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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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                                Jane Hurst

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                                Last Updated on October 13, 2020

                                How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                                How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                                Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

                                Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

                                • Taking a job for the money
                                • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
                                • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
                                • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
                                • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

                                There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

                                One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

                                Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

                                1. Be a Mentor

                                When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

                                “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

                                This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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                                This can get you stuck.

                                Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

                                “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

                                With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

                                From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

                                Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

                                Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

                                Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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                                1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
                                2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
                                3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

                                Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

                                2. Work on Your Mindset

                                Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

                                “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

                                In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

                                Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

                                Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

                                3. Improve Your Soft Skills

                                When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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                                Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

                                  According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

                                  You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

                                  Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

                                  Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

                                  Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

                                  The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

                                  4. Develop Your Strategy

                                  Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

                                  Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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                                  Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

                                  Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

                                  The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

                                  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

                                  • Why do you do what you do?
                                  • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
                                  • What does a great day look like?
                                  • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
                                  • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

                                  Define success to get promoted

                                    These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

                                    Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

                                    More Tips on How to Get Promoted

                                    Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

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