Rush-Henrietta Central School District

Providing More Rigor and Opportunity Through Acceleration

In the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, we believe all eighth grade students can succeed in Regents Earth Science. That is the main reason our eighth graders take the course a full year before most students in schools throughout New York.

In 2009, the Board of Education approved a plan for all eighth graders to take Regents Earth Science. The move was designed to close achievement gaps, increase student achievement, and help additional students earn a Regents diploma with advanced designation. In addition, it has increased the rigor of the science program as well as the number of students taking advanced science coursework.

Today, all Rush-Henrietta eighth graders take Earth Science and more than 90 percent pass the Regents exam. “Once the mindset became about what students can do versus what they can’t, the doors to this unique opportunity began to open wider,” says Donna Horn, director of science.

Students in Rush-Henrietta who earn one credit of science on their transcript before entering high school have an advantage over those in other districts that do not. Having completed the three-year science credit graduation requirement by the end of tenth grade, students have more time in their high school schedule for participating in additional higher-level coursework, such as AP courses or science, technology, engineering, and math electives. Students also may choose to participate in college-level coursework at the high school or enroll in tuition-free courses offered to Rush-Henrietta residents by RIT and the University of Rochester.

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