Niche uses the opinions of parents and students along with statistical data to compile the rankings. Over 100,000 schools were ranked by Niche. Of those 100,000 CFSD schools did well. They were given an A+ for their college prep, an A for academics and safety, A- for teachers in the district, a B for diversity and clubs/activities.
The district serves 4,919 students in grades pre-kindergarten and K through 12, with a student-teacher ratio of 18 to 1. Officials say that the learning and social environment of CFSD is key to their students' success
"We really prepare students for a 21st century education. It's a lot of critical thinking; it's a lot of collaboration; it's team building skills; it's citizenship. So we educate the whole child," Julie Farbarik of CFSD said.
The success the school district is seen in terms of its high ranking on Niche, has fallen in the same time frame as its 5-year strategic plan. Currently, CFSD is in the third year of the strategic plan that aims for deep learning. Even amidst its success, district officials say their goal isn't to get these rankings. Their goal is to serve the students as best they can and preparing them for the future.
"You know our work is really about seeing what our students do after they graduate," Farbarik said. "We love seeing them launch their dreams. We love seeing them pursue what they want to do through college and career and that's what really brings us satisfaction."
CFSD was ranked No. 1 by Niche in one other category: "Safest School Districts in Arizona." Along with that, Catalina Foothills School District was also ranked No. 8 on Niche's list of "Districts with the Best Teachers in Arizona."
Other area districts that landed in the list's top 10 were Vail Unified at No. 4 and Amphitheater Public Schools at No. 10.