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Revere School Committee Roundup

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By Barbara Taormina

 

Congrats, Mrs. Martell

The School Committee at their last meeting congratulated and celebrated Nancy Martell, who was named the new principal of the Staff Sergeant James J. Hill school. “You’ve been ready to take over this leadership role for a long time,” School Superintendent Dianne Kelly told Martell as she was announcing Martell’s appointment to the committee.

Martell said she felt her job involved understanding the stories of students, families, colleagues and others. “Thank you for entrusting me with this opportunity,” Martell told the committee.

 

Welcome, Mr. Huppert

Superintendent Dianne Kelly also introduced Ryan Huppert, a Harvard Graduate School of Education resident who will be working with the administration for the next 10 months. Huppert told the committee he wanted his residency to be in place with a leader doing great work and Revere is where he landed.

 

Caregiver survey gives district high marks

Dr. Kelly shared some of the highlights of a recent parent and caregiver survey with the School Committee. The survey drew 603 responses. Among those who answered the questions, which ranged on a variety of topics, 83 percent said they feel welcomed and included in their child’s school. Among parents and caregivers, 82 percent feel teachers are responsive and communication with teachers is good. Among parents with children with special needs, 90 percent said they felt engaged in creating their child’s individual education plan. For families with children in English as a second language classes, 72 percent of parents and caregivers said they agreed they understand how their child receives ESL instruction.

 

The new math

Parents of school-age children sometimes complain and sometimes joke about the troubles they have helping with math homework. The days of math facts, multiplication tables and algorithms are over and math has become an exciting and relevant world.

Superintendent Dianne Kelly gave the School Committee an update on the district’s math curriculum.

Lower elementary grades have been using the Illustrative Mathematics program for the past few years. A pilot program will now expand Illustrative Mathematics through middle school.

According to Kelly, the advisory team that assessed different math curricula choices liked that Illustrative Mathematics asks students to describe what they were seeing and discovering. The program promotes classroom conversation and collaboration among students and builds on students’ innate knowledge, explained Kelly.

According to the illustrative Math website, “6-8 math is a problem-based core curriculum rooted in content and practice standards to foster learning and achievement for all. Students learn by doing math, solving problems in Mathematical and real-world contexts, and constructing arguments using precise language.”

At Revere High, students will participate in a pilot program with Reveal Math, which the advisory team chose because the program allows for differentiation to accommodate low and high achievers. According to the Reveal Math website, the program is derived from the latest research on how students learn best. The goal is to fuel student engagement and deepen conceptual understanding. Curriculum advisors also liked the online component of Reveal Math, which provides personalized or customized help to students based on their individual strengths and needs.

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