---- — ESSEX — Four local school districts are among 25 in 11 states honored by College For Every Student.
The program has cited Crown Point Central School, Plattsburgh High School, Ticonderoga Middle School and Willsboro Central School.
The Essex-based organization, a national nonprofit, helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to and succeed in college.
For its Schools of Distinction honor, it chooses districts that “create high levels of college readiness and (raise) aspirations among their students,” a press release said.
The award recognizes schools with exemplary programs that incorporate the three College for Every Student core practices: leadership through service, mentoring and pathways to college.
At Willisboro Central, for example, every junior and senior student has a community leader as a mentor who helps guide them through the college process, the release said.
The mentor/mentee pairs work together for two years, visiting colleges and building college and financial-aid knowledge.
Every student in the class of 2013 at Willsboro Central School earned college acceptance, the release said.
The process that College for Every Student follows to choose its Schools of Distinction is rigorous. Schools are assessed through end-of-year portfolios and final reports. Through photos, statistics, writing samples and written initiatives, schools document their leadership through service activities, mentoring programs, campus visits and college knowledge attained by their students.
They also demonstrate student gains in attendance, academic achievement and citizenship, the release said.
“These schools are the best of the best, and I congratulate them for their great work in giving their students opportunities that are putting them on the path to college,” CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton said.
Learn more about College for Every Student at www.collegefes.org, on Facebook and, @collegefes, Twitter.