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Jericho School District Ranked No. 1 In Nation

JERICHO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A school district in our area has earned top honors.

The Jericho School District on Long Island is now ranked the best in the country by the website Niche.

Kids and parents have spoken, and so have their academic achievements, earning Jericho the top spot – No. 1 in the nation out of more than 10,000 in the annual rankings.

"If the child needs some services, they are very quick, very hands on. Lots of programs after school, clubs in the morning," parent Constance Mollick said.

"It's also a lot about the parents. The parents put a great emphasis on education," a man added.

"I have a lot of help from my teachers, which is really good and they understand me," said a student.

"It's well financed," added another.

The ranking is based on measures like academics, teacher satisfaction, diversity, student and parent surveys, absenteeism, activities and sports.

So how did Jericho do it?

"I think it starts with a community that values public education and supports public education," Superintendent Henry Grishman told Gusoff.

The 3,000-student district has science labs lined with national awards and every summer it reinvests in the facilities with renovations underway. It boasts a 98 percent graduation rate.

That's in sharp contrast to one of the worst performing school districts in the nation – just eight miles away in Hempstead with a 37 percent graduate rate and history of bitter infighting.

"They are spending a fair amount of money per student. It really is about a cohesive board of education," said Grishman.

Jericho is certainly a well off community. So is it only about money?

"I don't believe so. I really do believe it's about a culture, that their No. 1 priority is the education of their students," Grishman said.

Top honors were also shared by another eight school districts on Long Island ranking in the nation's Top 100. They include Great Neck, Syosset, Roslyn, Herricks, East Williston, Manhasset, Bellmore/Merrick and Harborfields.

Click here to watch CBS2's just-released documentary 37%, which takes a hard look at why the Hempstead School District ranks among the worst performing in the nation.

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