Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in Setauket ranked 18th in U.S....

Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in Setauket ranked 18th in U.S. News & World Report's latest report on middle schools in New York State. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas/John Paraskevas

Two Long Island elementary schools — both in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District — are among the top 10 in New York State, according to just-released rankings from U.S. News & World Report

The Old Bethpage School was ranked eighth and the Judy Jacobs Parkway Elementary School came in ninth, according to the rankings of nearly 4,000 elementary schools statewide, which were released Tuesday.

Among the news magazine's rankings of nearly 3,000 middle schools, also released Tuesday, Garden City Middle School and Jericho Middle School were tied for 14th place, Willets Road School in Roslyn Heights was in 17th place, and Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in East Setauket was in 18th.

Among elementary schools, Lakeville Elementary School in Great Neck was ranked 12th in the state, Sea Cliff Elementary School ranked 14th, Village Elementary School in Syosset was 15th and Hewitt Elementary School in Rockville Centre was 16th. 

The methodology for the rankings, based in part on federal education data, analyzes state assessments of students who were rated proficient or above proficient in math and reading/language arts. The methodology accounts for student backgrounds, "achievement in core subjects, and how well schools are educating their students," U.S. News & World Report said.

U.S. News & World Report, which has been ranking schools since 1983, is best known for its college rankings. For the elementary and middle school rankings, the organization looked at schools in every state and the District of Columbia.

In a statement, the Plainview-Old Bethpage district called the rankings “a great honor for our schools to be once again recognized as top performing.”

“Most important are the children. Their curiosity, tenacity, and commitment to learning have them achieving at incredible rates. We could not be more proud of our staff and students,” the statement said.

The highest-ranking elementary and middle schools were in New York City, according to the rankings.

Teresa Valerio Parrot, an educational consultant in Boulder, Colorado, said parents shouldn’t focus on just one ranking system but look at several to form an opinion about a school.

“There are so many rankings out there these days that it doesn’t have to just be a one-stop shop for everyone,” she said, adding: “It can be one of many pieces that families use to piece together their next steps." 

Earlier this year, 23 Long Island public high schools were listed among the nation's 1,000 best.

Also earlier this year, several universities and graduate schools opted out of the U.S. News & World Report rankings, complaining about the methodologies used to compile the ranks.

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