SANTA MONICA — The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has been named one of the best school districts in the state of California by national academic ranking service Niche, SMMUSD announced on Thursday, October 15. 

“We are honored to be recognized for the extraordinary achievements of our students and teachers,” SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said in a statement. “We are dedicated to providing the education and support all students need for success as they embark on college and career, in order to lead meaningful, engaged lives beyond our halls.”

The District was ranked seventh in Los Angeles County and 19th in California of 440 school districts included, according to SMMUSD. The ranking service, Niche, also ranked the best places to teach in California and SMMUSD ranked 10th of 690, and ranked best teachers in the state, with SMMUSD placing 19th of 699.

Niche’s 2021 report includes a number of factors in its evaluation, such as “state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.”

Santa Monica High School and Malibu High School were awarded an A+ and A, respectively, for having a number of their students accepted into high-ranked colleges and universities for their SAT and ACT scores. 

The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates. Both schools have graduation rates in the 90-percentile range, according to SMMUSD. 

“I am so proud of our entire Santa Monica-Malibu community – the students, parents, faculty and staff for this honorable recognition,” Drati added.

Other schools that received praise and recognition are John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and Santa Monica Alternative School House middle school, all of which received an A or A+ grade. All SMMUSD elementary schools earned an A+, A or A-.