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New Study Ranks APS Second-Best School System in Virginia

Arlington Public Schools has been named the second-best district in Virginia for the second year in a row.

The education research firm Niche ranked APS behind Falls Church City Public Schools in its new 2022 rankings of Virginia public schools. Prior to the 2021 rankings, APS enjoyed two years as the top public school system in the Commonwealth.

Niche, which specializes in K-12 school data and rankings, also ranked APS the best place to teach and the second safest school district in Virginia for 2022.

“I am proud of our staff, students and community for making APS one of Virginia’s best school systems, according to Niche’s ranking,” Superintendent Francisco Durán said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have excellent teachers and staff who are devoted to serving the diverse needs of our students. Every accolade that we earn is the result of their talent and dedication to student success.”

Among individual high schools, Fairfax County Public Schools dominated the list, with seven of the top 10 in the state. In Arlington, Yorktown High School has climbed up the ranks while Wakefield High School lost ground and Washington-Liberty High School fell a few spots.

Between the 2019 Best Schools list and this year’s, Yorktown High School climbed from 21st to 13th, while Wakefield High School dropped from 44th to 55th, and Washington-Liberty High School slid from 13th to 17th.

Niche uses ratings from students, alumni and parents and data from the U.S. Department of Education and other sources to award overall grades and category-specific grades.

APS earned an “A+” in college preparation and an “A” in academics, teachers, clubs and activities, health and safety, sports and resources and facilities, according to APS’s Niche report card. It earned a “B” in administration and food.

Some users, described by Niche as seniors, gave APS high marks and constructive criticism. An H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program student, for instance, praised the school and the arts programming but said APS has to work on diversity at W-L and Yorktown.

This year, Wakefield ranked the second-most diverse public school in Virginia.

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