On February 12, 2013, voters of the former Ilion and Mohawk central school districts overwhelmingly approved a plan to merge their schools—setting aside proud traditions and age-old school rivalries to embrace a vision that would provide the communities’ students with ever-expanding education and career opportunities. That vision remains the overarching goal of the board of education, administration, faculty, staff, parents, students and community.

A new name, new colors, a new mascot

A school helps define our students, so who better to help define our school’s identity than our students? A student-led process narrowed an endless list of names, colors and mascot possibilities. Students in grades 4-11 voted—we are the Central Valley School District Thunder; our colors are navy blue, light blue and yellow.

Plotting a new course

The merger freed the resources needed to explore a new direction for a Central Valley education, one that better addresses the changing needs of the community’s students. That education begins with the understanding that students are individuals, each with specific interests and abilities and that a one-size-fits-all education is no longer an acceptable option. Central Valley must provide different educational pathways leading to school and career success.

To build a stronger and more relevant program, the district is investigating the 16 Career Clusters, STEM (a science, technology engineering and math program), STEAM (a STEM program with an added art emphasis), STREAM (a STEAM program with an added reading and writing emphasis) and greater collaboration with businesses and colleges. Committees at the elementary, middle and high school levels are examining existing programs, visiting other schools with successful programs and formulating recommendations to implement worthwhile changes at Central Valley. Those same committees are looking at existing facilities to determine how to better use existing space or create new space that provides for the Four Cs of education—collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.

 What does this mean to our stakeholders?

  • To students and their parents—this effort will translate into meaningful changes in what students learn and how they are taught. It represents a commitment to our students’ college and career success.
  • To residents—this means we are investing the community’s hard-earned tax dollars to yield the greatest return for all students. When students are successful, they contribute back to the community. A vibrant and successful school attracts residents, improves property values and strengthens the local tax base.
  • To staff—this represents a commitment to continued growth and professional excellence. We will continue our upward march toward excellence only with the most qualified staff armed with the best tools and support.
  • To employers—this represents a commitment to provide students with the entry level skills needed to become valued employees.

Who are we?

We are 2320 grade PreK-12 students, 203 teachers and 190 support staff and administrators. We learn and work in four schools nestled on the scenic Mohawk River in Central New York. We enjoy the quiet of small villages, but are just minutes from shopping, dining, higher education, businesses and the arts. We are Central Valley School District.