There are any number of ways to measure the effectiveness of local school districts, and the latest effort has placed East Granby, Litchfield and Stafford at the top of the list. Using school quality and cost-of-living measures, the national website NerdWallet has ranked the Connecticut school districts that best represent “the most bang for your buck” - affordable communities with good schools.
The most affordable school districts in Connecticut were determined based on three factors:
- Standardized test scores. NerdWallet combined 10th grade CAPT scores and SAT scores in 2012.
- College readiness. The website factored in equally weighted scores for the graduation rate and the percent of high school graduates seeking higher education in 2012.
- Class size. They also considered the student-to-teacher ratio in select school districts.
The top ten in Connecticut are: 1) East Granby, 2) Litchfield, 3) Stafford, 4) Canton, 5) Farmington, 6) Bolton, 7) Regional District 19, 8) East Lyme, 9) Regional District 8, 10) Regional District 4.
The next ten in the rankings are Simsbury, Glastonbury, Avon, South Windsor, Westbrook, Granby, Somers, Waterford, Regional School District 18 and Regional School District 15. NerdWallet evaluated 121 unified and secondary school districts in Connecticut, utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau or the Connecticut State Department of Education.
According to the website, the East Granby School District has a high graduation rate of 94% and students scored an average of 1641 on their SATs, well above the state average, and CAPT scores are in the top third for the state. Litchfield’s four-year graduation rate of 97% is one of the highest in the state. The Stafford School District is described as “an ideal setting for parents who want more individualized attention for their kids, with one of the lowest student-teacher ratios in the state at 14.2:1.”
Last month, East Granby school officials announced the start of a manufacturing training program at East Granby High School in collaboration with Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield. Students who participate in the five-year program can earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree in advanced manufacturing technology from Asnuntuck. It is the first of its kind in Connecticut, according to officials, and includes internships at local manufacturing companies while attending Asnuntuck. Students who earn their Associates Degree are automatically accepted into the Connecticut State University System and the University of Hartford.
Regional District 19 includes E.O. Smith High School in Storrs. Regional District 8 serves Hebron, Andover and Marlborough. Regional District 4 includes Chester, Deep River, and Essex.