Award Year: 2013

Cherry Road Elementary School

201 Cherry Road
Syracuse, NY, 13219-1598

(315) 426-3300

Sarah Vanliew, Principal at time of Nomination

Westhill CSD

School Website


Cherry Road School is a responsive community that encourages an appreciation for learning as a life-long process. Everyone is welcome, belongs, and has a contribution to make.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • White: 91%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Asian: 2%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Cherry Road is a warm, cheerful, child-centered school with a rich history and excellence. CRS began as a two-room school. It’s first principal, Miss Marion Parsons, is honored yearly through the selection of a 4th grade girl and boy as the recipient of the Marion Parsons Academic Achievement Award. The brass bell that Miss Parsons rang to begin school each day, still sits proudly in the principal’s office.

A dramatic shift for the Cherry Road staff emerged in the spring of 2010, with the four Essential Questions of Professional Learning Communities.

• What do we want our students to know?

• How will we know when they’ve learned it?

• What will we do if they don’t learn it?

• What will we do if they already know it?

Collaborative teams of teachers and administration identified the Essential Learning for each subject area aligned with the CCLS, curricula, and instructional programs. Assessments were designed to determine student acquisition of learning. The next two questions although exciting and challenging, required a paradigm shift. No longer teachers in isolation focusing on an individual class, but a focus on “our” students and helping all learners in a collective effort. Interventions were put in place to provide additional instruction and enrichment based on assessments. After re-crafting the master schedule, and ensuring a common time for interventions, we identified staff for interventions. Using data and teacher expertise, we worked collaboratively to identify areas of strength and weakness per student and grouped accordingly. We have been able to provide interventions in a timely, direct, and systematic manner. The entire school works collaboratively to achieve this vision. Miss Parsons would be proud.