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April 26, 2016

 

News magazine honors 5 local schools

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Dryden High School ninth-grader Jacob Yatsko conducts a power point presentation in Joe Russo’s English class Sept. 6, 2011. Russo was instructing freshmen on what is expected of them during their school year.

By NICK GRAZIANO
Staff Reporter
ngraziano@cortlandstandard.net

Five local high schools were among those ranked among the best in the nation for how they prepare students for college, according to a U.S. News and World Report article.
According to a report released last week, Moravia Junior-Senior High School, Dryden High School and Cortland Junior-Senior High School were awarded silver medals by the media company while Cincinnatus High School and Groton Junior-Senior High School were awarded bronze medals.
U.S. News and World Report ranks schools through a four-step process. It compares student performance to that of other students in the state, assesses whether economically disadvantaged students outperform other disadvantaged students in the state, and compares whether students meet or surpass basic benchmarks for graduation rates and college readiness performance.
Out of the more than 21,000 public high schools ranked nationwide,10.9 percent of the schools were awarded a silver medal and 17.8 percent of the schools were awarded a bronze medal. More than 68 percent of the schools were not awarded a medal.
The highest performing schools were ranked nationally and statewide. Moravia Junior-Senior High School ranked 1,340 nationally, Dryden High ranked 2,114 nationally and Cortland Junior-Senior High School ranked 2,565 nationally. The statewide rankings for those schools, respectively, were: 130, 188 and220 out of 225 ranked schools.
Bronze medal earners Cincinnatus High School and Groton Junior-Senior High School were not ranked nationally or statewide, but were awarded the bronze medal due to high marks on state exams.
Sandy Sherwood, Dryden superintendent of schools, said the district had no idea the high school hadwon the award until someone read it online, but she is absolutely thrilled it did.
“It is a really nice affirmation to the staff,” Sherwood said. “It shows we are making a difference.”
For the past eight years, the Dryden school district has been working on increasing graduation rates, dealing with attendance issues in the elementary school and trying to help the schools with any other issues.
“This (the award) is not just a kudos to the high school. It takes a whole district to make a difference,” Sherwood said. “We’re a small enough district where the staff knows the kids by name. They know what lights up their world and how to help them pursue their passions.”
Due to school vacations this week, representatives from the other awarded schools could not be reached for comment.

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