Local schools among most diverse in Alabama

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Multiple area school districts are among the most diverse in the state, according to a list recently compiled by a national website.

Niche.com recently ranked the most diverse school systems in each state, and three school systems operating in Shelby County made the top 50.

According to the website, the rankings were based on “ethnic diversity statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and parent and student reviews of ethnic, economic and cultural diversity.”

Forty-five percent of the rankings were based on each system’s student racial diversity index from the U.S. Department of Education, 25 percent was based on parent and student surveys on culture and diversity, 20 percent was based on the percentage of students who are classified as economically disadvantaged and 10 percent was based on gender diversity.

Pelham City Schools came in at No. 9 on the list, behind Decatur City Schools, Florence City Schools, Huntsville City Schools, Athens City Schools, Mobile County Schools, Oxford City Schools, Jefferson County Schools and Leeds City Schools.

Pelham City Schools, which reports an enrollment of 3,159 students, earned a diversity grade of A. According to Niche.com, 51.5 of the city’s students are white, 30.9 percent are Hispanic, 12 percent are African American, 3.2 percent are Asian, 2.1 percent are multiracial and 0.2 percent are Native American. Fifty-two percent of Pelham’s students are male, while 48 percent are female.

Alabaster City Schools came in at No. 24 on the list, also earning an overall diversity grade of A.

ACS lists an enrollment of 6,031 students, 62.1 percent of who are white, 18.1 percent of who are African American, 16.1 percent of who are Hispanic, 2.2 percent of who are multiracial, 1.3 percent of who are Asian, 0.2 percent of who are Native American and 0.1 percent of who are Pacific islander, according to the website. Fifty-one percent of Alabaster’s students are male, while 49 percent are female.

Hoover City Schools came in at No. 33 on the list, earning an overall diversity grade of A-minus.

Of Hoover’s 13,949 students, 59.2 percent are white, 25 percent are African American, 6.5 percent are Asian, 6.2 percent are Hispanic, 3 percent are multiracial, 0.1 percent are Pacific islander and 0.1 percent are Native American.

To view the entire list, visit Niche.com/k12/search/most-diverse-school-districts/s/alabama/.