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Level 5 Schools: An Update

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
March 14, 2014


This memo provides an update about our work with the four Level 5 schools: Dever Elementary School and Holland Elementary School in Boston; Morgan Full Service Community School in Holyoke; and the John Avery Parker Elementary School in New Bedford.

On March 7, 2014, I released preliminary turnaround plans for each of the four Level 5 schools. The four preliminary plans are enclosed with this memo. While each plan's priorities and strategies are tailored to the individual school, four key themes connect all four plans:

  1. A strong focus on great teaching, so all students will achieve to their highest potential;
  2. A program of study that provides students with a well-rounded curriculum;
  3. Supports for students, so they have what they need to learn; and
  4. Effective use of resources, including time, funds, staff, operational support, and other resources.

On March 7, I also submitted each school's preliminary turnaround plan to the school's Local Stakeholder Group, the superintendent, and the school committee. All of those parties will have the opportunity to propose modifications to the preliminary turnaround plans; any modifications will be submitted to me by April 7. I will consider any modifications that are proposed, and issue a final turnaround plan for each school within 30 days after the modifications are submitted.

Once I have issued the final turnaround plan, the statute permits the superintendent, school committee, or local union to appeal to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on any component of the turnaround plan (not the overall Level 5 designation). The Board may, by majority vote, modify the school's turnaround plan if the Board determines that: (1) such modifications would further promote the rapid academic achievement of students in the school; (2) a component of the plan was included, or a modification was excluded, on the basis of demonstrably false information or evidence; or (3) the commissioner failed to meet the requirements of the statute.

I look forward to updating you further on our Level 5 schools work at our March 25 meeting.

View the Level 5 plans

Last Updated: March 21, 2014
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