RIPLEY - The six Ripley Central School freshman taking part in a pilot program in which they take most of their classes at Chautauqua Lake Central School rated their experience so far as anywhere from "no problems" to "awesome," before the Ripley Board of Education Thursday night, Oct. 18.
"There is definitely a lot more opportunity there," said Dax Spacht. "Where there is one door open at Ripley, there are five or six open there."
She said she enjoyed meeting the people there and the classes are much more organized, but "I don't like the bus ride. I think they're trying to torture me," she said with a laugh, noting she is first-on and last-off of the bus, making it a 45-minute ride for her.
Photo by David Prenatt
Pilot Kids – Ripley Central School freshman Tessa Mosier, standing, talks about her experience attending Chautauqua Lake Central School as a part of a pilot program. Also pictured, from left to right, are: Olivia Adams; Kira Mellors; Tanner McCutcheon; sophomore Annalise Mellors; and new English teacher Thomas Donovan. Not pictured, but in the program, are Dax Spacht and Amber McKenery.
Olivia Adams also has to ride the bus for nearly 45 minutes, but, "I actually like it," she said. "It's a great opportunity. The classes are challenging, and the students there seem to know so much more than us. I would rather take math over there, but I like the hand bells at Ripley and they don't have that."
Amber McKenery told the board she was thrilled with her experience.
"I wish we could spend the whole day over there," she said. "In the first week I got lost, but I found my way, and I really enjoy it. I like all the classes, the teachers are nice, and there is a lot of opportunities."
Tanner McCutcheon said the teachers seem to really try to help the Ripley students fit in.
"It's hard to get around, but they help you, and they understand that," he said.
Tessa Mosier described her experience as "awesome," and said she liked all of her classes there more than at Ripley.
"The freshman class is so big," she said. "I'm not with the same people all day, every day. I have no complaint whatever."
Kira Mellors attended the homecoming and said she finds the experience "challenging."
"I love almost all of my classes there," she said. "The teachers are great, and there is a lot of activities. It was hard with so many people. It was everyone's first day, but when I asked for help, everyone was willing to help me."
Annalise Mellors, who attended Chautauqua Lake last year on her own, returned there again this year.
"I love taking advance classes," she said. "They challenge me more, and the classes are a little more organized and structured."
The Ripley district is currently looking into the possibility of tuitioning students in grades seven through 12 to Chautauqua Lake.