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15 Best Public School Districts In the U.S. You Need to Know

15 Best Public School Districts In the U.S. You Need to Know

Do you have school-aged children? Are you trying to find the school districts in the U.S. where they will get the absolute best education possible? If it seems like your kids aren’t getting everything they should from their schools, there are districts where they will not only get the best education, but where they can also get into sports, community-based activities, and other family-friendly activities. Here are the 15 best school districts in the U.S. based on 2015 Niche Rankings.

1. Edgemont Union Free School District, Greenburgh Town, New York

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    • This school district ranks among the top in academics, and the teachers work with the students to ensure that they receive a top education.
    • When it comes to activities, kids can participate in a variety of clubs, music, art, community groups, and much more.
    • The sporting program is one of the best around, and students can take part in all of their favorite sports, from volleyball to football and more.

    2. Jericho Union Free School District, Oyster Bay Town, New York

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      • Parents and pupils surveyed on their experiences in this school district gave it a ranking of 4.4 out of 5.
      • The education offered in this district is second-to-none, and students graduate fully prepared for university or the work force.
      • This district is rich in family-friendly activities for learners and parents, and there are many school-based extra-curricular activities to take part in.

      3. Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania

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        • Ranked 4.3 out of 5 by parents and students, this school district provides kids with the education they deserve, as well as other activities to help them grow into well-rounded adults.
        • The teachers in this school district are among the best in the country, and receive high grades from students and their parents.
        • Extracurricular activities are highly encouraged, as well as fitness, and there are plenty of sporting activities learners can take part in.

        4. Lower Merion School District, Lower Merion, Pennsylvania

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          • If you are looking for a school district that is welcoming to pupils of all cultures and backgrounds, this district has what you want, with plenty of student culture and diversity.
          • Resources for learners and parents are numerous, and each school has resources and facilities to meet the needs of all students.
          • Health and safety of all pupils is a priority in this district, and the teachers and school administration staff take this aspect of education very seriously.

          5. Scarsdale Union Free School District, Scarsdale, New York

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            • Pupils receive the highest level of education, and the teachers are always willing to go that extra mile for their students.
            • There are plenty of resources for students who need tutoring, counseling, and other important services.
            • This is not a district that is rich in sports, although there are plenty of activities students can take part in.

            6. Great Neck Union Free School District, North Hempstead Town, New York

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              • Parents who want their children to study in schools where academics are on the highest end of the scale should consider this district.
              • The teachers were given a high score for their knowledge, sensitivity, and ability to relate to the students on their level.
              • Extra-curricular activities, sports, and community service are highly encouraged by district teachers and administration staff.

              7. Pittsford Central School District, Pittsford Town, New York

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                • Parents and students gave the district a ranking of 4.4 out of 5.
                • This school district provides learners with the education they need to get into the best universities in the U.S. and around the world.
                • Culture and diversity are encouraged, and you will find kids from many cultures studying side-by-side.

                8. Rye City School District, Rye, New York

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                  • This district gets one of the best rankings from kids and parents, with 4.6 out of a possible 5 points.
                  • You will find many resources to cater to all pupils, as well as numerous facilities for sports, recreation, and more.
                  • There is not as much student diversity and culture as with other school districts, but it more than makes up for this with the high level of student activities that are open to all students.

                  9. North Allegheny School District, McCandless Township, Pennsylvania

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                    • Ranked 4.3 out of 5, the district offers students an educational atmosphere that is challenging yet fulfilling.
                    • Kids graduate knowing that they have received one of the best educations in the country, and they are prepared for their lives as adults.
                    • This school district receives an A+ in just about all categories, from academics to extracurricular activities.

                    10. Chappaqua Central School District, New Castle Town, New York

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                      • Students are fully prepared for their SAT examinations, and often get some of the highest marks.
                      • Enjoy a rich variety of sports, clubs, and other activities that are geared to make all pupils feel welcome.

                      11. Dresden School District, Hanover Town, New Hampshire

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                        • Not only does this school district offer the highest standards for education, it is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.S.
                        • Parents and learners can expect to find teachers who want to see their students succeed, and go above and beyond to make sure that they do.
                        • Outdoor activities such as skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer are popular in this area, and New England is known for its amazing school sports teams.

                        12. Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125, Vernon Township, Illinois

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                          • This district receives straight A’s all the way around, with some of the best resources for students and parents in the state.
                          • This district offers a great blend of academics, sports, and other activities so kids are well-rounded and learn many skills.
                          • Students enjoy a huge variety of extra-curricular activities, including sports (as players and spectators), student council, and more.

                          13. Manhasset Union Free School District, North Hamstead Town, New York

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                            • Teachers and administrators go out of their way to provide the best educational services possible, including tutoring and counseling.
                            • The health and well-being of students and teachers is of utmost concern, and you can be sure that any and all accommodations will be met for particular health needs.
                            • If the U.S. is a melting pot, then NYC is its capitol, and pupils in this district enjoy plenty of cultural diversity, and acceptance for all cultures, religions, etc.

                            14. San Marino Unified School District, San Marino, California

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                              • This isn’t an inner-city school district, and teachers are there to really work with your kids to ensure that they are fully prepared for life after high school.
                              • Sports and fitness are a priority, and there are plenty of sporting teams to join, as well as events to watch.
                              • If you are worried about the dangers of sending your kids to California schools, you should take a look at all this district has to offer, including a safe area to live and attend school.

                              15. Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, West Marlborough Township, Pennsylvania

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                                • This district offers a good blend of academia and activities, and kids and parents alike give this district a 4.2 out of 5 overall ranking.
                                • As far as academics go, your kids will have the highest level of learning possible when they attend schools in this district.
                                • Resources for pupils are abundant, and students can enjoy tutoring sessions, life counseling, career counseling, and much more.

                                Featured photo credit: Tom via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on December 10, 2019

                                7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                                7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

                                Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

                                But do you know what motivates your people?

                                It’s simple:

                                • Is their work stimulating?
                                • Does it challenge them?
                                • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
                                • Do you encourage creativity?
                                • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
                                • Do you praise them?
                                • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
                                • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
                                • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

                                Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

                                In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

                                Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

                                These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

                                1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

                                You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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                                But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

                                If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

                                Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

                                2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

                                There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

                                In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

                                So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

                                Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

                                • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
                                • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
                                • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
                                • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

                                So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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                                3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

                                Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

                                When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

                                Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

                                So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

                                4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

                                Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

                                Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

                                Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

                                Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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                                5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

                                Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

                                Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

                                A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

                                Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

                                If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

                                6. Monitor Their Workload

                                Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

                                What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

                                • Red means they’re fully loaded.
                                • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
                                • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

                                I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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                                If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

                                And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

                                7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

                                Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

                                So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

                                The Bottom Line

                                A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

                                Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

                                More to Motivate Your Team

                                Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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