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White House praises Central Valley’s mentor school for academic advances

Central Valley’s mentor school, Middletown Central School District, recently earned recognition from the Obama administration for the school’s efforts to improve its education practices and results. “Giving Every Child a Fair Shot” points to Middletown’s effort to wisely invest its Race to the Top grant in innovative programs to advance student outcomes.

“Central Valley shares much in common with Middletown,” said Central Valley Superintendent Rich Hughes.

“Both districts face similar challenges. Both have low students achievement and limited local resources. That makes them a great model for us to explore.”

Dr. Hughes said Middletown’s accomplishments are newsworthy because they are Central Valley School District’s Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) mentor school. Under the award, LELA provides schools with the opportunity to work with and learn from other forward thinking schools. The goal is to share practices that improve the quality of education.

“Middletown has done some amazing things. We hope to learn from their experiences,” he said.

“We are planning to take some of our faculty to Middletown to see what they are doing and how we might introduce that to our district.”

The report, which cites progress under the Obama administration’s education agenda, includes the following”

“For instance, in Middletown, New York, which won a Race to the Top-District grant in 2012, the district has implemented a blended learning model, integrating technology into the classroom using a digital platform for the delivery of academic content and relying on teachers to use performance data to guide instruction and learning. Middletown has seen real progress—students in blended classrooms out-performed those in non-blended classrooms by as much as 45 percent in reading and 56 percent in math, and surpassed their growth targets by 18 percent in math and 36 percent in reading. In addition, using Race to the Top-District funds, Middletown provided free college tuition for all students to the Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA). Prior to Race to the Top, 7 percent or fewer Middletown high school students were taking college courses during high school; in 2015, more than 25 percent of the graduating class did.”