2017 Safest School Districts 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

Factor Description Source Weight
Parent/Student Surveys on Health & Safety Niche survey responses scored on a 1-5 scale regarding safety in the district. Self-reported by Niche users 50.0%
Expenses per Student Total expenses divided by the total number of students. National Center for Education Statistics 10.0%
Student Absenteeism Percentage of students missing 15 or more days per school year. Civil Rights Data Collection 10.0%
In-School Suspensions Percentage of students receiving at least one in-school suspension. Civil Rights Data Collection 7.5%
Out-of-School Suspensions Percentage of students receiving at least one out-of-school suspension. Civil Rights Data Collection 7.5%
Expulsions Percentage of students expelled from the district. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%
Law Enforcement Referrals Percentage of students referred to law enforcement. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%
School-Related Arrests Percentage of students arrested for a school-related incident. Civil Rights Data Collection 5.0%

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.