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Schenectady School District releases first quarter progress report

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Albany/HV: Schenectady School District releases first quarter progress report
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A more than 80 page progress report has been released, outlining how students in Schenectady shape up, and some of the numbers are startling. Our Beth Croughan has more on how school officials look to use the data.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "If they are attending less than 80 percent of the time, we are in what we should consider a crisis situation with attendance. And we don't have nearly enough kids who attending at 95 percent or more and we have far too many kids who are attending less than 80 percent," said Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Larry Spring.

It's a burning priority for the district, that's how Spring described the need to address attendance among students. The numbers are outlined in the first-ever quarterly report card.

"This is really where it begins. You know, we need to hold up a mirror to ourselves. Look at the data. You know, establishing that baseline never feels good," Spring said.

The mirror also revealing reading and writing levels among students grades K-12. Only 25 percent of first graders are writing at a stage where they're supposed to be, and 26 percent of second graders.

"We've got kids, writing proficiency much lower than what we would hope for, or expect," he explained.

But, while 'alarming' could be used to describe some of the data, 'excited' is what the School Board President said they are about having it.

"Because it gives us a starting point, to be able to measure and to make improvements, set up action plans," said Cathy Lewis.

The Superintendent said with each quarter, they'll raise questions and work to make progress.

"Every quarter we would expect to see a few more kids at proficiency. We would expect to see a few more kids attending 95 percent or more of the time. You know, small bites, steady," he said.

While Spring doesn't expect improvements overnight, he does think growth is attainable.

Visit http://www.schenectady.k12.ny.us/Academic_Progress/Quarterly%20Report%201%202012%2013.pdf to read the report.

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