Like most schools, Rochester Memorial School has shown both strengths and weaknesses in their 2013 MCAS results, and from those results, the administration has identified areas that need more focus in the future.
“There’s good positive trends with a good majority of our students,” said Principal Derek Medeiros, who took over in September.
Medeiros and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Elise Frangos have identified writing and math as two key areas that needed improvement at the school.“We’re hyper-focusing on writing,” said Frangos, adding that “we’ll be exploring other more optimal ways to present mathematics to students.”
Overall, the school saw 73 percent of students score either advanced or proficient in English and Language Arts (ELA), and 68 percent of students score either advanced or proficient in Math.
One area that Frangos noted needs improvement is in the fifth-graders’ Science and Technology scores, where just 32 percent of students scored advanced or proficient, but Frangos cited the implementation of a new program at the school last year.
“Last year was a year where we significantly shifted [the science and technology program],” she said. “There was a big shift during the year, and we had a lot going on.”
Another area notable of being in need of improvement was fourth-grade Math, which showed 45 percent of students in that category.
As far as student growth is concerned, students’ scores reflected 58 percent growth in both Math and ELA.
“We are above the state average, which is 50 percent growth each year,” Medeiros said.
The Committee discussed the possibility of departmentalization for teachers at the school, but said that they didn’t foresee any changes in the near future. Currently, teachers are responsible for teaching across the disciplines, though some members of the committee and the community have expressed a need for dedicated teachers for each subject area.
“Although we have talked about departmentalizing, I’d like to talk to the teachers before we do that,” Medeiros said.
In other news, Facilities Manager Gene Jones said work is being done to the school that will allow those in the office to control the locks for the entire school.
Also, Superintendent Doug White said that an opening for the Business Administrator at the school has not yet been filled.
“We’re trying to find someone with some experience,” said White, who noted that he’d received some interest from retirees looking for part-time work, but not yet for a full-timer. “This is really a position that needs a full-time person.”
By Nick Walecka