TICONDEROGA - Crown Point Central School and Ticonderoga Middle School have been cited.
The schools each were named Schools of Distinction by the College For Every Student program.
"We are very excited for our students and school community in receiving the School of Distinction designation by CFES," said Shari Brannock, Crown Point superintendent. "Our principal, Ms. (Elaine) Dixon, and our English teacher, Rachel Charron, and others were instrumental in Crown Point Central School meeting the requirements.
"Our programs and participation in CFES were highlighted in a portfolio sent to them for review," she added. "There are so many events, activities and programs involved that we did that have a terrific impact on each student and their future. Again, we are very proud of our students, staff and community for earning the CFES School of Distinction award."
Dixon shared Brannock's excitement about the award.
"We are very excited to be named a School of Distinction by CFES," the principal said. "Our school community worked hard toward being recognized for the distinction throughout the school year and we owe our success to the team effort that was put into achieving it."
Crown Point and Ticonderoga Middle School have been part of the CFES program for many years. In May, both schools were visited by the University of Michigan for a study on successful use and implementation of CFES and its impact on students.
"Our recent recognition speaks to our ability to compete on a national level and to make progress on a number of key indicators that have proven successful in getting students to the next level, college," Brannock said.
Dixon praised the CFES program.
"CFES continues to mean a lot to us at Crown Point, together we hope that our efforts will get more under-served youth to and through college," Dixon said. "Here at Crown Point, the CFES committee takes the three core practices of CFES and uses them throughout the year to plan events with our students.
"For instance, for the practice of leadership through service, we held a pet food supply and drive and caroled at a local nursing home last December," she said. "For the practice of mentoring we have implemented a pre-k-12 mentoring program called Panther Partners, which the students have come to love. Finally for the practice of pathways to college, we do our best to ensure that all students in grades 9-12 have at least one college experience throughout each school year. This might mean visiting a college campus, or having a discussion with someone in college here at school. We will continue to put our best efforts forward to help our students pursue college goals and CFES is a caring partner that helps that process progress."
College For Every Student, a national nonprofit that helps under-served students get to college and be successful there, granted the awards to 14 schools nationwide for their success in meeting goals during the 2009-10 academic year.
The goals include 90 percent or more of students increasing their attendance rate, grade-point average, level of civic engagement and leadership capacity.
Unlike other CFES schools, schools vying for School of Distinction status are required to engage all students as CFES Scholars.
"The purpose was to move CFES from a cohort of 100 Scholars per school to every student in the school," said Rick Dalton, CFES president. "It ensures that the program has high impact and cultivates a culture of college-going in the school."
Changing student expectations and behaviors is particularly important for CFES schools, Dalton said, which serve a large percentage of students who live below the poverty line.
"CFES activities inspire low-income youth to see college as a real option and provide the tools and opportunities that enable them to graduate from high school and make a successful transition to college," he said.