REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS (continued)
Staff Induction and Professional Development
Once again, this past summer a number of faculty and staff were involved in
a variety of curriculum development projects. For example, close to 20
elementary teachers participated in a workshop to develop resources for a
richer math curriculum, two dozen teachers worked on writing new history
and social science curriculum at grades 3, 5 and 6 and two art teachers were
involved in designing a curriculum for a course in digital design. Abington's
first year teachers participated in North River Collaborative's Beginning
Teacher/Mentoring Program and Writing Across the Curriculum Workshops.
In addition, a large number of staff members participated in graduate
courses this past year.
A separate orientation day for new teachers was held on Thursday, August
25, 2005. The traditional back-to-school program for all faculty, tutors and
paraprofessionals was held on Monday, August 29, 2005.
Major professional development initiatives for the 2005-2006 school year
include: art curriculum revision, literacy and composition, removing barriers
to mathematical success for all students, psychosocial assessment
practices, website design and construction, art curriculum revision,
analyzing English Language Arts assessment practices, language/auditory
processing and instruction in the usage of Everyday Mathematics.
Abington Education Foundation and Healthy Youth Initiative
The Abington Education Foundation (AEF) once again had a very active and
successful year. The Foundation's main goal is to encourage, promote and
sponsor educational experiences and learning opportunities for students
and teachers in the Abington Public Schools. The Foundation, in conjunction
with the Jeffrey Coombs Memorial Fund, awarded over $15,000.00 in
mini-grants for the 2005-2006 school year and sponsored its eighth annual
golf tournament on June 25, 2005 at the Rockland Country Club.
On Saturday, October 22, 2005 Abington's Healthy Youth Initiative sponsored
Make A Difference Day at Abington High School. Once again, this valuable
program was well attended by youngsters and adults.
Assessment and Accountability
In the spring of 2004, all public schools in Massachusetts administered the
eighth round of examinations under the Massachusetts Comprehensive
Assessment System (MCAS). These challenging tests, in the content areas of
English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Reading and Science and
Technology/Engineering, are designed to identify academic achievement
levels and areas in which students need improvement. Overall, Abington's
proficiency scaled scores across all four subject areas and grade levels
were at or above the state averages in all ten categories and improved over
last year's Abington scores in six (6) out of (10) testing areas. The results
over the last few years show the trends we have been seeking: decreases
in the percentage of students at the failing level and increases in the
percentage of students at the proficient level. Beginning with the class of
2003, grade 10 students have had to pass MCAS competency tests in English
Language Arts and Mathematics as one requirement for earning a high
school diploma. At this time, 93 percent of the Class of 2005 has met the
competency requirement based on the spring 2005 results. As a result of our
student performance on MCAS in 2005 our school district as a whole and all
Abington schools in the aggregate met the mid-Cycle IV Adequate Yearly
Progress requirements established by state and federal agencies under No
Child Left Behind. Unfortunately, for the first time, as a district in the
aggregate we did not make Adequate Yearly Progress in the special
Based on test results from the first eight administrations of the MCAS, we
have identified our areas of strengths and weaknesses. We continue to
implement specific programs at all levels to improve student performance in
the areas of greatest weakness and to insure compliance by 2014 of the
national goal set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act. The goal is that all
students and every subgroup will achieve proficiency in English Language
Arts and Mathematics. This goal can only be achieved by maintaining a highly
qualified staff, reasonable class size averages and adequate levels of
A review of SAT scores for Abington students shows that in 2005 70% of our
high school seniors took the SAT and their combined average scores in both
verbal (504) and mathematics (513) compared favorably to the national
In late August 2005, Mrs. K. D., Principal of Abington High School, was
notified by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges'
Commission on Public Secondary Schools that Abington High School's
Special Progress Report was accepted and the Commission voted to grant
Abington High School continued accreditation. This affirms our belief that
our high school has made tremendous progress in improving teaching and
learning over the past six years.
|School Superintendent - 2005 Annual Report
Staff Induction & Professional Dev't.; Education Foundation & Healthy Youth; Assessment & Acct.