Business First School Rankings: Top Private Middle School

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 8:25 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 8:25 AM EDT

Business First rated 205 middle schools in Western New York. The top two schools are holding on from last year. Transit MS remains first and City Honors is second.

But moving right up into third place is St. Gregory the Great School in Williamsville. The private school ranked fifth in 2012 and fourth last year.

It is now the top-rated private school and principal Patricia Freund says she's proud to offer parents the full package: academic and spiritual development of students.

As a private school, Freund does not use New York State testing to evaluate teachers and she says that makes a huge difference in the classroom.

"They're not worried about the results and how it's going to impact them, but they take a vested interest in what's happening, but there's not that added pressure," she said. "That adds pressure onto the kids as well. So when it comes time to take the tests, our children are not stressed out about it because we don't have to be stressed out about it."

Instead, Freund says teachers at St. Greg's understand the test format and teach beyond the common core to exceed it. They use the test results to evaluate programs and look for gaps.

Earlier this year, Freund received a principal of the year award from the National Catholic Educational Association.

St. Greg's is ranked as an elementary and middle school since it goes from Pre-k to grade 8.

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