Charlottesville City Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools have been ranked highly among the top schools in the country.

Albemarle schools are among the top 2 percent of public divisions in the U.S., and rank 3rd in Virginia.

The national assessment organization Niche, released its rankings this week, which are based on parent and student reviews, test scores, teacher quality and more.

ACPS received an A plus for its academic quality, college preparation, and athletic programming. 

"It really is a testament to the hard work that our teachers and students do on a daily basis. And as someone who has supported teachers directly for the past several years, it really comes as no big surprise to see awesome, engaging things happening every day." Michael Cradock, assistant principal at Murray High School.

Charlottesville City Schools placed in the top 3 percent nationally and ranked 6th among 131 school divisions in Virginia.

Albemarle County Schools News Release:

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) ranks among the top two percent of all public school divisions in the nation, according to the 2019 Best School Districts in America ranking by Niche, the national educational assessment organization. In Virginia, ACPS was ranked third out of 131 school divisions.

Niche bases it rankings on an in-depth analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from such sources as the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Civil Rights Data Collection. Factors that determine national and state rankings include test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, and teacher quality.

The division received Niche’s highest grade, A-plus, and also received an A-plus for the quality of its academics and of its college preparation and athletics programming. Nationally, both ACPS teachers and the division’s status as the best place to teach in America were within the top 12 percent of school divisions across the country.

“Our ultimate goal is to prepare students for lifelong success, and the exceptional college readiness findings from Niche confirm what we are seeing in our on-time graduation rate of 95 percent,” said Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas. “The highly competitive academic performance of our students reflects the exceptional work being done by our teachers and the progress we are making in putting students at the center of the learning process,” he said.

The school division is continuing to move its instructional model towards a greater emphasis on skills-based knowledge acquisition and expanded student choice in course selections.

Individually, 11 of the division’s 25 schools received A ratings, including all three comprehensive high schools, Albemarle, Western Albemarle, and Monticello. Two middle schools, Henley and Sutherland, also earned A ratings, as did six elementary schools, Baker-Butler, Brownsville, Hollymead, Meriwether-Lewis, Murray, and Scottsville. Three other schools, Burley Middle School and Broadus Wood and Woodbrook elementary schools, received ratings of B-plus.

Western Albemarle High School’s athletics program was ranked the best in Virginia, and nationally, the school was in the top one percent for the quality of its sports programs. Western also was ranked among the top four percent of all high schools in the country, and the school’s college preparation program ranked among the top three percent.

Albemarle High School was ranked in the top 5.4 percent of all high schools in the nation, and its college preparation program was among the best 2.6 percent.

Monticello High School was ranked among the top eight percent of all high schools in the nation for its college preparation and athletics programming and in the top 12.7 percent of all high schools in the nation overall.

This is the fifth year Niche has conducted its annual survey of the best schools and school divisions in each state and the nation. For the 2019 report, Niche said they analyzed 83,542 public schools and 10,758 school districts. In a news release earlier this month, Niche said that Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois, was the best public high school in America, and Jericho Union Free School District in Brookville, New York, was the best school division. Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, maintained its ranking as the best private high school in America.

The 2019 rankings added more than 5,000 public schools. “Our aim is to provide families with the most important information to help guide their school search,” said Luke Skurman, Niche’s CEO. “Adding even more schools to our rankings is just another way that we’re building out our nationwide coverage.”

The 2019 Best Schools ranking can be accessed at

Charlottesville City Schools Press Release:

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) Charlottesville City Schools earned an A+, placing #6 overall among Virginia school districts and landing in the top 3% in the nation in the recently released 2019 K-12 rankings. ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents. Additional recognition for CCS from a variety of categories include:

  • #2 of 133 – Most Diverse School Divisions in Virginia
  • #3 of 132 – Best Places to Teach in Virginia
  • #6 of 132 – Districts with the Best Teachers in Virginia
  • A+ ranking in College Prep and Diversity categories and A in Academics and Teachers.

“We’re proud of the good work of our students and teachers, and we appreciate the support of our community,” said Director of Student Achievement Dr. Kendra King. “While any given ranking system has its limitations, Charlottesville City Schools has done so well by so many
measures, that the combined feedback paints a portrait of excellence.”

Three other indicators include:

  • 100 percent of Charlottesville City Schools met the state’s accreditation standards in 2017-18, compared with 86 percent of schools statewide. Out of 132 divisions in Virginia, Charlottesville is one of just 65 divisions that presently have all their schools fully accredited.
  • CHS students far surpass the state and nation on SAT exams.
  • CHS has earned 11 blue ribbon awards from the Virginia Music Educators Association in recognition of musical excellence.