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      Marcellus Central Schools collaborate on its race to the top

      In New York State over six-hundred and fifty schools have submitted their Annual Professional Performance Review Plan. This satisfies a requirement that is a part of the federal program Race to the Top. The State Department of Education needs to approve these plans by Thursday in order for the schools to still be eligible for the increased funding. What makes Marcellus interesting is what their approach was to meeting this goal.

      Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Craig Tice told CNYCentral's Alex Resila, "What helped in Marcellus, it was a very collaborative effort it was almost a group assignment. It was a conversation if you will, rather than a negotiation back and forth."

      That negotiation is just what the school wanted to avoid. They had meetings which included twenty people and two separate unions, to come to an agreement which they could give to the State. These were not just administrators either behind the closed doors.

      Katherine DeForge teaches 11th grade social studies and was an integral part to this process. She told me that the biggest part to a meeting like this was the, "Collaboration with E.L.A. Teachers, with special education teachers that we might not have had before."

      The process is something that the district is used to, but that doesn't mean they don't go over all the legwork that needs to be done.

      Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Trish McCarron said, "We meet with the teachers at the beginning of the year to set some goals then we meet with the teachers to do some observations, we go into the classroom and observe. Then we meet with the teachers after the observation to talk about what we saw."

      Even though the district had their plan accepted by the State, that isn't a sign to stop working and relax.

      High School Principal John Durkee said, "We're dealing in the inaccurate science of children. Every year you get a different group of kids that sit in front of you and you're responsible for their education, individually, personally. Every year you're going to have different goals for every one of those children. You're never going to teach the same way twice, because the kids are never going to learn the same way twice."

      Cazenovia is the only district that needs to resubmit their plan for evaluation in Central New York.