MATTAPOISETT — Superintendent Michael S. Nelson and his Central Office team are pleased to announce that students in grades 3 through 10 in the Old Rochester Regional School District MA Superintendency Union #55 engaged in a week of fun and interactive instruction during February vacation as part of a Math Acceleration Academy program.
Classes were held at Sippican Elementary School for students in grades 3-6 and at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School for students in grades 7-10 during the week of Feb. 21-25, from 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Breakfast and lunch was available for students who participated, and the program was offered free of charge to selected students.
As outlined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), an Acceleration Academy is a week-long academic program designed to accelerate student learning through engaging, standards-aligned lessons that meet the specific academic needs of students participating in the program. Academy classes provide students the opportunity to engage in highly-focused, instructional time during school vacation week in a vibrant and engaging setting.
District coordinators for the program were Old Hammondtown/Center School Associate Principal Kevin Tavares and Center School first grade teacher Marissa Hughes.
“The Math Acceleration Academy has given students high-quality core instructional mathematical skills to increase success in the classroom,” Associate Principal Tavares said. “It also has helped students stay on task over the February break so that learning continues.”
To determine the instructional focus for the week, the district analyzed MCAS data, benchmark/interim assessment data, and/or other curriculum-based assessment data. Based on this analysis, the district narrowed the focus for the week to a number of key concepts and/or standards. This allowed for the instruction to be tailored to the specific needs of participating students.
“We built off of experiences and momentum from the Summer Acceleration Academy and provided students an opportunity to accelerate their understanding of mathematical concepts and grade-level standards,” Director Davidson said. “During the week students received what would be the equivalent of one month of math instruction. Our classroom teachers determined engaging, high-quality instructional materials and lessons to use by diving into individual student data from our fall and winter Aimsweb benchmarking assessments and Spring 2021 MCAS results.”
Teachers were encouraged to begin lessons with the application of math in a realistic context (lessons should integrate problem-based learning).
“Our staff provided an amazing week of exciting and engaging lessons that created a platform for our students to take academic risks,” Hughes said. “Each of our students will leave the Academy with confidence and a head start entering the last 15 weeks of the school year.”
More than 70 students took part in the program this week. The district will be running an additional Math Acceleration Academy program during spring vacation week in April.
“To be able to provide a dynamic week of highly-focused instruction during February break is invaluable to the students selected to take part in the program, and we are grateful to our families who were so enthusiastic about signing up their children to take part,” Superintendent Nelson said. “We look forward to holding an additional Academy in the spring and seeing our students put what they’ve learned into practice in the classroom and beyond.”
For more information on the Math Acceleration Academy program, click here.