By Matthew Stanmyre | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on May 26, 2015 11:20 AM
School districts from Summit, West Essex Regional and Southern Regional — districts with well-established reputations for athletic excellence at the high school level — have been ranked the best in New Jersey and among the most highly rated in the nation, according to a study based on athletic statistics and hundreds of thousands of surveys.
Summit also checked in at No. 3 overall nationally, with West Essex (No. 21) and Southern Regional (No. 28) cracking the top 30 in America.
The study rated school district athletics as a whole, considering parent and student opinions, number of interscholastic sports offered, percentages of girls and boys participating in sports and the average athletic expense per student, among other factors.
A school district rated high by the study generally indicates sports and fitness plays a significant role in the student life; students actively participate in intervarsity sports; and the administration is invested in the athletic program.
The study ranked 4,951 districts after fielding more than 750,000 opinions from nearly 230,000 students and parents.
Also, some school districts such as Wayne — ranked No. 16 in New Jersey — include more than one high school.
Eight schools from New Jersey landed in the top 70 nationally: Summit, West Essex, Southern, River Dell, Ridgewood, Pascack Valley, New Providence andRandolph.