Student averages decline at Canastota schools

Although the amount of students failing two or more grades has decreased overall, student averages have declined in seventh and 10th grades, more dramatically in seventh grade. At the end of the 2006-2007 school year, 53 percent of seventh graders had and average of 84.5 or above. The first marking period this year, only 39 percent of the seventh grade class reached 84.5 percent or more. And the 2007-2008 school year showed only 44 percent had reached honor roll status.

"Why?" asked board of education Trustee Marion Cerio. "Are we addressing this?"

"No, but we need to," said Debora Duffy, assistant principal.

Principal Mark Frye said seventh grade is a time of change and adjustment for these kids.

"They go on their own," Frye said. "It's a big adjustment."

Frye said he would research the data and get back to the board.

Superintendent Fred Bragan said the district needs to look at all the factors.

"We need to ask ourselves, did the curriculum change?" Bragan said.

Still, nearly half the students in seventh through 12th grade made the honor roll, most grades improving each marking period.

Frye said the building planning team has been working on instructional strategies and new review books have arrived.

Part of the team's action plan was to create lunch detention. Frye said this has shown a decrease in late arrivals and during this lunch detention extra help is provided. Teaching staff is now supervising after school detention. Every five weeks the team monitors interim and marking period reports by grade and assessments on STAR math and reading for seventh and eight graders is done quarterly. And the number of detentions and student infractions is compared from the previous school year.

One of the building's goals is to have no more than 15 percent of the students failing two or more classes.

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