Eight years ago, Dr. Lourenco Garcia came to Revere to make great changes at Revere High School.
And within months, he did just that in bringing in the once-controversial block schedule and moving the school toward student-centered learning using technology like iPads for every student.
Now change has come to him, as Supt. Dianne Kelly announced this week that Garcia has been promoted to the Central Office to join her districtwide leadership team as the executive director of data and accountability.
The position is a new position that will help students in middle school and high school mostly – in particular helping with the transition from middle school to high school. The position became available rather suddenly when the district received unexpected grant funding.
“Primarily he will work with principals doing data and accountability work,” she said. “It’s a position a lot of districts have, but we could never afford it. However, we got some state grant funding that we didn’t anticipate, so it could be done this year.”
In particular, Garcia will be working with kids identified by the district and by the state as at risk for dropping out or being held back. Kelly said students begin thinking about dropping out in fifth or sixth grade now, studies have shown. So, Garcia will be working from a special list to help certain students make the transition from middle school to high school.
That transition is often where kids at risk for dropping out or being held back hit their biggest bumps.
“He’ll be helping these kids before they find themselves in a position where they lose credits and are being retained,” she said. “Dr. Garcia’s job will be to look at that list from the state and put together a success plan.”
Another duty for Garcia will be to analyze existing programs to see if they are really effective. So many times, she said, new programs are introduced, but rarely is there time to carefully examine them to see if they are working as intended.
That will be Garcia’s job.
“If a program isn’t moving kids forward, we’ll look at different ways to fill the needs of what we had hoped for any such program,” said Kelly.