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Website names Lexington-Richland 5 state’s best school district

Lexington, SC - Lexington-Richland School District Five has been named the state’s best school district for 2017, according to new rankings released by a national website. – a Pittsburgh-based website that specializes in ranking schools, universities, and places to live – gave the district an A-plus, and named it tops in a number of individual categories.

The site also gave high marks to 81 of the state’s 103 public-school districts, including several in Lexington and Richland counties. Those included: Lexington County School District One (ranked fourth statewide); Richland County School District 1 (42nd); Lexington County School District Three (45th); Lexington County School District Two (55th); and, Lexington County School District Three (78th).

Nationwide, the website ranked more than 10,000 public school districts based on a slew of statistical data and opinions from students and parents.

District Five’s overall “A+” rating was based on categories consisting of academics, teachers, extracurricular activities, diversity, college readiness, and health and safety.

Along with the top overall ranking, District Five was also ranked as first in the state for having the best teachers, the best school district for athletes, and best place to teach.

District Chief Instruction Officer Christina Melton said she was excited about the news.

“We have so many very talented teachers here in District Five,” Melton said. “It is wonderful that they are being recognized with the honor of being South Carolina’s best. District Five is indeed a great place to teach.”

Dutch Fork High School was ranked as the best traditional high school in South Carolina, out of approximately 230 high schools in the state. Chapin High was ranked as the fourth-best traditional high school, and Irmo High was ranked in the top 10 percent of high schools, as well.

Chapin Middle School was ranked as the top middle school in the state, out of approximately 320 middle schools. Dutch Fork Middle and Irmo Middle schools were both in the top 10 of traditional middle schools.

Oak Pointe Elementary was ranked as the second-best elementary school in South Carolina, out of nearly 670 elementary schools. Harbison West Elementary, Ballentine Elementary, and Irmo Elementary were also ranked in the top ten.

The lowest ratings of any District Five school were an A-minus for Seven Oaks Elementary, Dutch Fork Elementary, Leaphart Elementary, and Irmo Middle schools.

Though it did not make the nation’s top-100 districts, District Five nonetheless was ranked in the top one-percent among the 10,364 school districts ranked by Niche across the nation, district officials noted.

“We are very proud of the recent rankings from,” said District Five Superintendent Stephen Hefner in a statement. “Our district staff, school leaders, teachers and support staff are truly dedicated to making District Five a great place to work and learn. Our parents, businesses and community are engaged and supportive of our schools. And, our students are just the best.”

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