State education officials visit Rockland schools

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CHESTNUT RIDGE -

State education officials made stops at some Rockland County schools Tuesday to make sure the East Ramapo Central School District is performing well.

Chestnut Ridge Middle School is one of 14 public schools that are part of the district. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia checked out the school's music program, which had been stripped away by the district's school board. That decision -- and more so the fact that the board is made up of largely Orthodox Jewish members who send their students to private schools -- have earned the board criticism and scrutiny.

But the district has been improving, Elia says, ever since the state has been overseeing school board operations.

"I don't think there's any question that we are seeing a resurgence in the focus on the academics and supports for students," Elia says.

Earlier Tuesday, the education commissioner visited Spring Valley High School. She was also expected to stop at Elmwood Elementary School, which is the only school in the district to be recognized by the state as being in good standing.

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