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Tarrytown Schools Open With Better State Rating

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Students returned to Tarrytown schools on Thursday to find a district with an improved state rating.  The Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns has been deemed “in good standing” under new accountability guidelines, a change Superintendent Howard Smith describes as “good news.”

The improved rating is significant for the Tarrytown school district because of the “needs improvement” designation given to both the district and Sleepy Hollow Middle School last year. The “needs improvement” rating concerned parents and led to the creation of a special task force and additional improvements .

Accountability standards were updated this year after New York applied for a waiver under the No Child Left Behind law, which seeks to have 100 percent of students meeting standards by 2014. The new standards measure student growth instead of an arbitrary target and create a new baseline for comparison, Smith said. He noted the district has always seen measured student growth.

“It's based on more realistic and more reasonable standards,” Smith said.

Other changes in the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns include new principals at the John Paulding School and Winfield L. Morse Elementary School . The Board of Education has also leased out the Tappan Hill School to the Tarrytown YMCA.

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