Santa Monica, Calif. – Santa Monica-Malibu Unified has been ranked in the top 10 percent of California school districts by a national academic ranking service that relies heavily on student and parent feedback, test scores and student achievement data, while Santa Monica and Malibu high schools have been named among the top schools in California.

In ratings compiled by Niche, an education rating service, both high schools garner stellar scores in educational outcomes, academics, administration, faculty, and health and safety. Niche’s rankings mirror those posted by U.S. News and World Report, which also names Santa Monica-Malibu’s high schools in the top 102 in the state.

“We are honored to be recognized for the extraordinary achievements of our students and teachers,” SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon said. “We are dedicated to providing the education and support students need for success while in our classrooms and as they embark on college and career in order to lead meaningful, engaged lives beyond our halls.”

Niche awarded the two high schools the score of A+, the highest ranking possible, for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores with special consideration given to schools whose students matriculate to high-ranked colleges and universities. The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates.

Both SMMUSD schools boast proficiency rates that are well above county and state averages. The schools also graduate more than 90 percent of their students – rates that exceed county and state numbers.

The two high schools offer comprehensive college and career counseling, maintain acclaimed visual and performing arts programs, boast high student participation in clubs and extracurricular activities, and support diverse academic curriculum such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM); Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Regional Occupation Program (ROP) and Advanced Placement.

At SMMUSD, student achievement is often singled out for praise. Recently, three Team Marine members from Santa Monica were awarded first place at the L.A. County Science Fair for their study of urban cigarette accumulation and mitigation. The Malibu High School Orchestra is preparing for a Carnegie Hall performance that will take place later in the year.

“Every day it seems like we have something to celebrate,” Lyon said. “I am so proud of our entire Santa Monica- Malibu community – the students, parents, faculty and staff for this honorable recognition.”