Queensbury Union Free School District is ranked No.13 among 85 Albany-area school districts in The Business Review's annual School Report for 2012-13. A school district's overall score is a weighted tabulation that takes into account student test score results and graduation rates.
Queensbury is dedicated to preparing students for success in college, the workplace and in life. The district has a reputation for academic excellence as well as fiscal responsibility. Queensbury consistently makes “adequate yearly progress” in English language arts and mathematics as measured by the New York State Education Department. On average, more than 90 percent of students graduate with a Regents or Advanced Regents diploma. At the same time, Queensbury also has one of the lowest total spending per pupil rates in the region and the state.
While academics are at the heart of education, Queensbury students also have access to a variety of extracurricular opportunities throughout their years in grade school. Queensbury produces numerous championship athletic teams, award-winning musicians, accomplished artists and civic-minded youth who volunteer their time to help community members in need.
Queensbury teachers at all grade levels have worked together to create a written curriculum for all subject areas. A collaborative map is created and shared with all teachers in the district. A unit timeline is created to assist with pacing of each course. Each unit is broken into categories. These categories include essential questions, content, skills, vocabulary, assessment and differentiated instruction. Mapping is a common practice for all teachers and many resources are shared through them. Our curriculum maps drive current programmatic discussions and assist us in the curriculum renewal process.
State and National Standards
Queensbury teachers and administrators are working to align school curriculum with the national and state Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for college and career readiness. New York is aligning its ELA and math assessments in grades 3-8 to the CCLS beginning in the 2012-13 school year. Please visit the links below to learn more about the CCLS and the new expectations for students at each grade level in K-12.
The Queensbury curriculum prepares students for state assessments, including ELA and math for third through eighth grade, science for fourth and eighth grade and high school Regents exams. New York is a lead member in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers(PARCC) testing consortium. With Board of Regents approval, the state could begin administering PARCC tests as early as the 2014-15 school year. The state Education Department is also considering additional state tests in grades K-3, in science and social studies at the middle school level, and in social studies and English language arts at the high school level.
Student Scores and APPR
Beginning in 2012-13, students' state assessment scores will be part of the teacher and principal annual professional performance review (APPR) process. In order to demonstrate student growth under this state mandate, it will be necessary to pre-assess students to establish a baseline. These assessments will not be counted as part of the student's grade, but will be used to help teachers determine what students currently understand in relation to what they will be expected to know at the end of a course.
Beyond the Core: Extracurriculars, Electives and Other Advanced Programs
Queensbury students are encouraged to strive for excellence through an array of extracurricular activities, elective courses and other advanced academic programs. Opportunities begin in elementary school, with the Afterschool Creative Network clubs for example, and span through high school, where students find multiple options for college credit-bearing courses. Seniors routinely leave Queensbury with opportunities to finish their higher education early, select a second major or change majors without delaying college graduation. Beginning in their junior year, a number of students attend skilled training for various professions provided by Capital Region BOCES.
Common Core Learning Standards
In 2011-12, New York State began changing its guidelines for what your child needs to learn in order to achieve success in school and beyond. The new educational guidelines—known as Common Core Standards(CCS)—align with a national initiative. They are designed to ensure that students are challenged in school and understand what they are learning on a deeper level and can think critically about it. The annual standardized state tests will begin to reflect the new standards in 2012-13. Queensbury is well on its way to being prepared for this shift.