Aerial photo of Mount Markham High School

The Mount Markham Central School District is pleased to announce its designation as a school in Good Standing, according to the New York State Education Department.

This newly released classification incorporates several academic measures, including student performance on standardized tests and daily attendance rates. In addition to being removed from the Target District list, the Mount Markham Central School District now has some of the highest student performance measures in the region.

Since 2019, Mount Markham CSD has been identified as a Target District. The school district received this designation because its standardized test scores and attendance rates ranked in the lowest 10% of schools across New York State. However, the newly released 2023 New York State data effectively removed the district from the Target District list.

“This improved designation and high-performance ranking is excellent news for our school community and reflects the exceptional accomplishments of our stakeholders,” said Joseph D’Apice, Superintendent of Schools. “Everyone worked incredibly hard over the past three years and made significant improvements on standardized tests and daily attendance rates. Our students, staff, administration and Board of Education’s unwavering dedication and relentless commitment towards excellence had a significant impact on the lives of our students during these unprecedented times.”

The work of the past three years to increase student outcomes was a collaborative effort, with the challenge of improving student performance happening simultaneously with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the roll-out of the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards. Faculty, staff, administration and our Board of Education worked hard to raise academic standards for students and build capacity for the district. This work included the enhancement of instructional best practices and assessment tools, the expansion of remedial supports for struggling students outside of the instructional day, the development of a summer program to reduce learning loss, the implementation of a credit recovery system at the high school, the continued focus on literacy interventions at the elementary school and the Science of Reading initiative, and the development of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) across the district.

According to D’Apice, the district remains concerned about the disproportionality of assessment results between its subgroups of economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. The district also needs to continue developing its research-based reading intervention strategies for all students to continue improving its independent reading levels.

“As a community, it is important that we pause to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment from stakeholders; however, our Pathway to Excellence Initiative does not stop with the designation of a school in Good Standing,” D’Apice said. “Working together as a team, we have developed a rigorous and comprehensive 5-year strategic plan that will put us on the pathway to achieve our ultimate goal – the designation of an NYS Recognition School (formerly known as a Blue Ribbon School). Recognition Schools are categorized as the highest performing schools in New York State (top 10%).”

The district took seriously the challenge set before it when it was identified as a Target District. As a result, the district made significant improvements over the past three years in NYS Assessments, attendance rates, Regents exams and graduation rates. In addition to being removed from the Target District list, Mount Markham CSD has received some of the highest Mastery scores on State Assessments in its BOCES and one of the highest historical graduation rates in the region. These accomplishments reflect the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff, students, administration and our Board of Education.