Marcellus Schools scores high on annual report

School district report cards were recently released for primary schools across New York State. The evaluations covered each school in the district, rating their performance and examination scores for math, science, English-language arts as well as information on enrollment and attendance.

Marcellus Central School District students scored well this past year; 159 teachers instructed 1988 pupils among the three facilities. Enrollment in each school has been slowly declining, but the students have consistently posted strong scores. Superintendent Craig Tice says compared to enrollment patterns at other school districts, Marcellus is in good shape.

"For many districts, they've seen a sharper decline ... we're pretty fortunate," Tice said. "So far Marcellus is still a desirable community [to live in]."

Total enrollment across the district decreased from 2,070 in 2007-08 to 2,028 in 2008-09. Enrollment further decreased to 1,988 in 2009-10. The district eliminated 18 full-time positions over the past two years to adjust to declining enrollment.

Marcellus graduates a high percentage of its students. Its graduation rate in 2008-09 was 97 percent, up from 93 percent the previous year.

Tice attributed this to the "strong work of our counselors and our teachers at the high school." He said they've done a great job of meeting the needs of "both the large cohort of students" and the individual students.

"A lot of electives that we offer encourage students to take full course loads," he added.

The district also scored high in the number of students that go on to pursue a college degree. 96 percent of students at Marcellus planned to attend either two-year or four-year college following graduation.

Marcellus had 98 percent of its students graduate with a regents diploma, up from 94 percent last year. This number compares to the top performing schools in the area - as do the district's overall regents scores.

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