While the 2020-2021 school year is winding down, we are getting ready to start our summer programming. Our Credit Recovery Summer School Program will be open to students who need to replace credits lost due to academic performance. This program will be offered remotely this year. Guidance staff will be in contact with students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Credit Recovery Program. Our Extended School Year (ESY) Program will also be in place for students whose IEPs require summer tutoring or more extensive programming. The ESY programs will be in-person, four days per week for 6 weeks.
Asst. Superintendent for Student Services Patty Bullard and Mathematics Department Head Denise Tenanty have submitted a grant proposal to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the Summer Acceleration Academy Grant Program for a Mathematics Acceleration Academy. Unfortunately, the grant does not provide for an English Language Arts component at the middle and high school levels. Per the DESE, Masconomet is eligible for a total of $29,500 in funding. The program will serve a total of 48 students, composed of rising 8th grade and rising 10th grade students. Our plan is to run this Acceleration Academy during the first two weeks in August. There will be two one-week sessions for groups of 12 students per session. Students will be invited to attend based on pre-determined criteria.
Acceleration Roadmap Documents
In early June, DESE released the “Acceleration Roadmap” documents. These documents are a planning template for school districts as they approach the 2021-2022 school year. The documents are built on the philosophy of “acceleration,” where “all students receive access to grade-level work with targeted scaffolds to make it accessible.” This approach is in contrast to “remediation,” where “students mainly receive work better suited for earlier grades, based on the misconception that they must master all past concepts before accessing grade-level work.” (Acceleration Roadmap, p. 5). The Acceleration Roadmap provides three priorities for schools as they implement this plan:
- Fostering a sense of belonging and partnership among students and families.
- Continuously monitoring students’ understanding.
- Ensuring strong grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds when they are needed. (Acceleration Roadmap, p. 6)
Our Department Heads have been working to develop a District plan that follows the “Acceleration Roadmap.” Department and Professional Learning Team meetings have been dedicated to sharing information between grade-level teams regarding the standards that were taught during the past school year. We also held a meeting with our Department Heads, seventh grade teachers and curriculum personnel from the Tri-Town Union to discuss the curriculum that was taught to our incoming seventh graders.
Using the Acceleration Roadmap as a guide, we’ve developed draft District Goals for next year, and have been developing activities to meet these goals. For example, we’re developing programming on building relationships among students and families, including programming for faculty on mindfulness in the classroom, and Project Adventure activities for Middle School students. Our Department Heads conducted a survey of the faculty regarding their levels of comfort with looking at student work, and using the scaffolding techniques that are necessary for accelerated instruction. We’ve also committed to have approximately 25 faculty members work 700 hours over the summer to update our curriculum, and develop assessments and lesson plans. The funds for this curriculum work are part of our general operating budget.
Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy summer! Enjoy the well-deserved rest. Our seventh and ninth grade orientations will be held on September 2nd and all students will return to classes on Wednesday, September 8th. See you in September!