Tradition, innovation, and teamwork are hallmarks of the Clarence Central School District. Although formally established in 1946, the District can trace its roots back to 1805 when early settlers built the first schoolhouse in a small clearing near what is now the intersection of Ransom Road and Main Street. That pioneer spirit, a willingness to work together, and a steadfast commitment to high standards continue to be key to Clarence’s success.
The school system is an integral part of the Clarence community, providing an excellent education to approximately 5,150 students who reside in the Town of Clarence and portions of the neighboring towns of Amherst, Lancaster and Newstead.
Facilities are among the most modern and best equipped anywhere. Clarence Middle School was expanded and renovated in 1994; Clarence High School was expanded and remodeled in 1998; and additions and extensive renovation projects were completed at all four elementary buildings in 2002. Additional renovations at the Middle School and High School were completed in September 2007.
Visionary leadership, an outstanding faculty and a supportive community have helped make Clarence Schools a recognized leader in meeting and, in many cases, exceeding the learning standards and graduation requirements set by the New York State Board of Regents.
Clarence Schools are consistently rated as top-performing schools in good standing according to state and federal guidelines. Two of our schools have won acclaim as "Blue Ribbon" schools. Clarence graduates are routinely accepted to the country's leading colleges and universities. Overall, 97% of the Class of 2009 earned Regents diplomas and over 94% are enrolled in post-secondary institutions.
Clarence was rated second in the most recent Business First independent study of 97 Western New York school districts. In a companion study comparing academic performance and spending, Business First cited Clarence as one of the most cost-effective school districts in Western New York.
While we are proud of these achievements, we are most proud of what happens in our classrooms every day. Clarence is one of only a few high schools in the state that offers an outdoor education program, a four-year program for aspiring engineers, and an interactive distance-learning classroom. The district also maintains an outdoor environmental learning center for students in K-12.
Teachers at all levels involve their students in performance-based activities such as plays, musicals, video productions, debates, and talent shows. Clarence students regularly participate in student government, and in local and regional science, mathematics, and foreign language competitions. Participation is above the national average in our instrumental and vocal music programs as well as our interscholastic athletic program. A variety of guest artists, authors, speakers, and musicians visit our schools each year.
Over the past several years, Clarence educators have acted in advance of State requirements and initiated many programs that support student success. In addition to a commitment to quality-first teaching and a close monitoring of individual student progress, these services include the availability of extended academic time through summer programs, Regents review classes, teacher and peer tutoring sessions as well as other services that address barriers to academic progress.
The district encourages and supports teachers through a comprehensive professional growth and development program that includes a mentor program for beginning teachers and participation in the Erie 1 BOCES Institute for Professional Advancement.