SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The largest school district in western Massachusetts has announced a new partnership with one of the country's most prestigious universities.
Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Warwick announced Thursday that five Springfield schools will be teaming-up with the Education Innovation Laboratory (EdLabs) at Harvard University . The effort is designed to help improve student performance and close the achievement gap in the five schools, which are designated as "Level 4" schools (the most struggling schools in terms of student achievement, as designated by the state).
The plan is to implement new science, math, and reading curriculums at the five schools, which are the High School of Commerce, Kiley Middle School, Kennedy Middle School, Chestnut Accelerated Middle School, and DeBerry Elementary School.
"The programs will include small-group tutoring sessions for students and revised teaching and learning strategies, among other initiatives," reads a statement from the Springfield Public Schools.
Warwick says that EdLabs has already found success in turning around schools in Denver and Houston.
"We are taking a bold step, one that is necessary at this time and one that represents the most cutting-edge education reform taking place in the country today," he said. "Our promise is a culture of equity and proficiency for all students, and our partnership with EdLabs will deliver on that promise.
There are 11 Springfield schools identified as being "Level 4" since 2010, including the five involved in the partnership with EdLabs, according to a list on the website of the Massachusetts Department of Education. As of September 2012, there are 43 such schools in Massachusetts; all of which are located in the cities of Boston, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Salem, Springfield, and Worcester.