Earlier this week the Rhode Island Department of Education released their 2016 school classifications and we proudly announced Middle School 1 (MS1) is a Commended school – the highest classification in their accountability system. This announcement follows similar news that we shared last February about our high school and Elementary School 2 being Commended (not to mention Elementary School 1 and Middle School 1 being commended in previous years). Overall, all four eligible BVP schools have received Commended status since 2012 and BVP MS1 is one of two high poverty schools on the 2016 list of 22 commended schools in Rhode Island.

We do not believe that poverty can be an excuse for poor outcomes for young people. Indeed, there are countless examples of successful men and women who have proven that zip code need not define destiny. That said, poverty is a real obstacle in the lives of many of our students. The trauma that poverty creates is a challenge. That underscores just how much of a proof-point the work at BVP is. This chart clearly shows that tough demographics can be overcome – a handful of schools across RI are in the upper right quadrant – including all four BVP schools that were rated this past year:

2016-school-classification-summary

We have a lot to celebrate. This news further validates that with high expectations and dedication, all children can achieve at high levels. Where a student resides does not determine their destiny – what matters is hard work. With this latest achievement we, above all else, are proud of our scholars and staff for their incredible focus and dedication. We know that their combined commitment fuels success.

Our team does tremendous work and is tirelessly focused on closing the achievement gap. The latest rounds of PARCC and NECAP data were released earlier this school year and further demonstrated we are moving in the right direction. (To view the PARCC Data Summary we shared at the start of the school year, click here.) We use this data to benchmark student performance with peers across the state, inform our practice, and celebrate successes. More broadly, data of all kinds allows our team to look for individual gaps and group trends, identify which scholars need more time and support and recognize what is working. We have a lot that is working and as always, we have more to improve upon. In reviewing our science NECAP results, released at the end of September, there are several data-points to celebrate:

  • BVP 4th graders exceeded the state proficiency average by 20 percentage points.
  • BVP 4th grade girls exceeded the state proficiency average also by 20 percentage points.
  • On average, BVP 4th graders who are economically disadvantaged are outperforming the statewide average for all 4th graders in the state.

As always, we will continue to strive for success, set high-expectations, and remember to take time to acknowledge and celebrate when we achieve great things. With this said, CONGRATULATIONS to all the hard-working scholars and staff at Middle School 1 and throughout our network! We’re so proud of you!