Most Canton-Potsdam-area seniors plan on college
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 5:42 pm

By CRAIG FREILICH

As high school seniors prepare for graduation, more than three-quarters in Canton-Potsdam-area public schools are expected to attend college after graduation.

And while job prospects were no better a year ago, 15 percent last year said they planned on working after they received their diplomas.

That’s according to state “report cards” of each school district for 2009, compiled by the New York State Testing and Accountability Reporting Tool and posted at www.NYSTART.gov. The website contains surveys and reports on state standardized tests administered to K-12 students and other aspects of schooling in the state.

Nearly half of students in St. Lawrence Central, Canton, Colton-Pierrepont, Hermon-DeKalb, Madrid-Waddington, Norwood-Norfolk, Parishville-Hopkinton, and Potsdam said they planned on going to a four-year college or university.

Another third of seniors said they were going to a two-year college.

At least 32 percent – nearly one-third -- of students in each district said a four-year school was their next stop. Potsdam Central topped the list at 63 percent, or nearly two thirds; at Canton Central, 52 percent said they were bound for a four-year school. The other schools had a range of 32 percent (Colton-Pierrepont) to 49 percent (Parishville-Hopkinton) of students planning on four years of college.

Nearly half of last year’s seniors at Madrid-Waddington Central said they planned to go to a two-year school (48 percent), the highest percentage, while 14 percent in Potsdam said so. In the other six schools, those going to two-year programs ranged from 30 to 36 percent of students in their graduating classes.

Overall, 15 percent said they planned on getting a job and 3.5 percent said they would opt for joining the military.

More than 32 percent of seniors at Colton-Pierrepont 25 percent at Norwood-Norfolk said they would seek work. At the other schools the range of job-seekers was from 16 percent at St. Lawrence Central High in Brasher Falls to eight percent at Canton.

Those who said they were opting for a hitch in the military, if not a career there, amounted to 3.5 percent of students, from a high of nearly seven percent at Potsdam and Hermon-DeKalb, to none at Canton’s Williams High.

The balance of the students had plans categorized as “other post-secondary,” “adult services,” “other known plans,” and “unknown plans.” “Unknowns” amounted to less than a percent and a half.

Out of Colton-Pierrepont’s 34 seniors last year, 11 students said they were going to four-year schools, 11 to two-year schools, and 11 said they would look for work. The other student said military service was the choice.

Of the 485 total seniors in those districts last spring, 224 said they were going to four-year colleges, 153 to two-year colleges, 73 said employment was their goal, and 17 said they would join one of the military services.

The nySTART website includes detailed reports on test results for New York State assessments, including the NYS Testing Program, the tests given to most students in grades 3-8; state Regents Examinations; the NYS Alternative Assessment, tests given to students with severe cognitive disabilities; and the NYS English as a Second Language Achievement Test.