At last week’s Revere Public School (RPS) Committee meeting, Revere High School (RHS) Principal Dr. John Perella and SeaCoast Principal Dr. Stacey Mulligan presented an overview of the School Improvement Plan at both schools.
One of the highlights of the plan, according to Perella and Mulligan, is that it reflects the work both schools have been doing to collaborate on goals and establish a cohesive connection between both the SeaCoast and RHS.
Mulligan said one main focus is to increase gender and racial diversity of staff, particularly among teachers and administrators.
“So both schools will be recruiting, hiring and supporting and retaining faculty members of color,” said Mulligan. “The most effective way to do this would be to first join the MPDE, or the Mass Partnership for Diversity in Education. It’s a group of districts that all come together to work on trying to diversify their staff. I go to meetings once a month and it is a great place to network. They hold three job fairs throughout the year and actually have a pool of candidates, administrators and educators that are available so it’ll be a great resource for us. I know that Revere has participated in the Inspire Fellowship, which is basically a group of educators of color that come together and work to help educational leaders recruit. They help with a curriculum that’s culturally responsive and they demonstrate the importance of having teachers of color in your district.”
Taking the lead from RPS’s district wide initiatives, RHS and SeaCoast have added a component on anti-racism and improving equity for all staff and students at the two schools.
“Both schools have an acute focus on social emotional learning practices,” said Perella. “I was in an equity team meeting at the High School and we were having this conversation. This work is important in that we are resetting our priorities on individuals and on children and not the content (of the curriculum). Our equity team has created equity workshops, especially in February because it’s Black History Month, and we’ll be spending a lot of time in these workshops that are designed to include students to talk about specific needs.”
Perella also talked about creating opportunities for parent engagement and decision making. “We think this is a vital initiative and critical to any success that the schools, or the district will have,” said Perella. “So both schools have hired family liaisons, and they have been extremely effective and really connecting us to parents and families in a variety of manners. We’ve recruited parents to be members for positions on the School Improvement Council at Revere High School and we had bi-weekly community forums and webinars in the fall where we shared information and communicate with families some of the changes that were taking place, not only in the remote setting but also some of the grading structures that we were hoping to implement.”
Perella added that there is also a weekly community message via “Sunday Email” to connect families to upcoming events as well as sharing information about what’s happening.
“These are all translated into different languages and sent in different languages,” said Perella. “We are now on our third community working group session where we work with parents and introduce and receive feedback on some of the changes in the grading system and the structures that are unique and quite foreign I think too many people outside of the educational world.”