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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Update on Level 5 Schools

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
April 18, 2014.

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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.

By the date of our April 29 Board meeting, I will have released final turnaround plans for each of the four Level 5 schools. Enclosed with this memo are the three final turnaround plans that I have released as of April 18, for the Holland, Morgan, and Parker Schools. I anticipate release of the final Dever School turnaround plan prior to the April Board meeting. We are posting all the turnaround plans on our website

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.

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 or the selection of a receiver). 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.

When we send the final school turnaround plan to the superintendent, school committee, and local union, General Counsel Rhoda Schneider sends notice to them about the appeal process, should any party choose to appeal. Enclosed are the letters she has sent in connection with the Parker School plan (appeals due on May 9, with Board consideration at the special meeting on May 19) and the Holland and Morgan Schools (appeals due on May 19, with Board consideration at the special meeting on June 9). We expect the June 9 Board meeting date will apply to any appeals on the Dever School plan as well. At our April 29 Board meeting, Rhoda will go over the appeal process and respond to any questions Board members may have about it.

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Appeals letters on Parker, Holland, and Morgan Schools
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Final Level 5 School Turnaround Plan: Parker School
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Final Level 5 School Turnaround Plan: Holland School
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Final Level 5 School Turnaround Plan: Morgan School
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Final Level 5 School Turnaround Plan: Dever School


Last Updated: April 25, 2014
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