Warrensburg's No. 13 rank represented an advance over last year, when it ranked 26. Over the past two decades, Warrensburg has routinely been among the top 25. In the late 1990s for one year, it broke into the top 10.
Lawson said the WCS administrators, school board and faculty spent the last two years realigning curriculum to help students understand the concepts and subject matter assessed by the ever-evolving, rigorous state tests.
Also, WCS has been concentrating more on individualizing instruction, basing teaching approach on the learning styles of students in their classrooms, he said.
Top performance and outstanding student outcome is a critical mission of the school community, Lawson said.
"Being among the top schools in the region is a goal we continue to strive for," he said.
Bolton Central and Lake George Central are both ranked "Low Needs," based on having wealthy host communities.
Bolton Central superintendent Ray Ciccarelli said he was pleased that BCS, ranked No. 9 in the study, scored highest among all schools in the area five-county BOCES.
"I was flabbergasted," Ciccarelli said. "We're a small school that can't offer as many electives as the larger districts."
Ciccarelli said helping Bolton in its rankings was its individualized attention and new offerings of online college courses available locally to high-achieving students.
"We've done some creative things which have helped compensate for limited course variety," he said, praising the faculty for adopting new educational methodologies. "We're trying to build a well-coordinated curriculum that focuses on children."
Ciccarelli noted during the 1990s, Bolton Central was ranked in the mid-30s in the Business Review evaluation, and it advanced incrementally to last year's No. 16 rank, then jumping to 9 this year.
"We've seen a very solid performance by our teaching staff and our students," he said. "It's quite a tribute to them."