Canastota: Scores up in third grade math

"It all has to do with the state's curriculum," Farber said. Farber said students coming into fourth grade were not as strong due to the state's post-March curriculum.

"Kids are struggling with basic math facts," Farber said. "They don't know them in grade four. They don't know them in grade six. We are going to focus on problem solving."

Farber said teachers are working on a special incentive program for students who know basic math facts. Students also are asked a fact of the day, flash cards are in every classroom and weekly timed tests will continue.

Farber pointed out that fourth, fifth and sixth grade teachers were trained in the Wilson Reading program.

"So, we are one step ahead when students come in," Farber said.

She said a review class was held and 19 of the 28 students that attended received a level three on the state test.

Middle, high school separate identities

Mark Frye, principal at the high school said separate support teams and committees for teachers and students in seventh and eighth grade and ninth through 12th grade were created.

"We created separate identities," Frye said, "because they are different."

One of Frye and Assistant Principal Debora Duffy's goals is to have no more than 15 percent of students in seventh through 12th grades failing two or more subjects.

"At five weeks we had 14.9 percent," Frye said. "At 10 weeks we were at 23 percent."

Frye said the 23 percent included students with learning disabilities.

Frye said he had hoped the district's new eligibility policy would help students become more motivated. He said it did.

"At five weeks, 24 athletes were on the ineligible list," Frye said. "Within two weeks, 16 were released."

Duffy said the five-week progress report that goes out to all students has helped. In the past only students with failing grades had reports go home to parents.

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