Russia school district named top place to live

By Alexandra Newman -

RUSSIA — Russia Local was just named one of the best school districts for parents values for their housing dollar in Ohio, according to a new report from consumer advocacy site NerdWallet.

NerdWallet crunched census and state education data to identify high quality schools in affordable communities – and out of 608 school districts, Russia Local ranked 10th.

To determine school quality they looked at standardized test scores and college readiness indicators.

School quality was then weighted against affordability metrics to produce a list that isn’t dominated by prohibitively expensive communities.

They also looked at the four-year graduation rate for the class of 2013, as provided by data from the Ohio Department of Education. This constituted 20 percent of the total score.

They equally weighted the 2013 ACT average score and the 11th-grade pass rate for writing and math Ohio Graduation Tests. This information constituted 40 percent of the total score. Data was provided by the Ohio Department of Education.

They looked at the 2008 figures for K-12 regular education pupil-to-teacher ratio, which are the most recent ones available. Data came from the Ohio Department of Education and constituted 10 percent of the total score.

They equally weighted the 2013 median home value and selected monthly owner costs — including property tax, mortgage payments and utilities — for every school district. Data came from the 2013 U.S. Census American Community Survey. This information constituted 30 percent of the score.

In the site’s summary of Russia schools they say, “Russia Local is a very small school district 90 miles north of Cincinnati; just one K-12 school serves its 630 residents. Despite its small size, Russia Local had impressive academic performance and was one of just four schools in our top 10 to average an ACT score of 24. Russia Local is also an active participant in Science Olympiad, National Honor Society and Math Counts, a national mathematics competition for students in sixth through eighth grade.”

Out of schools in the local area the next highest on the list was Versailles who came in 19, Minster came in 20, New Knoxville came in 39, New Bremen came in 40, Fort Loramie came in 41, Botkins came in 63, Jackson Center came in 84, Fairlawn came in 88, Anna came in 121, Hardin-Houston came in 245; and Sidney came in 495.

More school districts, statistics and explanation of the study can be found at

By Alexandra Newman

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN