Story by A.J. Arias
Superintendent of Schools Jan Jehring addressed the District’s low ranking by the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings during the Florida Union Free School District meeting on Thurs., May 23.
Superintendent Jehring broke down the rankings criteria and where the District was lacking. The two areas in which the District struggles the most were with mastery level test scores, 80 and above, on Regents exams as well as with Advanced Placement (AP) testing and college readiness.
Jehring explained that in these criteria, the District had a huge disadvantage because in recent years the District has been pushing students to take college level courses administered by Syracuse University, Dominican College, and SUNY Orange, rather than taking AP courses.
The District currently offers 60 college credits to their students, with some students graduating with as many as 44 college credits, putting a student at most universities as a second semester sophomore before they even begin, based on these credits.
The District has been pushing students in that direction versus AP as many colleges and universities only accept AP scores of four and five for college credit. Most schools, on the other hand, accept transfer credits from other universities, if not towards the student’s intended degree, then at least as an elective.
The credits towards electives still increase a student’s year ranking, which puts them at a higher standing towards better housing and priority for choosing classes over students who come in with no credits at all.
Jehring asked the Board if they would like to start promoting AP classes over college classes in order for the District to improve their ranking and standard. Discussion will continue at the Board’s work session on Thurs., Jun. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
School Board Recognitions
The Board recognized several individuals throughout the District. Valedictorian Holly Blumenberg and Salutatorian Athena Moustakas were both recognized by S.S. Seward principal Michael Rheaume.
Kristin Risedorph and her students performed as part of the District’s “Music in Our Schools” presentation. Joan Zombek and James Jankowiak were both recognized by Superintendent Jehring for their retirement and the contributions they have made to the District throughout their careers.
Katherine Hannon and Julianne Potter were offered tenure in the science and guidance departments. respectively.
The Board will hold a work session on Thurs., Jun. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and their next regular meeting will be held on Thurs., Jun. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the S.S. Seward Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.