The Andes Central School District is a rural district in Delaware County and includes the Towns of Andes, Bovina, Hamden and Middletown. The district manages one public school that offers enrollment to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, and currently serves about 115 students. The school and grounds stand out with their iconic pedestrian bridge and rock walls accentuating the entrance to the historic building. While enrollment is relatively low, Andes Central School is one of the State’s small rural K-12 public schools that thinks big.
Andes is home to the west of the Catskill Mountain range with countryside that is breath-taking with hayfields, organic farms, and dairy farms along with forests. Andes is known for its charm, small town atmosphere, and its upscale businesses. Residents are proud of their school, which provides a quality education while teaching students to become caring productive members of society and their community.
The district itself prides itself on working with parents, staff, and the community to ensure every child understands that learning is not only in the classroom but extends to all many other activities throughout their lives. They offer a broad range of other activities such as performing band, athletics, chorus, drama, and more.
Students who attend small schools enjoy many benefits. In the fast-paced world where we live, young people thrive in settings that promote “connectedness” or a sense of belonging. Relationships count. Andes provides a total school program in small, personal classes. Like members of the Andes community, students and staff at ACS establish close interpersonal connections where individuals know, share with, and care about each other.
Size & Student/Teacher Ratio
The average number of students for combination schools in New York is 409, comparatively, Andes Central School is very small. The student to teacher ratio of 6:1 is significantly lower than the average for combination schools in New York (11.5).
As of 2016, the percent of students at this school who pass the New York State Regents Exams (Regents) across all subjects is higher than average for New York of 52.9% and higher than the Delaware County average of 56.8%. Although this school’s overall passing rate is average, Social Studies has the highest passing rate of 90.0% which is actually higher than average (NY average of 73.4%). Graduation rates at the school have increasingly improved over the last 5 years, with 70% graduating in 2015.
At Andes Central, students participation in interscholastic athletic competition is encouraged. The school offers a variety of team sports, known collectively as the Mountaineers. Because of the size of its student body, the school cannot always ‘field’ a full team. For many of the sports where this is the case, participation is available to students through other schools with which ACS and another merge interscholastic athletic teams.
Additional Extra-curricular Activities
At Andes no student is extraneous. The school takes great pride in the strong and varied participation of its students in extra-curricular activities. Travel opportunities are a valued part of the Andes experience. The District understands that learning extends beyond the four walls of the classroom. During the past six years, students have taken trips to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, New Hampshire, Boston, Virginia, California, New York City, Maine and various local destinations. School clubs, such as the Travel Club and the Drama Club have also ventured out on trips pertaining to their interests.
The school has an active, dedicated Drama Club that produces and presents both a Fall and Spring production, with each one having multiple performances. Past productions have included ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Into the Woods.’
Andes is at the forefront in the Delaware County region when it comes to cutting edge instructional technology. All Andes classrooms are equipped with an interactive SMART Board. During the 2012-2013 school year Andes moved to Phase II of its technology initiatives by providing all students in grades 7-12 with a laptop that travels with them from school to home with parent permission. This year we have continued our technology growth by investing in replacing our Mac laptops with new cutting edge laptops for 2016-17 and investing in Google Chrome books.
A study conducted by Barney M. Berlin and Robert Cienkus concluded,”… people seem to learn, to change, to grow, in situations in which they feel they have some control, some personal influence, some efficacy.” That’s Andes.