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Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Message From Mark Niedergang...

Dear friends in Ward 5,

The Somerville School Committee adopts a set of key goals every two years, to coincide with the two-year term of office for School Committee members.

As your Ward 5 School Committee representative, I want you to know about the goals we have set to improve our public schools, whether you have children or not.  As a taxpayer or a resident of our City, you are paying for the education of our 5,000 students, and since they are our future, I expect that you have a strong interest in the quality of the education they are receiving.

While we have a lot of initiatives and exciting programs going on in the Somerville Public Schools, the School Committee selects a few top priorities for special attention. This year we selected four large goals, listed below.  The Superintendent and his administration are now developing specific strategies, programs and initiatives to achieve each goal.  These will be posted, as they are developed, on the Somerville Public Schools website along with these goals, at this location:

As part of our commitment to prepare every student for lifelong success, the Somerville School Committee adopts the following goals for 2012-2014.

Goal 1: Improve student achievement by meeting the following annual targets:
  • Achieve a minimum District-wide student growth percentage (SGP) average of 55 and implement intervention measures for any student who does not meet this standard.
  • Reduce the achievement gap by 10%.
  • Increase Math MCAS scores by 10%.
  • Increase the number of students ranking Proficient and Advanced on MCAS by 10% in all subgroups.
  • Improve the graduation rate by 10%.
Goal 2: Promote innovations designed to improve student performance:
  • Provide support and guidance to schools interested in exploring alternative innovation plans or conversion to an Innovation School.
  • Ensure that the Healey Unification Plan is fulfilled as developed by the Healey School Council and the School Committee.
Goal 3: Develop stronger home-school connections.
  • Improve engagement with parents/guardians of English Language Learners and with immigrant communities.
  • Improve engagement with parents/guardians who are not yet involved in the schools.
Goal 4: Increase engagement with the community to improve student learning.
  • Leverage city resources to support targeted student improvement goals and initiatives.
  • Strengthen community partnerships.
  • Develop the capacity to engage the talents and skills of parents/guardians and community members.
I hope you find this information interesting.  Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas.


Mark Niedergang
Somerville School Committee, Ward 5

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