing the school maintained a 1250 average SAT score, and a 26 average ACT score.

Alabaster City Schools also showed an ranking improvement, moving from No. 19 in 2020 to No. 14 for this year. They had an overall A grade from Niche. Current estimates put the school population at 6,184 for an 18:1 student to teacher ratio, which is the same as 2020.

Graduation rate remained at a high 97 percent. Average SAT scores remained at 1070 and average ACT score remained at 25 for the school system.

Shelby County Schools was the only district to drop in rankings from the prior year. In 2020 the district was ranked at No. 20, this year they are placed at No. 26. Their overall Niche ranking also dropped slightly from an A to A-.

Student population at SCS showed a minor increase from 20,539 in 2020 to 20,570 this year, but was able to lower their student to teacher ratio to 17:1.

Math and reading proficiency stayed the same at 59 percent and 57 percent respectively. Average SAT scores dropped from 1230 to 1210 and ACT scores remained the same at an average of 25.

To view the full list of schools districts, visit Niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts/s/alabama/.