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2017 Safest School Districts Ranking Methodology

The 2017 Safest School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and parents. Learn where our data comes from.

Factors Considered

FactorDescriptionSourceWeight
Parent/Student Surveys on Health & SafetyNiche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding safety in the district.Self-reported by Niche users50.0%
Expenses per StudentTotal expenses divided by the total number of students.National Center for Education Statistics10.0%
Student AbsenteeismPercentage of students missing 15 or more days per school year.Civil Rights Data Collection10.0%
In-School SuspensionsPercentage of students receiving at least one in-school suspension.Civil Rights Data Collection7.5%
Out-of-School SuspensionsPercentage of students receiving at least one out-of-school suspension.Civil Rights Data Collection7.5%
ExpulsionsPercentage of students expelled from the district.Civil Rights Data Collection5.0%
Law Enforcement ReferralsPercentage of students referred to law enforcement.Civil Rights Data Collection5.0%
School-Related ArrestsPercentage of students arrested for a school-related incident.Civil Rights Data Collection5.0%

This ranking assesses 8,211 U.S. public school districts. The same methodology is used to produce the Niche Safety Grade for each ranked school district as well as additional school districts. Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from 2014–2016, as self-reported by the school districts.

For more details about how we calculate our rankings, click here.

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