BEAVER FALLS While the Beaver River Central School District fared well in a business newspapers recent ranking of upstate schools, the superintendent hopes to use the data compiled to perform even better.
We always want to improve, said Superintendent Leueen Smithling.
Business First ranked Beaver River as the second best district in the area behind Potsdam Central School and 71st overall among the 433 schools in upstate New York. The district was second in the north country and 68th overall last year.
Mrs. Smithling said she was happy to stay near the top of the newspapers listing, particularly in light of a loss of $4.5 million over the last three years.
However, unlike last year when she only saw basic data, the superintendent said she has purchased the entire data set from this years study.
She also met G. Scott Thomas, who compiles the rankings for Business First projects, at the New York State School Boards Association convention in Rochester Oct. 25 to 27 and got more information about how they are formulated.
That data will be used to help set goals for district teachers and staff, Mrs. Smithling said.
It gives you a baseline where you can move from, she said.
The Buffalo-based newspaper has ranked upstate New York schools for the past two years after ranking its local schools for more than 20 years.
The ranking is derived from a 192-part formula based on district test performance over the past four years in addition to graduation rates.
It factors in 50 percent for Regents exams, 40 percent for tests in grades three through eight and 10 percent for graduation rates.
For the core subjects, Beaver River ranked 38th in social studies, 63rd in science, 79th in mathematics and 140th in English.
The report also recognized the district for other indicators of student achievement.
Beaver River was ranked 13th for student achievement compared with poverty and socioeconomic climate, 20th in teacher experience, 41st in cost-effectiveness of achievement and 50th in administrative efficiency for relatively tight budgets with low debt service.
That latter category does not take student achievement into consideration.
Were very frugal with how we use our money here, Mrs. Smithling said.
She credited district faculty and staff with helping to achieve strong academic performance despite a relative lack of finances.