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DESE records indicate Everett educators are certified

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  A recent review of certification status showed that nearly all teachers and administrators in the district hold the required license for their respective positions.

  “We’re on pretty rock solid ground,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani during the March 7 School Committee meeting. “The vast majority of our employees do have the required permanent license.”

  According to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Tahiliani holds a provisional license for her position as superintendent. This license, which took effect on May 22, 2019, is valid for five years and cannot be extended or renewed. Deputy Superintendent of Schools Kim Tsai also has a provisional license which took effect on April 22, 2021.

  Assistant Superintendent of Academies Kevin Shaw, Remote Learning Director Anne Auger and Assistant Superintendent of Operations Charles Obremski all hold professional licenses which must be renewed every five years. Shaw’s current license took effect on January 22, 2020; Auger’s license took effect on February 4, 2021, and Obremski’s license took effect on June 15, 2020.

  Chief Equity Officer Cory McCarthy was issued an emergency license on July 24, 2020, when he became vice principal of Everett High School. According to DESE, emergency licenses were issued as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although McCarthy’s license will remain valid until June 30, 2023, it is not required for his current position.

  In addition, Special Education Director William Donahue has held an initial license since July 23, 2018. This license is valid for five years and cannot be extended.

  Tahiliani said there are currently two employees without licenses as it is still being determined if, in fact, those individuals need licenses. “Not every employee in our district requires a license,” said Tahiliani.

  Education licenses are not needed for Chief Financial Officer Anu Jayanth, Human Resources Director Francesse Canty, Budget and Grants Director Shirley Peng or Community Engagement Director Jeanette Velez. In addition, licenses are not required for paraprofessionals, family liaisons or administrative assistants.

K-8 interim assessments

  In other news, Tahiliani said she is pleased with the results of the recent interim assessments for students in grades K-8. “The results are really encouraging and offer a counternarrative to what we’ve been hearing about learning loss,” she said.

  As this group of students returned to the classroom in September 2021, it was determined that 48 percent of them were behind by at least two grade levels. “This is what we were expecting coming into the school year,” said Tahiliani.

  However, data from the winter assessment showed that figure had decreased to 38 percent. In addition, Tahiliani said 28 percent of students in grades K-8 are now at or above their grade level. “It’s clear that our educators looked at the data, looked at where our students were and really changed their instruction,” said Tahiliani. “You don’t get growth like this otherwise.”

COVID-19 update

  Tahiliani said that as of March 6 there have been six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents ages 0-19. By comparison, 41 cases were reported in February.

  During its February 28 meeting, the School Committee voted 5-2 to make masks optional.

However, Tahiliani said she and her colleagues still have their guard up. “We’re keeping a very close eye on it; we don’t want to be any less vigilant,” she said.

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