National Poll Ranks SMMUSD Among California’s Best Districts

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The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is pleased to announce its high ranking in the 2024 Best School Districts in California by national academic ranking service, Niche.

SMMUSD is ranked sixth in Los Angeles County and 13th in California of 504 California school districts included. The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education.

Niche ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.

See the Niche 2024 report here.

“I am beyond thrilled with SMMUSD’s high Niche ranking,” said Superintendent Dr. Antonio Shelton. “Our exceptional students, supportive parents, dedicated teachers and staff have all contributed to this well-deserved recognition.”

Additionally, Niche awarded Santa Monica High School an A+ and Malibu High School an A for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores with special consideration given to schools whose students matriculate to high-ranked colleges and universities. The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates. The ranking formula also includes facilities, safety, clubs, sports and other factors.

Both SMMUSD comprehensive high schools boast proficiency rates that are well above county and state averages, along with graduation rates in the mid-to-high 90-percentile range. Samohi and Malibu High School offer comprehensive college and career counseling, maintain acclaimed visual and performing arts programs, boast high student participation in clubs and extracurricular activities, and support diverse academic curriculum such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM); Project-Based Learning; Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) (at Samohi); Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advanced Placement (AP).

John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and SMASH middle school, all received an A or A+ grade, while all SMMUSD elementary schools earned an A+ or A. Niche also ranked the best places to teach in California and SMMUSD ranked 15th of 755, and ranked best teachers in the state, with SMMUSD placing 10th of 680.

“As we look ahead, our focus remains on prioritizing the well-being and academic success of our students, while nurturing an environment conducive to their social-emotional growth,” Dr. Shelton said. “Our dedication to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cultivating a sense of belonging, curiosity and empowerment for all within SMMUSD, will continue to shape a vibrant and inclusive educational environment.”

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