Melrose School District Receives Regional DESE Grant to Further SEEM Collaborative Work

Melrose Public Schools
Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Melrose School District Receives Regional DESE Grant to Further SEEM Collaborative Work

MELROSE — Superintendent Cyndy Taymore is pleased to announce that Melrose Public Schools has received a portion of a nearly $90,000 grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to improve student learning through the SEEM Collaborative.

The SEEM Collaborative is a 10-member organization that formed in 1986 to provide quality education to school districts and strengthen existing school programs and services that would otherwise not be accessible or affordable to local districts on their own.

Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington and Woburn applied for the DESE grant as a consortium, and will receive $88,900 to be allocated over a two-year period beginning in 2018.

The grant money will support each district’s work on improving inclusive practices. This includes providing identified teachers, administrators and members of child study teams with targeted professional development, coaching in Universal Design for Learning — a framework designed to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how we learn — and inclusive practices that support the achievement of all students.

“As the Melrose Public Schools strives to provide quality education for our students, it is imperative that our faculty continuously refine their skills for inclusive and engaging instructional practices that provide all students with opportunities to succeed,” Superintendent Taymore said. “We’re thankful that DESE awarded the SEEM Collaborative with this grant allocation so we can continue to provide the best services for all learners.”

Melrose Public Schools will also work to:
• Examine and question resource allocation in more depth, using data available in districts along with tools provided by DESE, particularly new Resource Allocation and District Action Reports.
• Make meaningful changes in resource allocation to support best practices and district improvement strategies.
• Measure the impact of resource shifts on the desired outcomes. Melrose schools will be paired with an action research consultant who will help gather data, measure impact and report results.

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Whittier Tech Achieves Level 1 School Status Following Release of MCAS Results

Maureen Lynch, Superintendent
115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Contact: Jessica Sacco
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: jessica@jgpr.net

Whittier Tech Achieves Level 1 School Status Following Release of MCAS Results

100 Percent of Students Pass English, 98 Percent Pass Math and 94 Percent Pass Science and Technology

HAVERHILL – Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that Whittier Tech has attained Level 1 school status from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) following the release of MCAS results yesterday.

DESE announced the following MCAS scores for Whittier Tech’s Class of 2019:

• English: 100 percent passed – 30 percent advanced, 65 percent proficient, 5 percent needs improvement.
• Math: 98 percent passed — 46 percent advanced, 39 percent proficient, 13 percent needs improvement, 2 percent failing.
• Science and Technology: 94 percent passed – 28 percent proficient, 51 percent proficient, 15 percent  needs improvement, 6 percent failing.

“We are thrilled,” Superintendent Lynch said. “I’m honored to be the superintendent of a Level 1 district where everyone works so hard to ensure success of our students. With our Early College Program and one-to-one iPad instruction for every student, we are really moving our students forward in significant ways on the academic side, and continue to offer a top-notch vocational-technical education that leads students straight to promising careers.”

On the English test, there was a 2 percent increase from last year in the advanced and proficient categories. In math, there was a 5 percent increase, while science and technology saw a 3 percent increase.

Whittier moved from a Level 1 to a Level 2 school in 2015 and 2016 due to not meeting target growth standards set by the state for high needs, disabled and Hispanic students in English, math and science.

Today, Whittier has met all of the performance benchmarks set by DESE, and is one of only 70 districts out of 383 in the state to achieve Level 1 status. Beginning with the spring 2012 results, districts and schools are measured with the Progress and Performance Index. Whittier has met the PPI target for all of its students, earning it the Level 1 rating.

Scores have climbed steadily for Whittier since the MCAS was first implemented as a graduation requirement in 2003. For example, in the past five years, the number of Whittier students who have scored at the advanced level in English Language Arts has jumped from 9 to 30 percent. Ten years ago, DESE had Whittier on “watch” status for its low test scores.

To ensure the success of every student at Whittier, teachers meet weekly in Professional Learning Communities to integrate technology in lesson plans, instructional strategies and common assessments to measure student progress in the subjects and grade levels they teach.

As a result, Whittier students have made noteworthy improvements from their seventh grade MCAS scores. The average growth rate from their English MCAS scores from seventh to 10th grade was 51 percent. In math, the growth rate was 56 percent.

Tenth grade students took all three tests as sophomores in March, May and June of 2017 and will receive their official results in the mail. Those who did not pass the math or science and technology sections will retake the tests during the school year. Whittier has enjoyed a 10-year stretch during which 100 percent of its students passed all sections of the MCAS test by graduation day.

About Whittier Tech:

The regional school educates 1,300 students from 13 cities and towns – Haverhill, Amesbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Ipswich, Georgetown, Newbury, West Newbury and Groveland.

Its Open House for eighth grade students and their parents is Nov. 5, 1-4 p.m., at the school, 115 Amesbury Line Road. For more information or to apply online, go to whittiertech.org

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