hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

October 27, 2011

City to closely monitor progress of youngest students

The city's public schools are keeping closer tabs on its youngest students.

As part of the state Department of Education's push to secure a $50 million federal grant, school districts across Massachusetts must follow a more rigorous assessment program for preschool and kindergarten students.

Though it is not a form of standardized testing, such as the MCAS tests, education officials want to use the new method to ensure children will enter their formal schooling with basic language and math skills.

Superintendent James Scully and Superintendent of Curriculum Mary Malone announced the state's demands and organized the district's plan of action.

Malone said the state will require the district to create a system for kindergarten students which documents their progress in the classroom. Teachers will implement the system, which includes collecting samples of students' work.

These assessments won't become another form of standardized testing, both local and state education leaders stressed, but instead will allow the district to identify potential academic difficulties early and get help for students who need it.

School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti said he'd like to see the district expand its early schooling opportunities, especially as the district's non-English speaking and special needs populations continue to grow.

"We need to do more in that area," he said. "We don't even have all-day kindergarten (throughout the district). All the studies show the sooner you get the kids reading at grade level, they'll do better. We should know what kids at this age are doing and how they're progressing."

Students enrolling in Haverhill schools are not required to have attended kindergarten before entering the first grade. The district does offers kindergarten at several elementary and community schools, along with preschool at the Moody School.

Besides following the district's new early education requirements, the district tests first graders' development for federal grants and performs a test in the second grade to measure academic progress.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • Schools protect students with food allergies Posted 23 days ago
  • hunking2

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Dena Papanikolaou, a parent organizer, talks to parents packing a room to hear about a proposal for the new school to replace Hunking. This February meeting was a kickoff to their campaign. 2/6/14

    Bradford to get new school Posted 44 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140606_et_tje_havgrad_13

    Graduates applaud and cheer for their classmates.

    'Hillie Nation' celebrates the Class of 2014 Posted 44 days ago 6 Photos
  • Write Away!! Contest celebrates 23rd year Posted 44 days ago
  • 140603_HG_MSC_HUNKING

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Lisa Prendergast, left, and Melissa Seavey stand with Lisa's son John, 7, as he holds a sign in support of a new school to replace Hunking School. In the background is the Hunking.

    If voters approve, new school project starts in spring Posted 51 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140529_HG_CRU_WHITTIER_29

    CARL RUSSO/Staff photo Jonathan Maker, right, of Rowley, Whittier Regional High's valedictorian at this year's graduation ceremony, and his father, Donny Maker, a graduate of Whittier's Class of 1974, hug before the ceremony.

    Father and son graduate from Whittier 40 years apart Posted 51 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • 140522_HG_HAND_ALINA

    Courtesy photo Russian exchange student Alina Skripets, 17, plays the character Annabella in the Haverhill High School senior class production of Alfred Hitchock's "The 39 Steps." At left is senior Alex Zylkuski in the role of Richard Hannay.

    From Russia to Haverhill Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014
  • necc2

    TIM JEAN/Staff photos Hayley Carlin and Elizabeth Simpson, both of Methuen, give the thumbs up sign at the start of the graduation ceremony.

    NECC graduation generates excitement Posted 65 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, May 15, 2014
  • 140429_ET_ASW_TREE_3

    Tom Minichiello of the Haverhill Exchange Club helps the students in Judy Reilly's first-grade class sort, bag and tag pine saplings, for distribution by the club to first-graders in Haverhill, Groveland and Salem, N.H.

    Tiny trees for tiny kids Posted 72 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, May 8, 2014
  • 140502_HG_RHU_HEARTS_004

    Sacred Hearts first-grader Grace Wafford shows off her image of what she thinks she will look like at 75 years old.

    Cherishing the past, celebrating the present Posted 79 days ago 5 Photos

Photos of the Week
Stocks