Updated: Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 3:14 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010, 12:01 AM EDT
BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - There's been a shake-up on Business First's annual list of western New York's top elementary schools.
For the past three years Smallwood Elementary school in Amherst has taken the top spot.
But there's a new number one this year.
Southern Tier Catholic School has emerged as the new leader in this category, which spans the years from kindergarten through fourth grade. The Olean school replaces Amherst's Smallwood Drive School, which was the top-rated elementary school the past three years.
Southern Tier Catholic is the first school from outside of Erie County to rank No. 1 in any category since Business First launched its rankings in 1992. More than half of its fourth graders achieved superior scores on the statewide tests in both English and math last year, a distinction that no other elementary school in Western New York can claim.
Business First graded 287 elementary schools, based on four years of test data from the New York State Education Department. The rankings cover every school that participates in the statewide testing program for fourth graders.
Private schools that don't take part in the statewide testing program are not included in Business First's rankings, since their performances can't be measured against standardized benchmarks. Two of the better-known schools that don't participate are Elmwood Franklin School and Park School of Buffalo.