At the beginning of April, the New York State Education Department officials will visit the Berlin Central School district to perform a needs assessment.

“The Berlin School District recognizes the need for continuous improvement and welcomes the NYSED visit in April,” said Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young.

BCSD has been identified by the state as a Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) School under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This act includes provisions to ensure success for students and schools across the United States.

ESSA’s program is geared to effect positive change to help schools progress toward the “highest standards of education.”

ESSA has allocated $1.6 billion this year to New York schools for this program. In exchange for funding, states must have an accountability system for measuring school performance.

All “target districts” are required to develop an annual District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP). This plan is based on the state’s needs assessment and also on data collected and analyzed by the district.

“While we have made great strides in improving overall graduation rates, we still struggle in several areas initially identified in need of improvement at the middle school grade levels,” said Dr. Young.

Administration, department chairs and team leaders are already working on the improvement plan, which includes curriculum review.

“As a smaller school district we can forge relationships with our students and their families to effect sustainable improvement,” remarked Fred Hutchinson, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

The state expects BCSD to show two consecutive years of positive growth in the problem areas that have been identified by ESSA.

“We have to work smarter not harder,” said Middle-High School Principal Dr. Cathie Allain. “There is great potential here when working together as a team.”

The Elementary School is currently in good standing but will benefit from the state’s investment in the district.

“It’s time to analyze and dig down to what are the root causes,” said Elementary School Principal Tracy Kent.

Dr. Young stated, “Increasing student academic growth will be a primary focus at grades 6-8 for all students and implementing an early intervention strategy to reduce chronic absenteeism will be our goal next year.”

For more information contact Dr.Allain at