Canton Public Schools get high marks on MCASBy Mike Berger
Preliminary data from the latest round of MCAS testing revealed many positive findings for Canton; however, there is still room for improvement, according to School Superintendent Jeff Granatino.
“In many areas we shined, and in many areas we were above the state standard,” Granatino said at last week’s School Committee meeting. “But we are now concerned with how much students improve from year to year. Certainly there is room for growth. I will say that our unified curriculum in the younger grades has shown some positive results.”
Jen Henderson, director of curriculum, said the state Department of Education has backed off its goal of 100 percent proficiency in place of a new emphasis on student growth from grade to grade.
At Canton High School, 95 percent of grade 10 students scored in the proficient range or higher in English language arts, far exceeding the state standard of 69 percent. In mathematics, 85 percent of Canton students demonstrated proficiency (state standard of 59 percent), and 88 percent did so in science and technology (state standard of 54 percent). There were no failing scores or warnings in English and very few in math and science.
At the Galvin Middle School, 87 percent of grade 6 and 8 students scored in the proficiency range in English compared to a state standard of 69 percent. Sixty-seven percent of students were proficient in math (standard of 59 percent), and 64 percent were proficient in science (standard of 54 percent). While the percentage of students failing in English was low, there were higher percentages of students who received either a “needs improvement,” warning, or failing score in math and science/technology.
At the Luce School, 78 percent of students were proficient in English (standard of 69 percent); 72 percent were proficient in math (standard of 59 percent); and 57 percent were proficient in science (standard of 54 percent).
At the Kennedy, students scored in the high 80s in both English and math and 76 percent in science. At the Hansen, students scored in the high 70s and low 80s in the three major subject areas and there were low percentages of students receiving a warning or failing score.
Henderson will provide additional MCAS data and possible instructional remedies at the School Committee’s next meeting on November 1.
In other news:
* School Committee members viewed the CHS “lip dub” video — a musical display of school spirit and culture featuring the entire school community, including clubs and athletic teams along with faculty and staff. The video, which was produced by students in the TV production program, was also shown to representatives from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) during their recent re-accreditation visit. As of last Thursday, the video had been viewed more than 8,000 times at www.vimeo.com/51366716.
* The committee heard a favorable report from Granatino on the recent NEASC visit, held last week from October 14-17. Representatives met students, teachers, administrators, and parents during their four-day stay. Granatino said he received many positive remarks about the quality of the school from NEASC officials. Their final report, conducted every 10 years, will be released in March.
* The committee approved a request by CHS TV production teacher Ed McDonough to oversee a trip to the Student Television Network Convention in Los Angeles in early March. The convention offers workshops and a competition in which students produce a show within 16 hours. Last year, a CHS-produced show on the dangers of driving and taking drugs won first place. McDonough also sought and received permission from the committee for students to stay a few days beyond the convention to visit CHS alumni in California who are working in the television and film industry.
* The committee welcomed 25 students from Bocholt, Germany, who are visiting Canton for the next two weeks. Students are staying with Canton families and will have an opportunity to visit New York City, the Massachusetts State House, and take in a Boston Celtics basketball game. A group of Canton students will travel to Bocholt in the spring to complete the exchange. German teacher Elsa Nicolovios said the Canton-German exchange started in 1978 and is the oldest exchange program of its kind in the country.
* The School Committee presented a plaque to retired master plumber Bill Dickie for his 15 years of service to the schools. Granatino described Dickie, who still works part time, as a “jack of all trades and a friend to all.” The committee praised him for keeping the Rodman building operational until town meeting authorized money for a new heating system and for explaining to the public the need for the system.
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