Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, and Pass Christian all have their own school districts, and the Harrison County District serves students in rural areas. The area also has numerous private and parochial schools. Biloxi District, 160 St. Peter Ave., Biloxi, (228) 374-1810. Gulfport District, 2101 15th St., Gulfport, (228) 865-4600. Long Beach District, 111 Quarles St., Long Beach, (228) 864-1146. Pass Christian District, 701 W. North St., Pass Christian, (228) 452-7271. Harrison County School District, 11072 Highway 49, Gulfport, (228) 539-6500.

Public schools in South Mississippi are stronger than ever. School districts here consistently rank in the top levels of the state. Channeling gaming proceeds to public schools has further enhanced the quality of education. The Biloxi and Long Beach districts were named "Blue Ribbon School Districts" by Expansion Management magazine. The Gulfport district also was listed in this ranking. Gulf Coast schools also have made more than $200 million in capital improvements in the last decade.

graphicAs a whole, the region exceeds the state average high school graduation rate, and Harrison County ranks second statewide. Districts along the coast also rank above average in per-student spending. The student-teacher ratio has dropped to 1:16, and ACT scores are up, exceeding the state average. The Long Beach District’s ACT average ranks among the top five in the state.

To prepare students for the workforce, schools offer career preparation courses from the elementary level through high school, along with job fairs, entrepreneurial programs, and internships. Students who choose to pursue higher education have several options close to home. The University of Southern Mississippi has a branch campus in Long Beach, and offers classes at Keesler Air Force Base and the Stennis Space Center. Tulane University recently opened a satellite location at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College offers classes at several

locations, and provides customized training and placement at no cost to employers. William Carey College on the coast has a Gulfport campus. Several occupational training facilities are found here as well. Larger schools like Tulane University, Loyola University, and the University of New Orleans are just over an hour away in New Orleans. The University of South Alabama is about 40 miles east of our area.

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