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By Lisa Loomis
Local school officials are touting the results of a web site which ranks Vermont schools, and which offers favorable ratings for area elementary and middle schools.
The website, Schooldigger.com, suggests that it is the "web's easiest and most useful K-12 search and comparison tool for parents." The site ranks Vermont's 221 elementary schools and its 27 middle schools in a variety of areas including student-teacher ratio, NECAP (New England Comprehensive Assessment Program) individual and combined scores as well as size and other demographics. No one from Schooldigger.com was available to comment on how the data were sorted (beyond numerically) to create the rankings.
According to Schooldigger.com, the Warren Elementary School ranks 4th, the Waitsfield Elementary School ranks 17th, the Fayston Elementary School ranks 28th and the Moretown Elementary School ranks 67th. Thatcher Brook Primary School (TBPS) was ranked 81.
Of the state's 27 middles schools, Harwood Union Middle School ranked 7th and Crossett Brook Middle School ranked 12th. Schooldigger.com did not have rankings for the state's high schools.
Based on information on the site, Warren's number-four ranking is based in part on its NECAP scores. Warren's average NECAP math score was 89.00, the reading average was 88.00 and the combined average was 177.00. For comparison, the top ranked school in the state was the Sherburne Elementary School with combined NECAP scores of 183.00 and the bottom ranked school was the Wheeler School in Burlington with combined NECAP scores of 59.00.
Schooldigger.com ranks schools based on student-teacher ratio as well. The student teacher ratio for area schools reveals similar numbers throughout the district while the ratio's of other towns -- such as Lake Elmore -- show higher ratios, and some -- Granville -- are lower.
Schooldigger also includes data on the percentage of a school's students whom receive lunch subsidies, and in Vermont those numbers range from zero percent in the Brookline and Brownsville Elementary Schools to 1.1 percent in Pomfret, to 98.7 percent in Burlington at the Wheeler Elementary School and 98.0 at Lawrence Barnes School in Burlington.
Local percentages and regional rankings and percentages are as follows:
The two middle schools serving The Valley, Crossett Brook and Harwood Union are disparate in size and several other factors. One falls higher and the other in the middle of Vermont's 27 middle schools.