Governor Deval Patrick today visited with students and teachers at the Paul Revere Innovation School, the state's first Innovation School, to highlight the Innovation School model as a successful tool in helping close achievement gaps in communities across the Commonwealth.
"Innovation Schools give educators the tools they need to close achievement gaps and create an environment where every student can access a high quality education," said Governor Patrick. "I want to thank the team here at Paul Revere for pioneering the way on this important initiative and look forward to many more schools partnering with us to try some new things in education."
"Once again, the administration, faculty and families of Revere have demonstrated their openness and enthusiasm for innovation in pursuit of educational excellence," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. "That openness and "can do' attitude is an inspiration. I am proud of the work of my colleagues and Governor Patrick in support of their pioneering efforts."
The Paul Revere Innovation School is a conversion Innovation School that used its innovation plan to extend the learning day; implement a stronger focus on improving instruction in literacy and mathematics; enhance common planning time for staff; and integrate the use of technology to collect and analyze student data and improve classroom instruction.
The school has shown significant gains on the MCAS exams, outperforming the state average on six of the seven tests according to this year's results. Additionally, the school's SGP (Student Growth Percentage) was 63.5, compared to the typical growth range of between 40-60 points.
The Paul Revere Innovation School was also recently awarded a $60,000 Innovation School Implementation Grant from the Administration for staff professional development in a newly implemented social curriculum as well as in a newly implemented math and English language arts program. Additionally, funds will be used to purchase software to allow teachers to use technology-based lessons to better meet individual student needs.
"Innovation Schools are a signature feature of the Governor's nation-leading education reform agenda, providing every district with the tools to deliver creative strategies that improve learning outcomes for all students and reduce achievement gaps," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "I applaud Principal Kelly, Superintendent Dakin and this community for leading on this Innovation School model that holds enormous promise for our students and our future."
"We're thrilled that the Paul Revere has made so many significant strides and we look forward to a promising future for the school," said Senator Anthony Petruccelli. "I also think it's important to thank the Governor for his leadership on such a vital issue."
"I am delighted that Governor Patrick has chosen to recognize the wonderful work put forth by the teachers, staff and administration of the Paul Revere School," said Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein. "The Paul Revere School, through the use of many educational techniques and resources currently available to Innovation Schools, has made tremendous progress towards closing the achievement gap that currently plagues our education system. I applaud them for their work to date, and I am confident that they will continue to strive for the highest educational standards that both our community expects and our students deserve."
The Innovation Schools Initiative is a signature component of the Patrick-Murray Administration's education reform efforts and was authorized as part of the Achievement Gap Act of 2010. Innovation Schools provide educators, and a wide range of community stakeholders, the opportunity to create in-district schools that operate with greater autonomy and flexibility while keeping school funding within districts. These schools can implement creative and inventive strategies related to curriculum, budget, school schedule and calendar, staffing, professional development and school district policies to improve learning outcomes for all students and reduce achievement gaps.
Innovation Schools are approved by local school committees through a collaborative process that invites community and school stakeholders to engage in solving their communities particular issues by taking advantage of the flexibilities and autonomies afforded to Innovation Schools. These schools have been established at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and range from new or converted schools, to programs within an existing school.
Many Innovation Schools are organized around specific themes like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), dual language instruction, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, alternative education opportunities including dropout prevention and dual enrollment at community colleges, virtual platforms and wraparound services. Several of these schools also operate with non-traditional schedules that significantly increase instructional time for students and professional learning opportunities for educators. There are currently 18 operating Innovation Schools located across the state.
Governor Patrick has named closing the achievement gap as one of his second-term priorities and today's visit is part of a series of events the Governor and Education Secretary Paul Reville are participating in throughout September and October to demonstrate the Administration's progress on this front.