U.S. News Ranks Sharon among State’s Best Elementary Schools

U.S. News Ranks Sharon among State’s Best Elementary Schools
Posted on 11/29/2023

LOW MOOR — Sharon Elementary School is listed as one of the best elementary schools in Virginia in rankings recently released by U.S. News & World Reports.

The 2024 edition of Best Elementary and Middle School rankings lists Sharon as 93rd among 1,037 elementary schools in Virginia. U.S. News publishes rankings and data on more than 79,000 public elementary and middle schools nationwide.

“The 2024 Best Elementary and Middle Schools rankings offer a way for parents to get a snapshot of their child’s school and how well it's doing within its community," said LaMont Jones, managing editor for education at U.S. News. “Easily accessible data on student-teacher ratio, district spending, and the number of school counselors available at the school can keep parents informed and involved."

The rankings focus on state assessments of students who were proficient or above proficient in mathematics and reading/language arts while accounting for student backgrounds, achievement in core subjects, and how well schools are educating their students. Student-teacher ratios are applied to break ties in the overall score.

Sharon, like other AHPS schools, is known for being part of a close-knit community that cares for students and supports them in numerous ways. In 2022, Sharon Elementary was recognized by Virginia Living — a statewide lifestyle magazine. Virginia Living recognized Sharon for an innovative library program that was designed to help students bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Sharon and Jeter-Watson Elementary have been recognized for exceptional success in making progress throughout the pandemic years.

“Sharon Elementary has a tradition of academic excellence that goes back several decades. The teachers of Sharon Elementary have devoted themselves to the success of their students.  Sharon’s staff continues to hold high expectations for our students. Community support includes many parents that were once Sharon students. It is exciting to see our staff and students receive such a prestigious award,” Sharon Elementary School Principal Chris Jones said of the most recent recognition from U.S. News & World Report. 

Sharon Elementary, the smallest elementary school in AHPS, serves students in grades PK-5. At Sharon 92 percent of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 77 percent scored at or above that level for reading. 

Sharon did better in math and better in reading in this metric compared with students across the state. In Virginia, 65 percent of students tested at or above the proficient level for reading while 51 percent tested at or above that level for math.

“We are always pleased by recognitions for AHPS,” shared Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of AHPS. “Because there is no application process for U.S. News honors, the email announcing Sharon’s selection came as a welcome treat for all of us. We are so proud of our staff at Sharon and across AHPS for all they do for our children and our community!  This is a big honor for students, staff, and families.”  

Since its inception, AHPS has received several honors related to various achievements including successes in workforce preparedness and communications as well. 

Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Thanks to Sharon Elementary’s recognition, AHPS is mentioned in a  digital publication that is used by consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance.

“We are very proud of Sharon being recognized for all of their hard work and achievements! It is a true testament to the excellent work by our faculty, staff, students and parents,” said Jacob Wright, chair of the AHPS Board.    

The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division was formed in July 2022 when Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center merged. The school division serves approximately 2,700 students and it is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington.

AHPS news and events are updated regularly on Facebook at AHPublicSchools and on Instagram at ahpublicschools. Information is also available at www.ahps.k12.va.us.
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