Pearl River High School earned its place as one of six Rockland County schools to be designated Rewards Schools this fall by the New York State Education Department.
The state named 249 such schools in total, using the new designation to recognize the accomplishments of top schools. According to NYSED officials, "Reward Schools are either schools that have made the most progress or schools that have the highest achievement in the state and do not have significant gaps n student achievement."
"We are proud to be recognized for our outstanding student performance," Pearl River School District Superintendent Dr. John Morgano said. "We attribute it to the dedication and hard work that our administration, faculty, staff and students put in on a daily bases in all grade levels that lead to the result."
The state released the list of 249 Reward Schools along with a letter explaining the new designation and the reasons 496 lower-performing schools were selected as Focus Schools. The lists and explanation are attached to this report.
The United States Department of Education approved a request from the NYSED May 29, 2012 for a waiver that would allow New York to change its list of designations to the current options -- Focus District, Priority and Focus Schools and Reward Schools.
Each school or district's designation is based on the percentage of students who demonstrate they are prepared for college and/or careers in math and English Language Arts. Growth in Grades 4-8 was also taken into account.
"There are a combination of factors that led to our recognition as a reward school, including our graduation rate, performance on Regents Exams, percentage of students graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma and the percentage of at-risk students (as identified by their 8th Grade NYS Assessment performance) who subsequently graduated within four years of entering ninth grade," Morgano said. "In all of these measures, the high school was rated above the state criteria."
Other Rockland County Schools that earned Reward School Status are:
- Tappan Zee High School
- South Orangetown Middle School
- Nanuet High School
- Cherry Lane Elementary School (in Suffern)
- Suffern Senior High School