MCS & RCD enrollment nearly equal


By Joe Moskowitz
It’s back to school time as classes opened last week at area schools
This year, there will be almost the same number of kids attending Margaretville Central School as there are at Roxbury Central School. MCS Superintendent Tony Albanese said that about 375 kids had registered for classes at MCS, including 13 pre-K kids, while at Roxbury, between 365 and 375 kids were expected to enroll. RCS Building Principal Eric Windover said that number included a record 19 pre-K students. The numbers at both schools are subject to final counts.

Enrollment at Andes this year is about 120 students, according to Superintendent Robert Chakar.
Albanese says MCS continues to be plagued be declining enrollment and he attributes it to a weak local economy. Windover says enrollment at RCS has remained stable and one reason may be the large number of faculty and staff who live within the district and send their kids to school there.
Albanese says MCS has added more computers for both the staff and students this year. The school has also installed additional smartboards. A smartboard is a blackboard-sized computer.

Margaretville, thanks to MTC, is now a wireless campus. Albanese says a secure Wi-Fi system has been installed. That may be of particular help to students who are enrolled in one of the advanced placement classes. Even though MCS is in Delaware County, the Ulster BOCES invited Margaretville students to participate in an advanced placement program. Six college credit courses will be offered on-line. The kids will be issued laptop computers in order to take the courses. Meanwhile, two MCS students will study engineering as part of the “New Visions” program at ONC BOCES in Grand Gorge.
Roxbury is also adding some new smartboards, but Windover says he is against the use of technology just for the sake of technology. He wants the teachers to have a full grasp of what they are teaching and would prefer to put the technology into the hands of the students.

Windover, a letter that was sent home to parents prior to the start of the school, year speaks extensively about the sense of community. He says the school uses that approach in combating a problem that is facing schools across America, and that is complying with dress codes. He says sometimes girls come to school with shorts that are too short and boys wear T-shirts with ads for cigarettes or something else that is inappropriate. He says it isn’t his job to police them, but everyone on the staff who sees a child wearing something that is inappropriate is expected to tell the student and most of the time, that solves the problem.

Both MCS and RCS deal with the challenge of meeting increasingly tougher state requirements, while avoiding significant budget increases, and with both schools receiving “Bronze Medals” from US News and World Report, both may be succeeding.