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Mistake lands Bolton

BOLTON LANDING - Bolton Central School has been branded by the state as a school in need of improvement, but the listing was in error, according to both school and state officials.

Bolton Superintendent of Schools Ray Ciccarelli said Friday the listing was in error, as the state had either received no data or incorrect data concerning results of exams administered to Bolton students after the information was sent through a third party.

"We've known about this for months," he said. "We've been attempting to isolate the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen."

State Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman declined to speculate on where the breakdown occurred.

"The district has submitted corrected data," he said. " Unfortunately, the corrected data was sent well after our well-publicized deadline for submitting such corrections. As such, changes cannot be made to the list at this time."

Burman said he wasn't sure whether the data had been incomplete, missing or incorrect.

"Had we gotten it in time, Bolton would not be on the list of schools in need of improvement," he said. "Assuming that what appears to be their good academic performance keeps up, they will not be on the list next year."

Ciccarelli said the problem might have involved the scores for the English Regents exam, given to all 11th graders. Plus, there's a possibility of math regents exam scores being included in the data transmission lapse - both for the latest exams, and those going back several years.

Ciccarelli said Bolton Central was indeed meeting or surpassing state standards, with 40 percent of students reaching mastery level in English and and 44 percent achieving this level in mathematics for the tested group in the high school.

Ciccarelli said the school closely analyzes the data annually.

"We are very proud of our our teachers, our students, and their achievements," he said. "We think our student performance ranks very well in comparison to our surrounding public schools, including North Warren, Ticonderoga, Lake George and Warrensburg."

He said one area the Bolton faculty and administration has been focusing on is middle grades math and English, particularly eighth grade. The school is now offering extra assistance at the middle-school level, he said.

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