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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 August 20, 2019

                                How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                                How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

                                Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

                                You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

                                Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

                                “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

                                It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

                                Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

                                As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

                                As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

                                Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

                                Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

                                1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

                                When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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                                Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

                                2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

                                Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

                                But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

                                If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

                                Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

                                3. Go to All Office Networking Events

                                Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

                                If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

                                Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

                                Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

                                The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

                                Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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                                4. Show Initiative

                                Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

                                Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

                                Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

                                5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

                                Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

                                Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

                                6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

                                A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

                                Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

                                Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

                                A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

                                Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

                                Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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                                These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

                                Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

                                7. Find a Mentor

                                With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

                                Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

                                Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

                                Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

                                8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

                                After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

                                What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

                                Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

                                Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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                                You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

                                9. Set Your Professional Bar High

                                Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

                                Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

                                Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

                                Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

                                “Half of life is showing up.”

                                The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

                                Remember, your career is your business!

                                More About Continuous Growth

                                Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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