Massachusetts Charter School Sets and Meets High Standards
In the 18th and 19th centuries, New Bedford, Massachusetts was an important whaling center, its fleet known throughout the world. When the industrial revolution came to America, New Bedford was one of the places it took root with thousands of immigrants flocking there for the plentiful jobs in its textile mills and tool works. But like so many American industrial cities, that’s all in the past. Today unemployment is high and almost 30 percent of New Bedford’s school-age children live below the poverty line, their prospects dim.
The Global Learning Charter Public School is trying to do something about the future for the 480 New Bedford students who are lucky enough to go there. And in this case “luck” does have something to do with it. Openings in the highly coveted, tuition-free, grade five to 12 school are filled by lottery.
Global’s stated goal is “to ensure that all students achieve academic excellence, are ready for the rigors of higher education, and master essential skills that prepare them for the economic, social and civic challenges of a 21st century, global society.”
The results speak for themselves. Every member of the 2013 graduating class was accepted into college. In the standardized Massachusetts Assessment System Tests, one-hundred percent of Global Learning’s tenth graders scored advanced or proficient in English Language Arts and 90% of grade 10 students scored advanced or proficient in math. That’s quite an achievement for an inner-city school.
Teachers like Tarsha Veiga, an eighth grade special education teacher, are among the reasons for student success at GLCPS. A native of New Bedford and herself a product of local public schools, Ms. Veiga proclaims herself “passionate about special education and the students she teaches.”
She noted that GLCPS is comprised of a 20 percent Special Education population. Inclusion works there because small classes and extra support allow the faculty to tailor curriculum to the needs and level of each student.
AlertSeats™ are part of GLCPS, too.
“A member of the staff saw them at a conference and contacted Newman Adaptive, maker of the chairs, for a trial,”Ms. Veiga said. “We like them because they help students focus, contributing to positive behavior.”
“Sometimes bouncing on the chairs helps students get out whatever is internally or externally going on with them,” she added.
To date the school has purchased Nine AlertSeats™ and, says Ms. Veiga, they plan to add more each year.