When a family is looking to relocate, whether for work or personal reasons, it is always a good idea to check out the new school system your child(ren) will be joining. Luckily, it isn’t hard to see that NWA has outstanding schools! The NWA school systems, public and private, are no strangers to receiving prestigious awards; the high schools no stranger to outstanding scholarships.
There are three counties that make up NWA: Benton County, Washington County, and Madison County.
Each county has multiple school districts in its jurisdiction, which gives new community members multiple options for school care for their loved ones. Benton County consists of seven school districts; Bentonville, Gentry, Pea Ridge, Siloam Springs, Decatur, Gravette, and Rogers districts. Washington County is made up of nine school districts; Elkins, Farmington, Fayetteville, Greenland, Haas Hall, Lincoln, Prairie Grove, Springdale, and West Fork districts. Finally, Madison County has the most, with 14 school districts; Fayetteville, Jasper, Rogers, Alpena, Huntsville, Berryville,Eureka Springs, Green Forest, Ozark, Springdale, West Fork, Deer Mt. Judea School, Elkins, and Mountainburg districts. With all of the options available for schooling in this area, it makes the decision to relocate here all the more easy!
The quantity of the schools in this area is great, but the quality is even better!
NWA is home to five of the top 10 best high schools in the entire state. In fact, Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville is number one on that list, followed by Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville at number two! Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers is ranked at fifth best, Bentonville High School at seventh, and Rogers New Technology High School came in ninth. All the schools just listed are schools from NWA school districts, which goes to show that it would prove difficult to find a school your child wouldn’t be successful in! The teachers are exceptional, and many are nationally recognized as such. Washington County school districts’ teacher Justin Minkel won the nationally recognized and prestigious Teacher of The Year award in 2007, a year after receiving the Milken Educator. NWA is also the state leader in percentage of teachers who have achieved national Gold Standard for Teaching. Four teachers in Rogers, a Benton County school district, have also received high honors for being selected as a Milken Family Foundation Fellow.
In 1999 the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform launched the Schools to Watch initiative. This foundation was created specifically to draw attention to commonalities of high-performing middle schools. Arkansas is one of the 19 states that participate in the program. It is also the only state in the country that is diamond-producing hence Arkansas being the only state that adds Diamond to the name of the honor. NWA school districts are riddled with Diamond Schools to Watch! In Benton County, Barker Middle School and Old High Middle School, both in Bentonville, have been adorned Diamond Schools. In Washington County, Fayetteville’s Holt Middle School, McNair Middle School, Owl Creek Middle School, Ramay junior High, and Woodland Junior High are all listed as Diamond Schools. In the same county, but in the Springdale School district, there are even more Diamond Schools; Hellstern Middle School, Kelly Middle School, Sonora Middle School and Tyson Middle School. Out of 18 Diamond Schools to Watch, 11 of those schools are within the NWA school districts!
Several of the schools in NWA have earned the nationally recognized Shannon Wright Award, as well.
Shannon Wright was a teacher who died a hero during the Westside Middle School shooting in March 1998 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It is said that Mrs. Wright made an instinctive and heroic decision, when she shielded a child from a bullet with her own body, then tragically lost her own life. This prestigious, nationally-recognized award was created in honor of Shannon Wright, and has a stout list of criteria to be considered for selection. The criteria for selections that schools have to meet is as such: creating a community for learning; teaching a Core of Common Knowledge; ensuring success for all students; empowering teachers and administrators; preparing teachers for the middle level; re-engaging families in education; connecting schools with communities; and achievement data. In 2013, Fayetteville’s Owl Creek School won the Shannon Wright Award. In 2017, Springdale’s Sonora Middle School won the award. Fayetteville shined again when their school, Ramay Junior High, won the award in 2018.
The structure and success of the schools in NWA is both transparent and efficient. This is proven time and time again when comparing NWA school districts to other NWA districts, as well as the districts in the rest of the state. The New School, in Fayetteville, was recently voted Best NWA Private School. Rogers school district was voted the Most Diverse school district. NWA school districts also made it into the Top 50 Best Elementary School national list! NWA has several elementary schools; Bellview, Russell D Jones, and Eastside Elementary, that earned the National Blue Ribbon School title. On the US News and World Report, Rogers High School and Rogers Heritage High School are both listed under Best American High Schools. Every year students in the Rogers school district receive around $10million in scholarships! NWA schools are known for their strong Advanced Placement programs, as well as having multiple technology-based high schools.
The schools and districts in NWA are exceptional and progressive, and they have the titles and awards to prove it! From elementary schools to high schools, the NWA districts are regularly recognized for their academic excellence. Along with the structured districts, NWA also recognizes and practices School Choice. This is an option to choose a different school than what your address assigns you to, with a few amicable contingencies. School Choice is just another way to find the perfect fit for your student to be as successful in their academic career in NWA as possible. With all the worries of relocating, you won’t have to worry about choosing the wrong school district, because any school in NWA is the right school!