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Former EHS students given opportunity to finish high school

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  The School Committee, during its November 15 meeting, voted unanimously to adopt an alternative pathway program designed to give former Everett High School students the chance to earn their diplomas.

  Anne Auger, director of Remote Instruction and Curriculum, said the program is designed for students who have dropped out of school during the past four years. She said that traditionally high school students must complete 130 credits to be eligible for graduation. However, the alternative pathway program requires students to complete 80 credits.

  “The key difference is that the additional coursework requirement is dropping from 52-and-a-half credits to 10,” said Auger. “Our goal is to successfully re-engage these individuals now that they have a smaller number of credits to complete.”

  Auger said the program can accommodate up to 40 students at a time. Classes will be held at the Devens School from 1-8 p.m. and will be taught both in person and remotely. She said that many times dropping out of school is not a voluntary decision. Auger said

family circumstances often arise that require students to start working full-time, thus forcing them out of school.

  According to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Everett High School reported a dropout rate of four percent for the 2019-2020 school year.


Memorandum of Understanding with Police Department

  In other news, the committee voted to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding between the Everett Police Department, the Everett Public Schools and school resource officers (SROs).

  Police Chief Steven Mazzie said every SRO receives extensive training on how to effectively interact with students. “We’re on the cutting edge,” he said, adding that not every officer can be an SRO. “There’s a very limited group of people who have the patience to take on that role.”

  There are currently four SROs in the district, two of whom are at Everett High School.

  In addition, Mazzie addressed a misconception that is commonly associated with police being in a school. “We’re not here to arrest young kids; that’s not our goal,” he said.

  Member-at-Large Samantha Lambert asked about if a Complaint Resolution Process was included in the memorandum.

  “Not everybody is comfortable walking into the Everett Police Department,” she said.

  School Committee Member-at-Large Millie Cardello spoke highly of the relationships between students and the SROs. “They get buddy-buddy with them and I think that’s great,” she said.

  Cardello also underscored the importance of continuing the department’s three-month internship program Cop Talk. She recalled how impressed she was listening to the experiences of the four students who completed the internship. “I was educated listening to our students that night – it was phenomenal,” said Cardello.


Staffing Update

  Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani said 129 individuals have joined the district during the current school year. She said 10 substitute teachers have been added at Everett High School as well as three success coaches. However, there are still 24 positions that need to be filled.

COVID-19 Update

  Tahiliani said that as of November 2, 12 residents in the 0-19 age group tested positive for COVID-19. By comparison, 52 cases were reported last month and 82 cases were reported in September. Regarding the vaccination rates, she said 61 percent of students ages 12-15 are fully vaccinated while 68 percent of students ages 16-19 are fully vaccinated.

Contact Advocate Newspapers