Pittsford remains the top-rated school district in the Rochester Area, a distinction that its leader says is truly a team honor.
"The No. 1 thing is collaboration, being able to do the work together," says Mary Alice Price, superintendent of the Pittsford Central School District.
"Our teaching staff, support staff, administrative team and parents have all come to the table -- and their cooperation has certainly paid off."
Business First has rated the Rochester Area¹s 67 school districts each year since 2010, with Pittsford topping the list all three times.
Full details will be available in Business First's 2012-2013 Guide to Western New York Schools, which hits newsstands on June 15th. Highlights are also available right now (Friday) at the newspaper's website:
The academic rankings are based on four years of test data compiled by the New York State Education Department. Business First uses the same formulas originally developed for its Western New York rankings. Each district's score reflects the collective performance of its public elementary, middle and high schools.
Pittsford's strength is reflected in separate breakdowns of four subject areas: English/foreign languages, mathematics, science and social studies.
It outperforms all other Rochester Area school systems in each of those fields, based on Business First¹s analysis of test results from fourth grade through high school.
But Price says the suburban Rochester district is still looking for ways to get better. Pittsford officials are now developing a strategic initiative
that will be unveiled next year, pinpointing possible areas of improvement.
"We need to maintain our high standards," she says. "So, as a way to push forward, we'll be identifying one or two areas of focus for the next three to five years."
Pittsford's northwestern neighbor, Brighton, is once again the second-rated school district in the Rochester Area. Holding third through fifth place,
respectively, are Honeoye Falls-Lima, Penfield and West Irondequoit.
Money clearly has an impact on the academic standings. Business First's separate socioeconomic-climate ratings indicate that Pittsford and Brighton are the two most affluent districts in the Rochester Area, with Penfield and Honeoye Falls-Lima also in the top five.
"We have great students and great educators, yes. But I'm an honest person, and it's obvious that economics is a huge factor," says David Roth,
principal of Honeoye Falls-Lima High School. "It's easier to make gold rings when the community gives you high-quality raw materials to start."
Monroe County dominates the upper end of the district standings. The Rochester Area's top five districts -- and seven of the top 10 -- are based
in that county. The exceptions are No. 6 Victor and No. 8 Canandaigua, both of Ontario County, and No. 10 Avon of Livingston County.
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BUSINESS FIRST'S ROCHESTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT RANKINGS
(EACH DISTRICT IS FOLLOWED BY ITS COUNTY)
1. Pittsford (Monroe County)
2. Brighton (Monroe County)
3. Honeoye Falls-Lima (Monroe County)
4. Penfield (Monroe County)
5. West Irondequoit (Monroe County)
6. Victor (Ontario County)
7. Fairport (Monroe County)
8. Canandaigua (Ontario County)
9. Webster (Monroe County)
10. Avon (Livingston County)
11. Spencerport (Monroe County)
12. Caledonia-Mumford (Livingston County)
13. Geneseo (Livingston County)
14. Wayne (Wayne County)
15. Hilton (Monroe County)
16. Gananda (Wayne County)
17. Rush-Henrietta (Monroe County)
18. Bloomfield (Ontario County)
19. Naples (Ontario County)
20. Churchville-Chili (Monroe County)
21. Honeoye (Ontario County)
22. Williamson (Wayne County)
23. Wheatland-Chili (Monroe County)
24. Arkport (Steuben County)
25. Manchester-Shortsville (Ontario County)
26. Brockport (Monroe County)
27. Seneca Falls (Seneca County)
28. Gates Chili (Monroe County)
29. Marcus Whitman (Ontario County)
30. Palmyra-Macedon (Wayne County)
31. Red Creek (Wayne County)
32. Bath (Steuben County)
33. Prattsburgh (Steuben County)
34. Romulus (Seneca County)
35. Phelps-Clifton Springs (Ontario County)
36. Hammondsport (Steuben County)
37. Dalton-Nunda (Livingston County)
38. Penn Yan (Yates County)
39. Greece (Monroe County)
40. Livonia (Livingston County)
41. Wayland-Cohocton (Steuben County)
42. Marion (Wayne County)
43. York (Livingston County)
44. East Rochester (Monroe County)
45. Dansville (Livingston County)
46. Geneva (Ontario County)
47. Lyons (Wayne County)
48. Corning-Painted Post (Steuben County)
49. Avoca (Steuben County)
50. Dundee (Yates County)
51. Jasper-Troupsburg (Steuben County)
52. East Irondequoit (Monroe County)
53. Mount Morris (Livingston County)
54. Sodus (Wayne County)
55. Waterloo (Seneca County)
56. Newark (Wayne County)
57. Hornell (Steuben County)
58. Watkins Glen (Schuyler County)
59. Clyde-Savannah (Wayne County)
60. Canisteo-Greenwood (Steuben County)
61. Odessa-Montour (Schuyler County)
62. Campbell-Savona (Steuben County)
63. North Rose-Wolcott (Wayne County)
64. Bradford (Steuben County)
65. South Seneca (Seneca County)
66. Addison (Steuben County)
67. Rochester (Monroe County)