CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- In rankings for upstate New York, Cambridge Central School has been recognized in the top 10 for its social studies program.

Awarded five-stars in a study published by weekly paper Buffalo Business First, Cambridge was listed eighth out of 429 public school districts for its academic performance in the subject.

The study is based on test results and graduation rates over the previous four years, from data provided by the New York State Education Department.

Overall, CCS was rated 53rd out of the 429 schools studied for the academic years 2009-2012, up from its placement of 61 the prior year.

None of the four high school social studies teachers at Cambridge, Kathy Ashton, Anthony Bochette, Andrew Lapitsky and Andrew Salisbury, could be reached for comment.

In a statement provided, faculty listed community and parent support as being beneficial to students' progress, as well as a strong emphasis placed on writing skills.

"Our department makes great use of guest speakers and special presentations that enhance the classroom experience and connect classroom learning to the world," said the emailed statement. "We have invited Vietnam Veterans, Holocaust survivors and members of a local monastery to speak with our students."

In transitioning to the new common core curriculum, teachers in the district say they are striving to include rich text in their lesson plans, and devote "countless hours to meaningful preparation, planning and evaluation of student work."

Advanced placement courses are offered to students in both World and United States History, and a popular elective on Holocaust studies is offered to juniors and seniors.

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