Weedsport CSD Regents Success: Scores Above NYS Average in Every Regents Exam Subject

Article published by The Citizen at: https://auburnpub.com/news/local/cayuga-county-area-school-test-results-largely-above-state-average/article_6b3f2ed6-d0e9-11ee-ba68-7bdabebdeea6.html

Cayuga County-area school test results largely above state average

All nine school districts in the Cayuga County area recorded above-average test scores in most subjects last year, and the majority improved upon their scores the previous year as well.

According to recent data from the New York State Education Department, all nine Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES districts scored higher than the state average in the majority of 2022-23 Regents exams. 

All but two of the districts, Auburn and Jordan-Elbridge, recorded proficiency rates above the state average in seven tests.

Auburn Enlarged City School District students recorded above-average rates in five subjects: algebra II, geometry, living environment, chemistry, and U.S. history and government. The district had rates below the state average in four subjects: English language arts, algebra I, Earth science and global history and geography II. Auburn’s highest 2022-23 proficiency rate was for U.S. history and government, with 87% of students passing (217 out of 249), which had a state average of 80%. The district’s 72% in ELA was its most below-average score, as the state’s rate is 77%.

Regents exam scores in physics were not listed for Auburn, nor the Skaneateles or Southern Cayuga school districts, despite them being listed for most other districts.

Auburn Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo told The Citizen in an email that he was glad the district’s exam rates were above the state average in most categories. With a current student population of about 3,800, the Auburn district is by far the biggest of the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES districts due to its more urban composition.

“We still have work to do, but we are getting there,” Pirozzolo said.

Like Auburn, the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District recorded proficiency rates below the state average in four subjects, but above it in six subjects. Jordan-Elbridge also had the lowest 2022-23 rate of any Cayuga County-area district in a single subject, at 33% in physics, with seven students scoring as proficient out of 21 who were tested.

Meanwhile, the Union Springs, Weedsport and Skaneateles school districts scored above the state average in every Regents exam subject.

Gregory Stone, superintendent of the Weedsport Central School District since early January, told The Citizen in an email that the district’s English language arts proficiency rate of 96% for 2023 also exceeded every other school in Cayuga and Onondaga counties. Weedsport’s 96% passing rate for geometry is the second-highest in the counties, he added.

“It’s clear that Weedsport has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence, which owes much to our exceptional teachers and staff, diligent students and the unwavering support of our community,” he said. “Since stepping into the role of superintendent, I’ve witnessed firsthand the resolute dedication to maintaining and even enhancing this commitment to academic excellence throughout our district.”

Skaneateles boasted some of the highest proficiency rates of all local districts. Its lowest rate for 2022-23 was 87% in living environment, which had a state average of 66%. The only local district with a higher living environment rate was Weedsport, at 88%. Skaneateles is also one of a handful of Cayuga County-area districts in the last school year to have achieved a 100% rate in any subject, with all 83 students who took the geometry exam passing. The Southern Cayuga, Cato-Meridian and Moravia districts posted perfect scores for algebra II.

Eric Knuth, Skaneateles’ superintendent, expressed happiness about the district’s 2022-23 results in an email to The Citizen.

“We are extremely proud of our students and their performance on these Regents exams, but more so the hard work and sustained effort required to perform at this level,” he said. “Our teachers are incredibly engaging, dedicated to individual student success and a cycle of continuous improvement professionally.”

Exam scores for the majority of Cayuga County-area districts also improved from the prior school year, with five out of the nine districts achieving increases from 2021-22 to 2022-23. The Auburn, Jordan-Elbridge, Skaneateles and Southern Cayuga school districts saw more year-to-year decreases than increases in the majority of subjects.

The Union Springs Central School District saw the largest year-to-year increase in a single subject, 28% in algebra II, from 68% in 2022 to 96% in 2023. Jordan-Elbridge saw the largest year-to-year decrease, 47% in physics, from 80% in 2022 to 33% in 2023. Jordan-Elbridge also recorded year-to-year proficiency rate decreases in eight subjects, the most of any local district.

The Moravia, Port Byron and Weedsport districts achieved the most year-to-year increases in Regents exam scores, in six subjects apiece.

“Our mission focuses on preparing our students for the dynamic challenges of our ever-changing world,” Stone said of Weedsport. “We recognize the pivotal role that high rates of literacy and comprehension play in shaping successful futures, and we are proud to continually focus our efforts to ensure that every student excels.”