Principally Speaking

Dear Editor:

At Sleepy Hollow High School, we welcome all students who reside in our villages, affording them access to opportunities that will open doors to their future.

We offer a wide range of courses and academic programs that serve diverse learners with many unique talents and needs, along with an array of extracurricular activities and athletics. We accept that teenagers make mistakes, and have the capacity to learn from them; we value fairness and respect and hold students accountable for rising to these standards. While we are pleased with our record of success, we are never satisfied and remain committed to ongoing improvement.

Indicators of Success at Sleepy Hollow High School:

• 93% of the Class of 2006 went on to college, a favorable statistic by regional standards. College acceptances consistently include prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Howard, Brown, Vassar, Tufts, Northwestern, Boston College and Cornell. Alumni feedback indicates students are well prepared not only for the rigors of academic life but also for thriving in the real world.

• The Class of 2006 was awarded in excess of $200,000 in scholarships.

• We are one of a select few schools who have a dedicated Upward Bound Program. This federally funded program provides pre-collegiate activities for fifty poor, minority and first generation students. In 2006, 95% of UB seniors graduated and 90% are currently enrolled in college.

• For each of the past three years, we averaged 12 Scholar Athlete Teams; students maintained an unweighted average of 90% or higher.

• An average of 40 music students have participated in NYSSMA each of the past three years, with more than half of these student receiving a B or higher on levels V and VI (the most challenging levels).

• Our school has been recognized nationally for our inclusive practices and performance on AP exams. Last year 132 students took 276 AP exams, 77% scoring 3 or higher. (The highest score attainable is 5; college credit is typically considered for scores of 3 or higher.) 36% of these students were acknowledged by the College Board for exceptional achievement; 22 as AP Scholars, 5 as AP Scholars With Honor, 21 as AP Scholars with Distinction and 3 as National AP Scholars, scoring 4 or higher on 8 or more exams.

• In addition to the eighteen Advanced Placement courses offered at Sleepy Hollow, we offer additional college course work through Syracuse University and SUNY Albany.

• A variety of pre-professional experiences are provided through our affiliation with Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers and Tomorrow’s Nurses, a unique partnership with Phelps Memorial Hospital.

• For the past four years Sleepy Hollow science research students have achieved semifinalist and finalist status in the Intel Competitions.

•Annually, the National Merit Scholarship program recognizes top Sleepy Hollow students. Over the past two years, 9 students have attained commended status; we have had 6 finalists and 1 winner.

• All Sleepy Hollow students are encouraged to take SAT exams as part of their post-high school planning process, including those students for whom English is not their first language. Last year, our average score on Critical Reading was 500 (NYS average was 493 and national average was 503). Our average Math score was 511 (NYS average was 510 and national average was 518). The top 10% of the Class of 2006 scored an average of 641 on the Critical Reading (NYS average was 578 and the national average was 580). The average Math score for this group was 634 (NYS average was 602 and the national average was 604).

• The high school ESL program has been showcased at the state and national levels and replicated regionally in other schools based on our efficiency and outcomes.

• Our students are great ambassadors as they travel around our community, state, nation and world; we routinely receive compliments on their decorum, performance and interpersonal skills.

Perhaps the most compelling indicator of success is hearing the personal stories of the individuals behind the statistics. Each student has hopes and dreams; we capitalize on their strengths to help them attain these. I have proudly served as principal of Sleepy Hollow High School since 1994. During this time, we have faced challenges head on, celebrated successes and learned from failures. Like many parents with the means to send their children elsewhere, I make the intentional choice to be a part of this very special place where the American dream is alive and well.

Don’t be confused by our appearance as you drive by our building under construction — our spirit is alive and well. We are a strong and vital school; students and teachers are doing great things here each and every day. When you say Sleepy Hollow High School, join me in saying it proudly.

Carol L. Conklin, Principal
Sleepy Hollow High School

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