Thursday, February 26, 2015

Notes from the Superintendent on proposed academy

You can find the backup here. Also the Superintendent's PowerPoint presentation is here

Boone: will be establishing a tab on the website so that all information is available to the public
Ad-Hoc Committee report .
Note that this is not designed to supplant or replace any of our existing programs
"those programs serve a very viable function and a very valuable role"
students grade 9-12, maximum of 250 students
admission based on ability and interest in a rigorous program of studies
international baccalaureate program recommended
a clear match for the humanities focus recommended by Ad-Hoc
admission still being developed but will include criteria and process include: application, grades, MCAS and other state assessments, transcript, student essay, teacher recommendation, discipline and attendence history
rubric for scoring will be developed
blind application process
algebra, pre-algebra, and foreign language will be weighed in admission
budgeting scheme includes a planning year with assistant principal and the IB coordinator plus an innovation program
Advisory council will be established to guide planning
program evaluation led by Research and Accountability
staff looking at site survey in February and March plus innovation academy plan
School Committee to vote at second meeting in April
budget is submitted to School Committee in May (and this will be included should SC vote in favor)
assistant principal and IB coordinator hired by July, along with appointment of Advisory Council

some FAQ
Why Doherty? Cetnral location
Where will students be enrolled (at their home school or at Doherty)? Not yet determined
Why a 10th grade, possibly? Fiscal economies of scale (same number of staff needed)
Private school students? It is designed for students who are enrolled in WPS at the time that they apply for admission
Assistant principal? for infrastructure work
Transportation? Provided, no cost estimates til we know which students are coming
Students removed? Only for violations of Code of Conduct, then can return to home school after suspension
Why IB? It is a well-established full curriculum (which AP is not; those are stand-alone courses)
Where are there IB programs? 16 in the state (including Abby Kelley Foster Charter in Worcester)
Financial viability? "This will require additional funds, as we are not looking to take any programs offline to do this." Thus that does need to be considered.
Why humanities? That was the proposal of the Ad-Hoc committee; students have to have math and science to graduate

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