Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Board of Ed: Lawrence update

Jeff Riley with students, stressing arts
"arts don't always show up on the test, but they show up in life"
and I can't liveblog student performances...end with "Children Will Listen"

past the five year mark, heading towards our sixth graduation
"talked about what we're trying to do with our kids: arts enrichment, sports, critical thinking"
proficiency levels continue to rise
graduation rates up over 20 points
dropout rates cut by more than half
number of employees that live in Lawrence has gone up substantially: "a home grown initiative"
Moriarity asks if that was intentional or happened organically
Riley: people energized by Lawrence: City of the Damned headline
"a real pride in Lawrence and weren't going to take that"
much of it budget dependent
Lawrence needs Foundation Budget Review Commission implementation
notes no state money comes with receivership
look more systematically on what was happening in Lawrence
five year road map to fix special ed programs
"going to take awhile to fix" but going to yield critical results
school system not doing a good job of engaging parents: saying "give us your kids, and come back at three o'clock"
replaced nearly 50% of school leaders early on
parent resource center: one stop shopping for parents: hub for parents
"the reality was that parents weren't being given access to the schools" and that has changed
capital improvement place on school renovation and replacement
access to college: "we believe if we can get our kids on campus and can get them in the process early...they'll get the sense of how college operates and be ready to go on"
High school redesign continues; much more support
still trying to keep kids on track gradewise
"we have great kids, as you've seen today, and we're looking forward to good things to come"
McKenna: breakfast in classroom "it's the only thing that doesn't cost money"
Holyoke moving towards 100%
moves scores at a higher rate than tutoring
 "the system we've created have been decentralized...give a lot of autonomy to our schools to make decisions"
believe that good decisions spread like a virus
McKenna: "We're talking about hunger here, not curriculum."
breakfast after the bell makes a difference
"evidence is so clear, basic nutrition and educational attainment"
bills that has been filed in both House and Senate to require breakfast after the bell in Massachusetts public schools

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