A District School and a Charter School Collaborate in Boston and It Works

As educators, we are constantly evolving. -Lyndsa McIntyre and Shannah Varón

The Hechinger Report recently published a piece by two Boston school leaders, Lindsa McIntyre and Shannah Varón, in which they share the success of their collaboration. McIntyre is headmaster of the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester and Varón is the executive director of Boston Collegiate, also in Dorchester. Jeremiah E. Burke is a traditional public high school while Boston Collegiate is a charter school.

With the cultural change well underway, the collaboration between the Burke and Boston Collegiate was able to focus on instruction. The project was initially funded by a the Lynch Foundation and later by a federal grant supporting charter/district collaboration.

Teachers embarked upon learning various strategies, including common mock state assessment tests to gather data to inform instruction and familiarize students with the rigors of testing.

The data was also used to group and schedule students for remediation. Boston Collegiate’s content coaches linked arms with the Burke’s content teams and became deeply embedded in the collaboration.

Teams met weekly to discuss best practices in math and ELA intervention. As the partnership evolved, they worked with each other, and learned together which interventions would work best their school’s context.

In 2014, the Burke became the first school in Massachusetts to shed its turnaround status;  it achieved a 12-point gain in English proficiency and a 26-point increase in math proficiency on state tests. It also won the acclaimed “School on the Move” prize from the nonprofit EdVestors, which annually honors the city’s most improved public school with a $100,000 grant to support continued improvement.

To read the full piece at The Hechinger Report, click here. 

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