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2017 Homebuyer’s Guide to Northeast Wisconsin School Districts

NE Wisconsin school ratings for home buyers

Whether you have kids or plan to start a family of your own soon, where your children go to school is a big deal. If you’re planning to move to a new home, it’s one of the most important things to consider as you choose a community in which to live.

Fortunately for all of us in Northeast Wisconsin, our public school districts do an amazing job giving our children a quality education. Plus, there is a wide selection of private school options as well.

For those who are researching public school districts in the Fox Valley area, we’ve assembled some basic information based on statistics compiled by the data scientists at Niche, which reviews K-12 schools, colleges, and communities across the country. Niche has plenty of details and can even help you find homes for sale in the area.

When it comes to your family’s financing needs, Unison Credit Union can help you get approved for a home loan that fits your needs. Check out the competitive interest rates for mortgages and make plans to see a Unison Member Advisor soon.

Here’s what Niche has to say about 16 different public school districts in our area (listed in alphabetical order).

Appleton Area School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 61
  • Overall Grade: A-

Appleton is an excellent community for supporting local arts. Its report card includes As for Sports, Clubs & Activities, and College Readiness. It also received high marks for quality of teachers and diversity. The Appleton Area School District is known for its charter schools, which allow students to focus on areas like fine arts, engineering, and environmental education.

The sixth largest school district in the state, Niche also ranks Appleton at No. 10 for Best School Districts in Wisconsin for Athletes. Get more details from Niche.com.

Ashwaubenon School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 66
  • Overall Grade: A-

Many schools in Ashwaubenon are located within the shadow of Lambeau Field, home to the legendary Green Bay Packers. The school district in Ashwaubenon gets all As and Bs on its report card as well as a 93% graduation rate. Get more details from Niche.com.

De Pere School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 66
  • Overall Grade: A-

Just south of Green Bay, the city of De Pere is a quiet place to raise a family with a reputation for quality education. Homes in this area are always in high demand.

De Pere’s report card boasts As in Academics, Teachers, and College Readiness. However, it does get Cs when it comes to Diversity and Food. Get more details from Niche.com. (Note: West De Pere is a separate school district. Information is below.)

Freedom Area School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 66
  • Overall Grade: B

Families looking for country living nestled between Green Bay and Appleton will love the Freedom area. While its report card is speckled with some Bs and Cs, the school district gets a strong A in Academics.

A student reviewer on Niche appreciates the friendly, small-town vibe of Freedom schools, which is something the research doesn’t measure or rank.

“One thing that I like about Freedom High School is the class size. There’s 120 kids per grade, and we’ve all been together since elementary school. This creates an extremely intimate bond between all of us. I know each and every student in my grade’s name and have gotten so close with so many people. My friends from other schools think it’s ridiculous how close we all are at Freedom.”

Get more details from Niche.com.

Green Bay School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 219
  • Overall Grade: B-

Green Bay is the fourth largest school district in Wisconsin and the state’s third most diverse, serving students with four public high schools and a student to teacher ratio of 14:1, which is better than the national average.

While Green Bay may not have the highest marks on this list, it gets an A- for Resources and Facilities as well as an A+ for Diversity. A recent graduate of the Green Bay school system took notice.

“As a public school attendee from K-12th grade, the Green Bay Area Public School District has made incredible strides in ensuring all students succeed. No matter the language barrier or cultural differences, ‘GBAPS’ really does pride itself on its diversity and hardworking staff members.”

Get more details from Niche.com.

Hortonville Area School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 88
  • Overall Grade: B+

The Village of Hortonville in Outagamie County may be small, but it can claim some big numbers when it comes to educating students. The Hortonville Area School Districts gets A grades in Academics, Teachers, and College Readiness.

Where Hortonville really shines is with its graduation rate. At 99%, it’s the highest on this list. One alum of this district gave it a glowing review.

“I went to Hortonville Area School District from kindergarten through 12th grade and I could not have asked for better school, or place to grow up … Never did I doubt the education I was getting; the administration does an awesome job at making sure the schools are always on the cutting edge of education.”

Get more details from Niche.com.

Howard-Suamico School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 21
  • Overall Grade: A

Just north of Green Bay, you’ll find the growing communities of Howard and Suamico. New homes are popping up in this area all the time. The joint school district gets an impressive report card from Niche including solid As in Academics. Food, College Readiness, Health & Safety, and Teachers.

In fact, the Howard-Suamico School District ranks 19th out of all districts in Wisconsin for the best teachers in the state. It’s also ranked No. 24 for safe school districts. Get more details from Niche.com.

Kaukauna School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 137
  • Overall Grade: B+

There’s a special place in our hearts for the Kaukauna School District since this is the city where Unison Credit Union got its start. We’ve been serving the community since 1932, and at one point, we were even called Kaukauna Credit Union.

The Kaukauna School District gets solid Bs across the board from Niche. Its strengths are in Academics. Sports, and Health and Safety. Kaukauna also made the list of Best School Districts for Athletes in Wisconsin at No. 87. Get more details from Niche.com.

Kimberly Area School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 12
  • Overall Grade: A

The Kimberly Area School District has the highest ranking of any community on this list, and it has the grades to prove it.

With an A+ in the areas of Health & Safety and Sports as well as As in just about everything else, it looks like Kimberly studied up on what it takes to be an amazing school district. Kimberly is considered the second safest school district in the state and the second best for athletes as well. Get more details from Niche.com.

Little Chute School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 145
  • Overall Grade: B+

Not far from Kimberly and Kaukauna is the village of Little Chute. The community’s school district makes a good showing with an A- in both Sports and Health & Safety and a B+ for Teachers, Administration, and Clubs & Activities.

Little Chute also has a strong graduation rate of 92%. Get more details from Niche.com.

Menasha Joint School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 254
  • Overall Grade: B-

Don’t let the ranking fool you. The Menasha school district has plenty to offer K-12 students. It’s report card doesn’t have a single C on it. And, Menasha gets As for Diversity and Food.

Sometimes it’s best to hear from the students who’ve experienced what schools have to offer. A student athlete from Menasha had this to say …

“I absolutely love MHS. In my past four years here, I was always treated with respect, I was challenged academically and although (the) majority of our sports teams were not very successful, us players were always given everything we needed to better ourselves and team. I also love how diverse MHS is. They offer three different languages for students to pick from and they always have exchange students.”

Get more details from Niche.com.

Neenah Joint School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 22
  • Overall Grade: A

Neenah, which is considered a sister city to Menasha, has one of the best rankings on this list with strong grades in the areas that count. The Neenah Joint School District received As in Academics, Teachers, College Readiness, and Health & Safety. Its lowest grade was a B- for Diversity.

This district also made the Top 20 for Best Places to Teach in Wisconsin, coming in at No. 17. Get more details from Niche.com.

New London School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 208
  • Overall Grade: B

The New London School District received mostly Bs from Niche with a 92% graduation rate. It’s important to note that the grades in one analysis don’t’ tell the whole story.

Visit the New London School District website and you’ll learn how Parkview Elementary was honored at the State Capitol for student growth in reading and math. One former student gave the district a five-star review.

“The teachers and academics were nothing less than great. I honestly can say I love my hometown and my school district.”

Get more details from Niche.com.

Shiocton School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 213
  • Overall Grade: B

Like the Town of Freedom, the Village of Shiocton in Outagamie county is small and rural, with a population of less than 1,000 people as of the 2010 census. What it lacks in big city bravado, it makes up for with good fishing on the Wolf River.

The Shiocton School District has a low student to teacher ratio of 13:1, which means kids get more attention from educators. Because of its smaller size, this district was not ranked in the areas of Sports, Food, Resources & Facilities, or Clubs & Activities. Get more details from Niche.com.

West De Pere School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 23
  • Overall Grade: A

De Pere and West De Pere were once different cities. They consolidated in 1890, but the school districts remained separate and the high schools have always been rivals. The Phantoms having bragging rights over the Redbirds on this one …

The West De Pere School District gets a report card any parent would be proud of, with straight As in Academics, Teachers, College Readiness, and Sports. It’s considered the 15th best school district in the state for student athletes. Get more details from Niche.com.

Wrightstown  School District

  • Wisconsin Ranking: 33
  • Overall Grade: A

Wrapping up our list is the expanding community of Wrightstown where families are building new homes and enjoying small-town life with the convenience of having De Pere, Green Bay, and Appleton nearby.

The Wrightstown Community School District ranks in the Top 25 for Best Teachers in Wisconsin. It also gets As in Academics and College Readiness, with an impressive graduation rate of 95%. Get more details from Niche.com.

More School Ranking Resources

The Wisconsin School Performance Report (SPR) is an annual public school report card from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The report is broken into the categories of Student Performance Indicators and Opportunity-to-Learn Indicators. Learn more and get the latest report at dpi.wi.gov.

Another resource you can use to learn more about individual schools in Northeast Wisconsin is GreatSchools.org. This non-profit’s website allows you to search for schools in a particular zip code to see grades and reviews from parents and students.

If you’re looking to enroll your kids in a private school, you’ll find plenty using PrivateSchoolReview.com. For instance, there are 24 private schools within 5 miles of Appleton and 30 within five miles of Green Bay. The site provides average tuition cost for the area, as well as overviews and contact information for each private school.

Get Into Your New Home with Help from Unison Credit Union

Finding financing for your move to a new home doesn’t need be struggle and it should never feel intimidating. Unison Credit Union specializes in helping people around Northeast Wisconsin get approved for a home loan and set up a mortgage that meets your family’s needs. If you’re new to the area and need to find a financial institution, we’d love to be your choice.

Schedule a meeting with one of our helpful Member Advisors soon and let them empower your family to make that move and start your new life. We have locations conveniently located in Kaukauna, Little Chute, Grand Chute, Wrightstown, and De Pere. Contact Unison today!

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