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State recognizes student improvement

    ODESSA—Superintendent Jim Frame announced the New York State Education Department commended the Odessa-Montour junior/senior high school as a high progress school during the Thursday, Sept. 13, school board meeting.
    Frame said the designation is called a Rewards School.  The state named 249 schools across New York as Rewards Schools for the 2012-13 year.  Frame said Odessa-Montour learned about the honor this week.
    According to the state education department, this is the highest designation a school can get.  Besides being in Good Standing, the other two levels are Focus Schools and Priority Schools.  The last two indicates improvement is needed.  These designations were based on the percentage of students who demonstrated college- and career- readiness performance in English language arts (ELA) and math.  In addition, in grades four to eight measures of student growth in ELA and math were also taken into account in determining the accountability status of schools and districts.  Frame said the only other Rewards Schools in the area are Alfred Almond and Hammondsport.
    During administrators’ reports, the H.A. Hanlon and junior/senior high school principals showed math and ELA test scores for 2011-12 and 2010-11 and the increase in students passing the tests.  Principal Chris Williams pointed out that grades three through five usually had more students passing than other nearby districts.
    In other business:
    • The board accepted a donation of 330 desk chairs from Ithaca College.  Frame explained the chairs have a desk top that can fold down to the side of the chair.  He added the chairs, which the college was looking at doing something with, are even in Odessa-Montour’s school colors.  Desks in at least four classrooms have been replaced with the new chairs.  Frame said the rest of the chairs are being kept in storage.
    • Resident Gina Michel asked the board about the district’s policy about allowing home schooled students to participate in sports.  Frame said the state education commissioner requires students to be enrolled in public school in order to be able to participate in sports.  He added the school board can allow home schooled students to participate in intramural activities, which can include sports and drama productions.  However, Frame explained there are no intramural sports and the board does not currently allow participation.
    • A $688 donation from the Montour Moose Lodge was accepted.  It will be used to purchase new football jerseys.



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