School Committee Notebook: High School Off Probation, Enrollment Jumps
New high school building playing a role in keeping 8th grade students in town.
The opening of the new Tewksbury Memorial High School, combined with efforts to enhance program offerings, has resulted in increased retention of students in the school system.
At its Dec. 12 meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor announced statistics indicating a noticeable increase in the number of Wynn School 8th graders who enrolled at Tewksbury High as freshmen this year, compared to the previous three years.
"It's encouraging but there is still more we need to do," said O'Connor.
According to O'Connor, of 366 8th Graders who graduated from Wynn School in 2012, 248 (68 percent) enrolled at Tewksbury High this fall. That's compared to 62 percent, 56 percent and 60 percent over the previous three school years.
By contrast, the number of Tewksbury 8th graders who opted to attend Shawsheen Tech this year was 99, down from 117, 112 and 101 the previous three years. Just 45 Tewksbury 8th graders opted to attend in-state private high schools this year. That's down from 62, 61 and 72 the previous three years.
In other news:
- Principal Brenda Regan announced that Tewksbury High had been taken off probation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Regan said the school had addressed all of the concerns expressed by the association and credited former Principal Patricia Lally with spearheading those efforts over the past six years. (A complete PDF of Regan's Powerpoint presentation on the accreditation process can be found attached to this article.)
- School Committee Chairperson Krissy Polimeno announced that Jamey Cutelis and Dennis Francis would represent the committee on the new Elementary School Building Committee.
- It was announced that students would be offered the chance to go to Italy with school chaperones on the February Vacation in 2014.