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Maplewood transition gets high marks

Maplewood Elementary School got an A-plus from district administrators for its smooth transition following its July 1 annexation by the North Colonie Central School District, and Principal Jerry Steele said the school plans to keep up its good grades in the years to come.

There's a lot going on very quickly, Steele said. "It's exciting, it's a little different. I think the idea here is that the students are going to benefit."

Earlier this month, the district was recognized by the state Department of Education for its precision in completing the annexation process.

Speaking before the Board of Education at a board meeting on Monday, Oct. 27, Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Charles Dedrick said, "For the boards of education, administrations and communities to move beyond the emotion of the issue and so clearly focus on the best interests of children and taxpayers is commendable. You have become a statewide example of a successful regionalization effort. I'm quite sure that what you have done will become a shining example for others to follow."

District officials who saw the annexation through from its beginning are also pleased with the success of the process.

"From my perspective, it's turning out very well. We've had a very smooth transition in terms of bringing on the Maplewood staff," said the district's Assistant Superintendent for Business Tom Rybaltowski.

Rybaltowski compared bringing the school into the district to adopting a child.

"That's what it's like, and they're fitting in well," he said.

As part of the annexation, Maplewood, which previously had its own Board of Education and superintendent, is now under the umbrella of North Colonie, sharing its programs and services.

One such service that the school welcomed was transportation.

According to Steele, students at Maplewood School were never able to use a bus service before becoming part of the North Colonie Central School District.

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