All five IUSD middle schools rank among The Orange County Register’s top six

For the second straight year, all five of IUSD’s traditional middle schools placed among The Orange County Register’s top 10 in its annual breakdown of the county’s best middle schools.

In fact, this year, they all made the top six.

The report, posted on the Register’s website Friday, follows on the heels of the newspaper’s recent elementary school rankings, which reserved the top three slots for IUSD campuses and recognized dozens of other Irvine schools with virtual gold, silver and bronze medals.

In its assessment of the county’s 86 middle schools, Venado, South Lake, Rancho San Joaquin, Lakeside and Sierra Vista all fell within the top half-dozen based on a ranking system that crunched statistics related to each school’s academics, environment and accolades. They were joined by Tustin’s Pioneer Middle School, which earned the No. 1 spot overall.

You can be sure that Plaza Vista and Vista Verde schools would have also been in the mix, but the Register does not include K-8 schools in its annual analysis because, it says, the data is difficult to compare.

“While we’d like to get a more comprehensive snapshot,” the newspaper says, “adding these schools to the mix would skew our analysis, not clarify it.”

In Friday’s online article, the Register acknowledges some inherent educational advantages for Irvine, including highly educated parents. But, the newspaper notes, “Irvine schools also consistently boast top teachers, innovative programs and time-tested strategies that make them among the best in the state.”

To check out “Orange County’s best middle schools of 2011,” click here. To go straight to the Register’s database, click here.