Schodack Central School District is a small, rural public school district located in southern Rensselaer County, approximately 10 miles south of Albany, New York’s capital.
The district serves nearly 900 children in two school buildings – Castleton Elementary School (grades K-6) and Maple Hill Junior/Senior High School (grades 7-12). The district includes 34-square-miles, including much of the town of Schodack and a small part of Stuyvesant.
Schodack CSD is renowned as one of the best small school districts in the region. Maple Hill High School had the highest graduation rate of any district in the Capital Region in 2017 and 2018. Maple Hill High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2017 (the only school in the Capital Region to receive the honor).
While relatively small, Schodack CSD offers an extensive curriculum for students comparable to much larger schools. Faculty, staff and administration believe strongly in providing as many opportunities for students as possible, embracing innovative ways to deliver instruction.
Connected Learning for Grades 7-12 offers all students a Chromebook to use for their education. Every 6th grader has a Chromebook or laptop to use during the school day. Elementary students have access to tablets and laptops for their classroom instruction.
Schodack CSD is a leader in Distance Learning, providing videoconferencing opportunities for students to take courses and that would otherwise be unavailable while also preparing them for similar opportunities in college. Elementary students often Skype with authors in the school library, helping to build connections and instill a love of reading.
One of the Schodack CSD’s greatest strengths is its community, which is greatly involved in the district. The community regularly volunteers to help in its schools, from volunteers helping in classes to students leading community projects such as improving the school’s softball and baseball fields.
Schodack CSD is also a leader in energy conservation and green energy. Both Castleton Elementary School and the District Office Building have been designated as ENERGY STAR buildings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for meeting strict energy performance standards, using less energy and causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers. In 2012, the district worked with a local solar panel company to install photovoltaic systems on its three school buildings and bus garage. The arrangement does not cost the district anything and reduces its electric bill. The solar panel technology is also incorporated into curriculum at all three school buildings to encourage student interest in science and math.
The rural/suburban district was originally formed out of a number of small, rural schools in the late 1940s. Originally a Dutch settlement along the banks of the Hudson River, the area was largely agricultural until the late 20th century, when it became more suburban. Schodack CSD’s proximity to the state capital allows for many links between the district and a variety of educational, cultural and political institutions.
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