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The state of Mississippi’s schools is on the up and up. The 2022 Department of Education’s report announced that only 12% of our school districts received D or F grades, a significant improvement from 2019. Despite the state’s reputation for low educational outcomes, the following districts have managed to stand out and provide an exceptional education to their students.

From picturesque small towns to bustling urban areas, these top 10 best school districts in Mississippi have earned their reputation for providing students with a solid foundation for success. We will examine the factors that contribute to the district’s success, including its curriculum, teaching staff, and community involvement. By highlighting achievements, we hope to inspire a broader conversation about what is possible for Mississippi’s education system. Here in Madison, we take the state of Mississippi’s schools seriously.

Mississippi School Districts

As of 2023, there are 144 school districts in Mississippi. Madison County School District contains 23 schools and 12,988 students

School districts may include elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as specialized programs or services such as special education or career and technical education. The quality of education and student performance within a school district can vary depending on a number of factors, including funding, resources, demographics, and community involvement. School districts play an important role in shaping students’ educational experiences and outcomes in their communities.

Top 10 School Districts in Mississippi

Let us explore these exceptional schools that are shaping the minds and futures of Mississippi’s students:

Madison County School District

The Madison County School District, located in Madison, Mississippi, is recognized for its high-quality education, innovative programs, and dedicated educators. The district offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students and has been acknowledged for its strong commitment to academic excellence, student achievement, and total community engagement.

We have around 13,000 students enrolled in Madison County and high-ranking scores on nationwide scales. Our most highly esteemed schools are Madison Station Elementary School, Mannsdale Upper Elementary School and Madison Avenue Upper Elementary School. Our schools have been voted an A rating for teachers, diversity, sports, and resources.

Oxford School District

The Oxford School District is located in Oxford, Mississippi, and is known for its strong academic programs, rigorous curriculum, and commitment to student success. With around 4,500 students enrolled, the district has received high ratings for its student rankings, performance, and achievement, as well as its community involvement and support for education.

Ocean Springs School District

The Ocean Springs School District, located along the Gulf,  is known for its strong academic programs, caring and proficient teachers, and commitment to student achievement. The district has been recognized for its efforts to provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for success in college and careers, and for its engagement with the local community to support student learning and growth. Students graduating in Ocean Springs have a superb chance of success in college.

Petal School District

The Petal School District, outside of Hattiesburg,  is known for its small-town charm, caring and experienced teachers, and high-quality educational programs. The district has a reputation for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts, and is committed to providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for its students. Petal Schools are among the most prestigious in the state.

Rankin County School District

The Rankin County School District, located in Jackson, is known for its outstanding schools, experienced faculty, and comprehensive educational programs. The district has a reputation for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts, and is recognized for its commitment to providing a well-rounded education for its students.

Lamar County School District

The Lamar County School District, located between Columbia and Hattiesburg, is known for its innovative approaches to education, strong academic performance, and caring and dedicated teachers. The district offers a wide range of educational opportunities, including advanced placement (AP) classes, career and technical education (CTE) programs, and extracurricular activities that support student growth and development.

DeSoto County School District

Located on the Tennessee-Mississippi border, the DeSoto County School District is recognized for its comprehensive educational programs, strong emphasis on student achievement, and commitment to preparing students for college and career success. The district has received high marks for its academic performance, innovative instructional practices, and community involvement.

Tupelo Public School District

The Tupelo Public School District, located in Tupelo, Mississippi, is recognized for its comprehensive educational programs, dedicated teachers, and commitment to student success. The district offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. It has been acknowledged for its efforts to provide a high-quality education for all students, regardless of their background or abilities.

Why Choose Mississippi?

Mississippi, also known as the Magnolia State, offers a multitude of reasons to choose it as a destination for education. Here are some compelling reasons why Mississippi can be a great choice for students with its array of best school districts:

Strong Academic Programs and Caring Educators

Mississippi’s top-performing school districts offer rigorous academic programs, innovative teaching methods, and a commitment to student success. These districts strive to provide students with a high-quality education, preparing children for successful college experiences and careers.

Affordable Cost of Living

Mississippi’s affordable cost of living is a huge advantage for families seeking quality education for their children at a rate they can afford. With lower housing costs, affordable transportation, and lower overall expenditures compared to many other states, families can allocate more resources toward their children’s education.

This affordability extends to higher education as well, with Mississippi’s public universities offering competitive tuition rates compared to other states. The average cost of secondary education is just $5,000 for in-state students and $10,000 for out-of-state students, far below the national average of $35,000. We strive to make college a budget-friendly option for students pursuing post-secondary education.

Emphasis on Inclusivity and Diversity

Mississippi’s recognition and value of diversity are reflected in many school districts throughout the state, which are committed to promoting inclusivity and embracing diversity among their student populations. This commitment creates a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for students from various backgrounds and cultures. Students in Mississippi have the opportunity to learn and interact with peers from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, fostering a sense of understanding, empathy, and appreciation for diversity.

This inclusive environment can promote social and emotional growth, build tolerance and respect, and prepare students for a diverse world by instilling in them the values of acceptance, making Mississippi schools a positive and nurturing place for students from all walks of life.

Opportunities for Extracurricular Activities

Mississippi schools are known for offering an array of extracurricular activities that go beyond the classroom, providing students with opportunities for personal growth and skill development. From sports teams to music programs, and art clubs to community service initiatives, students in Mississippi have a wide range of options to explore their interests and talents. These extracurricular activities can help students discover their passions, develop leadership skills, and build a sense of community and belonging.

Focus on College and Career Readiness

Mississippi school districts are dedicated to preparing students for college and career success by offering a range of educational opportunities. This includes advanced placement (AP) classes, which allow students to challenge themselves with college-level coursework and earn college credit while still in high school. Many districts offer dual enrollment programs, enabling students to take college courses while earning high school credits, providing a head start on their higher education journey.

Career and technical education (CTE) programs are also prevalent in Mississippi schools, providing students with hands-on training and skills development in various fields, such as healthcare, engineering, agriculture, and more. These programs equip students with practical skills, certifications, and industry-relevant knowledge, preparing them for successful careers right after high school or for further education in their chosen fields.

Mississippi: Education for All

In Mississippi, education shines with its commitment to affordability, inclusivity, opportunities for extracurricular activities, quality facilities, and a strong emphasis on college and career readiness. From a low cost of living to a diverse and inclusive learning environment, Mississippi schools offer students the chance to thrive academically, personally, and professionally.

With a wide range of extracurricular activities, modern facilities, and programs that prepare students for success in college and beyond, Mississippi truly exemplifies education at its finest. Choose Mississippi for an educational experience that empowers, inspires, and equips students for a bright future.

Madison the City is affordable, fun, and has some of the best schools in the state. For more information on Madison’s top-performing schools, check out our Madison the City resource guide.