I am an educator (not connected with the school district) and therefore speak with an informed perspective beside that of being just a parent. I am amazed by the low Great Schools rating for Wheatland-Chili High School. My child does very well in this school, receives very good scores on the state standardized testing, and has a great relationship with his teachers, who are actively engaged and concerned about all the students' progress. Wheatland-Chili is a much better district than the Great Schools rating indicates. This is evinced by the fact that the high school has for two years in a row received the US News and World Report's Silver medal ranking, which measures the school in relation to other schools not only New York State but across the nation.
Several years ago the district hired a new superintendent who has done an excpetional job bringing the district up to higher standards and promoting community awareness and support on multiple levels. A new principal was also hired at the high school and he has similarly also helped raise the standards of eduction there.
I attended this school district from the beginning of Kindergarten to the day I graduated my senior year. I absolutely loved it. The small grades were great, despite what some people say. I really liked that. I knew the people in my grade basically my whole life and knew them on a very close level. All 55 of us were a family till the day we walked across the stage. Actually, the whole high school, all four grade levels, wee able to become really close because we were always involved in things together. The teachers were all absolutely amazing. They were always there for me when I needed them and I become quite close with them. I also received an excellent education. Recreational activities were great to because, being such a small school, everyone got the chance to join what they wanted to. And the typical high school cliques? Yes, they are there but we like to call them the "Wheatland Chili version of cliques". The star of the soccer team would also be the lead of the musical or be in band or something. Cliques were there but they were intermixed. Bullying really just didn't exist. I may be quite biased but I definitely believe this is the best school.
I love this school district! I attended this district when I was a child, and recently moved back to the district because I felt that my son wasn't receiving the proper education at the previous school. My son has asbergers, and the old school wouldn't follow the plan that they set up for him. The first meeting at Wheatland went better than I could have imagined! He was put right into an IEP and they have been doing a wonderful job at following what it says and keeping me informed of his progress. My daughter is in the elementary school. The only complaint I have about that is that a couple of the teachers have gotten a little too old and cranky. (some are still there from when I was a student)
Our children currently attend Wheatland-Chili middle and high schools, and attended T.J. Connor Elementary School. Both of our children have excelled academically, socially, emotionally, and developmentally thanks in large part to the dedicated staff and receptive administrators in this district. Currently, our eldest child is ranked in the top three of her class. She is taking demanding courses, which are preparing her for college. Though our district is small compared to others in our county, it offers Advanced Placement courses in 6 areas--- something larger districts do not equal. Also, because of our small size, students are able to experience their choice of enrichment courses or extracurriculars: music, theater, art, sports, leadership opportunities, and dozens of student clubs/organizations. The chance of being 'cut' from a team or excluded from a club is extremely slim. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to participate. We couldn't ask for a better experience!
This school, probably like many others, tends to 'mark' the children. If they do one thing slightly off what they call 'ok' they are marked for their entire school career. They don't know how to deal with very smart children! If you have an exceptionally bright child don't send them here. They are extremists. There isn't a happy middle ground.