U.S. News ranks two San Mateo County elementary schools among top five in state

in Education

In U.S. News’ first nationwide elementary school rankings list, North Star Academy in Redwood City and White Oaks Elementary in San Carlos ranked Nos. 1 and 5 of thousands in California, respectively.

The rankings look at U.S. Department of Education data and state assessment data from over 80,000 public schools at state and district levels and focus on math and reading proficiency, standardized test performance, and school performance in comparison with expectations, according to U.S. News. The rankings used data for the 2018-2019 school year to avoid any COVID-related biases pertaining to testing.

North Star Academy is the top-ranked elementary school in the state out of 6,569 ranked schools. The magnet school has a population of 535 and serves students grades 3-8. 96 percent of students at North Star Academy tested at or above math and reading proficiency levels.

San Mateo County public elementary schools have an average math proficiency score of 55 percent compared to a statewide average of 41 percent, and average reading proficiency score of 61 percent compared to a statewide average of 50 percent according to California state test data.

Dr. John Baker, the Redwood City School District Superintendent, congratulated North Star Academy for the prestigious rank.

“While California does not have an official ranking system of schools, it is always nice to hear when others notice both the hard work and joy that happens in each and every classroom throughout our school district,” Baker said.

White Oaks Elementary is the fifth-ranked elementary school in the state with an overall score of 99.93/100 and at-or-above math and reading proficiency levels of 98 percent and 92 percent respectively. White Oaks is a charter school that enrolls 310 students from grades K-3.

“This award is a wonderful validation of the excellent work of teachers, administrators, employees and families in inspiring and challenging our students to reach new levels of achievement,” San Carlos School District Superintendent Jennifer Frentress said. “I’m thrilled that our schools are being recognized for innovative academic programs that ignite curiosity for learning and prepare students to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Neil Layton, president of the SCSD Board of Trustees, said the ranking reflects the district’s mission to educate the “whole child.” Interim principal of White Oaks Kim Norgaard said she’s “beyond proud of all our students’ achievements.”

”This award is a real testimony to the tremendous efforts and dedication of our teachers, staff and parents to support and enrich the lives of our students and to provide each child with a solid educational foundation,” Norgaard said

Hoover Elementary School in Burlingame ranked No. 18 on the U.S. News’ California list, which put three San Mateo County public elementary schools in the top 20 nationwide.

For the full list of U.S. News elementary school rankings, click here.