NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 18, 2013

Pentucket approves district improvement plan

WEST NEWBURY – Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen got the nod from the Pentucket Regional School Board this week to pursue a five-pronged district improvement plan. According to Mulqueen, these five strategic objectives were selected for their potential to “drive significant improvement in student learning and instruction.”

They are: develop a powerful curriculum by integrating challenging standards, adaptive leadership skills and high levels of personal meaning and implement 3-tiered instruction to accelerate the learning of every student; develop a dynamic program of studies that reflects the voice of students and ensures each student a future of choices.

Also, implement systematic educator evaluation that results in the continuous improvement of adults and increases the collective capacity of the system to deliver world-class results and strengthen systems of support for the instructional core, including academics, arts, and athletics.

“Although the district’s performance is similar to other high-performing districts on the north shore, a persistent gap in the achievement of high-needs students was identified,” the superintendent said. “Pentucket needs to strengthen its curriculum, align its assessments and systematize instructional practices to ensure the success of every student. “

Under each objective, the plan also stipulates a total of 20 initiatives, many of which, such as Innovation School development, are already underway.

Announced by Mulqueen earlier this month, Pentucket’s Innovation School initiative stresses the need to implement new ideas, create new opportunities for staff and students and “personalize the Pentucket experience.”

Possible innovative schools the district will explore this year include Movement Science and Athletics, Animation and Visual Effects, and Safety and Public Service for grades 7 to 12; and International Baccalaureate and Design and Engineering for grades K to 6.

Other initiatives Mulqueen is exploring to support his vision for a “world-class future for Pentucket” include: integrating standards, adaptive leadership skills, and high levels of personal meaning into high-powered units of instruction; shifting to an electronic format for unit and course design; implementing Ten Marks to accelerate performance in mathematics, and conducting regular instructional rounds with staff in all schools.

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