Bolton Central School’s kindergarten through fifth grade programs made a huge leap from 20th place last year in the Albany Business Review’s Schools Report to first place this year. The success of the school is being attributed to a classic method of teaching.
Superintendent Michael Graney credits the recognition to a straightforward approach of giving one-on-one attention to each student. As one of the smallest schools considered in the report of 85 different districts, Bolton has the means to do so.
“We really take an individualistic approach,” Graney told The Sun Community News. “It sounds simple, but it’s very focused on meeting their needs.”
A small shift in the ranks from year to year is expected for the schools included in the report. While the gigantic jump Bolton saw is unusual, it is admittedly less so for the schools with a smaller student population; just one or two kids’ test scores could have a huge impact. Given that, Graney is humble about this incredible honor.
“We are happy with the recognition, but we don’t think it’s the be all end all,” he told The Sun Community News. “If we drop two or three [next year] it’s okay. . .We work each year to improve. That’s always part of our strategic plan.”
The rankings are compiled using data for math and English test scores for grades three, four, and five, and science test scores for grade four.
The top five elementary schools for 2016 were:
- Bolton Central School in the Bolton District
- Tesago Elementary School in the Shenendehowa District
- Rosendale School in the Niskayuna District
- Lake Avenue Elementary School in the Saratoga District
- Bell Top School in the East Greenbush District
The 85 districts included in the rankings come from 11 different counties in the greater Capital Region area.
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- Albany Business Review: A change at the top: Small school heads list
- The Sun Community News: Bolton K-5 named top of 85 districts in region