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Commissioner's Weekly Update - June 7, 2013

New School Redesign Grants Announced:

The Patrick Administration and ESE today awarded nearly $9 million in federal funding to accelerate turnaround efforts in five underperforming schools in Boston, Lawrence, New Bedford, and Springfield. This is the fourth round of competitive federal grant funding to support the Commonwealth's efforts to implement school turnaround strategies that will increase student performance in the lowest performing schools. Schools receiving funding are The English High and Mattahunt Elementary in Boston, Henry K. Oliver in Lawrence, Hayden McFadden Elementary in New Bedford, and William N. DeBerry in Springfield. For more info, go to

New Student Board Member:

Congratulations to Dan Brogan, who was elected by his peers as Chair of the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) for the 2013-14 school year. Dan, who lives in Dennis, will enter his senior year at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in the fall. In Massachusetts, the SSAC Chair serves as the student representative to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and has full voting rights.

Regionalization Efforts Continue:

This week, the towns of Acton and Boxborough voted to fully regionalize their school systems. Effective July 1, 2014, the current Acton (K-6), Boxborough (K-6), and Acton-Boxborough (7-12) districts will merge into a single K-12 regional district. If your district is interested in exploring the possible benefits of regionalization, please contact Christine Lynch, ESE's director of school governance, at 781-338-6520 or

MA Standards for Professional Development:

To provide guidance to individuals and organizations that are responsible for the design and delivery of professional development, ESE has established a set of standards for high quality professional development. To learn more, and to access the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development, go to,

Charter Presentation Ceremony:

Commissioner Chester presented the founders of five new schools and the leaders of thirteen existing schools with their charters at a charter granting ceremony held this morning at Foxborough Regional Charter School. The five new schools that received charters were: City on a Hill Charter Public School II; City on a Hill Charter Public School New Bedford; Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School Springfield; Pioneer Charter School of Science II; and UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester. In addition, the following thirteen schools received renewed charters: Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School; Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School; Boston Collegiate Charter School; Boston Day and Evening Academy Charter School; Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers; Excel Academy Charter School; Four Rivers Charter Public School; Foxborough Regional Charter School; Mystic Valley Regional Charter School; Rising Tide Charter Public School; Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School; Smith Leadership Academy Charter Public School; and Sturgis Charter Public School.

For Your Info:

  • School Improvement Grant (SIG) Funds: ESE will apply for a waiver to extend the period of availability of Fiscal Year 2009 SIG funds and allow districts with Cohort 1 SIG schools additional time to expend remaining funds in those schools. Our notice of intent to apply is posted at If you wish to submit comments, please do so by sending an email to by June 12, 2013.
  • Security Portal Reminder: ESE is completing a major upgrade to its Security Portal Identity Management System. As a result of this work, the Security Portal has a new URL, which is Users will continue to use their existing usernames and passwords to access the new system, and there is no need to change either credential.


Subscriber Information: Superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders will receive the update automatically. For others wishing to subscribe, send an email to with the following information in the body of the email: subscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: subscribe ESEUpdate John Smith) To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: unsubscribe ESEUpdate Your Name. (Example: unsubscribe ESEUpdate John Smith)

Last Updated: June 11, 2013
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