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State grades Baldwinsville schools

Students aren't the only ones receiving report cards.

New York State released its annual assessment of all individual school districts across the state. These report cards rate districts on a variety of criteria ranging from attendance, graduation rates and mathematics and English language arts (ELA) test scores.

With 5,815 students, a 96 percent annual attendance rate and an average class size ranging from 20 to 23 students, the Baldwinsville Central School District is in good standing according to the report.

There are two areas on the report where the district needs improvement for not making adequate yearly progress: graduation rates for economically disadvantaged students and ELA test scores for students with disabilities. Baldwinsville Superintendent Jeanne Dangle addressed both issues.

First, the state standard for graduation rate of economically disadvantaged students is 80 percent and Baldwinsville had a rate of 69 percent. Dangle said this number did not take into consideration that out of the 80 students identified in this category, one student graduated early, one student transferred out of the district, seven students took five years to graduate and two took six years to graduate.

"I look at the needs of the students and some need five years to graduate. That's a growing trend," Dangle said.

Ten out of the 14 remaining students either received a GED or IEP diploma, and four didn't finish high school. Considering the seven who took five years, the one who graduated early and the one who transferred out of the district, the rate increases to 80 percent, which meets the state standard.

In regard to ELA test scores for students with disabilities, Dangle said the district is implementing a writers workshop in addition to co-teaching in ELA and mathematics for both special education and regular education students. The district will also implement tech programs such as Write Out Loud, which help students to organize thoughts and self-correct.

Overall, Dangle feels the district performed and rated well on the state report card.

"Every year we have been making great incremental strides," she said. "If you look at where we were eight years ago and the incremental progress made, the students have increasingly outperformed in other areas."

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