Finder.com names Nassau schools to ‘best value’ list

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Many North Shore residents are getting their money’s worth when it comes to public schools, according to a new study.

Finder.com ranked 18 area elementary schools, 12 middle schools and 10 high schools among the among the 100 “best value” schools at each level. 

Williston Park’s Center Street School came out on top in the elementary category.

Finder used school rankings by Niche, which maintains a list of the top 100 schools in each state, against local median home prices from CoreLogic, a financial services company. The website then assigned each school a score between 0 and 100. Those with high Niche rankings and low home sale prices had the best scores.

Center Street School’s No. 30 Niche rank and Williston Park’s median home price of $492,500 earned it the top elementary spot over Jericho’s George A. Jackson School, which Niche ranked No. 1 but has a median home price of $749,900.

Other top performers included Herricks’s Searingtown School in Albertson and Denton Avenue School in New Hyde Park (No. 13 and 19 elementary); Herricks Middle School (No. 16); and Roslyn High School (No. 28).

In all, 39 schools from 10 North Shore districts had schools on the list: Great Neck Public Schools (eight schools), Port Washington UFSD (seven), Herricks Union Free School District (five), Manhasset UFSD (four), Garden City Public Schools (four), Roslyn Public Schools (three), East Williston USFD (three), Mineola Public Schools (two) and Sewanhaka Central High School District (two).

Herricks Superintendent Fino Celano said he is “extremely proud” of his district’s schools, including Center Street, for their high rankings.

“The entire Herricks community takes great pride in all of its schools; it is through this partnership, and the hard work of our administrators, teachers, students and parents, that the Herricks School District is consistently recognized for outstanding achievement,” Celano said in a statement.

Garden City Superintendent Robert Feirsen said he is always pleased to see his schools on ranking lists. The district’s high school ranked 68th; its middle school ranked 55th; and its Stewart School and Stratford School ranked 83rd and 86th respectively among elementary schools.

“We try to help every child succeed, so we’re delighted to get recognition for that,” Feirsen said.

Ranking lists such as Niche’s are to be taken with some skepticism, Roslyn school Superintendent Gerard W. Demsey said, because their criteria and sampling of sources are often narrow.

For example, he said, they usually don’t consider arts programs or extracurricular activities. But the district is still glad to see its schools ranked highly.

“It would appear that this very strong support from our students (in the survey) more than compensated for the community’s comparatively high home prices,” Dempsey said.

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