City on a Hill’s Statement on Commissioner’s Renewal Recommendation for COAH New Bedford

FOR RELEASE: January 15, 2019                               Contact: Jordan Pina / press@cityonahill.org

Statement can be attributed to Kevin T. Taylor, CEO

NEW BEDFORD, MA – JANUARY 15, 2019 – The Commissioner of the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recommended to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) that City on a Hill New Bedford be renewed and placed on probation with conditions. BESE will vote at their meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 to make a decision on that recommendation.

The Commissioner’s recommendation to BESE represents the strict accountability system all charter public schools in Massachusetts operate under that hold them to high standards of performance. It also reflects the high standards that our City on a Hill New Bedford community holds itself to, and we are committed to working to meet the probationary conditions recommended.

These conditions are consistent with the work that we have already undertaken as a community this academic year to help make our school stronger, including, but not limited to: changes to curriculum; new tools and strategies to help teachers and staff monitor what students are learning well and where they might need more support; a Special Education partnership with Landmark School to better support City on a Hill New Bedford’s students with special needs; and a new restorative justice model. We believe these steps will help improve learning for all kids, increase student retention, and lower suspension rates.

Further, Commissioner Riley also wrote to the Board, “The recent hiring of a permanent chief executive officer for the network of charter schools, and recent changes to staffing and academic programming, give me hope that the school will be able to address these issues.” We thank the Commissioner for showcasing confidence in our turnaround plan and we look forward to working with DESE to ensure that City on a Hill New Bedford delivers on its educational promise to kids and families.

About City on a Hill

City on a Hill Charter Public School New Bedford opened in September 2014 and is part of a network of three college preparatory high schools in the cities of Boston and New Bedford that was founded in 1995. Each City on a Hill school is tuition-free and open to all students. City on a Hill schools do not have entrance exams; students are admitted by a random lottery.

City on a Hill has college-prep academic standards for all students, a strong and safe school culture, and the commitment to the structures and supports that help students reach their full potential. With a strong emphasis on citizenship, City on a Hill teaches students that they have the power and right to make changes in their school, communities and world.

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