Ridgefield, Hockinson

Two North County school districts are receiving some statewide recognition as a recent evaluation by an online records and background checking group puts them in the top 20 districts in the state.

The “Top School Districts in Washington 2018” report from backgroundchecks.org lists both Ridgefield School District and Hockinson School District in the top 20. Ridgefield is ranked slightly higher at 11th place, with Hockinson coming in at 16th out of a total of nearly 300 districts in the state.

Though known primarily for looking up public and criminal records, backgroundchecks.org does several different surveys including safest countries to travel and safest dating sites, along with the top schools report. Methodology for the top-100 districts looked at student performance based on reading and math test scores, dropout rates, school funding and area poverty rates.  

For the Ridgefield School District, Superintendent Nathan McCann highlighted its graduation rate as being one of its strong suits based on the methodology. In recent years the district’s rate had been around 94 percent on average, far above the roughly 80 percent rate statewide, McCann said.

“I think that our district has historically done a really good job on making sure our students graduate,” McCann said, explaining it was a focus of school counseling and administration to see students receive their diplomas.

Both McCann and Hockinson School District Superintendent Sandra Yager also cited the sense of community in both districts as fostering an environment for success.

“So much of what is going right in Hockinson is related to our community,” Yager said in a statement. “We have a committed staff, supportive families, students who take pride in their schools and a broader community of education supporters. Plus, our small size gives teachers the opportunity to learn the strengths and growth areas of each student, which really makes a difference as we guide them through to graduation.”

Clark County proper had a strong showing, as Camas School district placed fifth. Other local school districts appearing in the top-100 list included Evergreen (53rd), La Center (61st), Washougal (64th), Battle Ground (66th), Woodland (68th) and Vancouver (69th).

All of the top four districts were located in King County, according to the report. A list of the schools ranked is available at background

checks.org/top-school-districts-in-washington-2018.html.

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